What Is It?
Writers can write and publish an electronic book (a.k.a eBook) to an online bookstore. When you are selling eBooks, either for kindle or other products, the customer automatically gets the book and you get paid a portion of the cost in the form of passive income.
How Does It Work?
In the past if someone had to publish a physical book it was very costly. Printing each book had high overhead, if they didn’t sell it cut into your profit and it was very costly to publish. Now that there are online bookstores, such as the Amazon Kindle store, writers can self publish or go through an inexpensive online publisher. By selling eBooks they also don’t need to worry about unsold books. There are several main steps that you need to take to publish an eBook; write it, make a cover, choose whether to self publish or go through an online publisher, pick the online bookstore to publish it in and then finally actually publish it.
How To Write An eBook
When you are writing eBooks, keep in mind the program you use to write it in. Most bookstores accept MS Word format so if you use that you should be safe. One exception is that the Apple iTunes Books relies on a free iBooks Author program for Macs. So before you publish, keep in mind you don’t write it in a system that will make converting it a painful process.
Next you need to make a cover. While not as important as a physical book, great covers can capture someone’s eye and lead to more sales. The typical ways starting eBook authors get their cover made is to either go through an online publisher, find someone locally to do it or hire someone on Fiverr or a graphic design marketplace to do it.
After this comes deciding to self publish or go through an online publisher (a.k.a. epublisher or online distributor) to do this. Working with an epublisher often allows for easy distribution onto many bookstores and is far cheaper than publishing physical books with most services around $25-$100. On the other hand, new authors might want to save the money and control a little more of the process of publishing.
Next comes deciding on the online bookstore to use. There are dozens to choose and if you go through an epublisher they often make it relatively easy to publish on many of them. If you are self publishing you will likely want to stick with only one or two. The top three are Amazon Kindle Store, Apple iTunes Books and Barnes & Noble Press. Amazon Kindle Store is by far the most popular one and offers the chance to get in front of a larger consumer group however. However they also have an exclusivity agreement that you must sign where you can’t publish the book on other sites. Also, some authors find Apple and Barnes & Noble easier to deal with as there are not as many rules you need to follow. With each bookstore you will need to create an account with them, regardless if you self publish or go through an epublisher. This is usually a quick process.
Finally comes the publishing. If you self publish you will use a tool the marketplace provides to convert your eBook to the proper format and do some final formatting, such as table of contents. With ePublishers they will typically help you through this. Once it is all setup, you upload the eBook to the bookstore. After that you simply enter in basic information like the price, where it will be distributed, title and the description. The last and most important step is clicking the Publish button.
When customers find and buy your book online you will then get paid the price of the book minus any bookstore royalties.
How Much Can You Make?
Writers typically don’t make much money selling eBooks. Only about 2% of eBook authors make over $10,000 per year. A very small percentage of authors have found it to be very lucrative, pulling in over $100,000 per year however they are few and far between.
While not particularly lucrative, the one positive of writing eBooks is that it is passive income. A published book can continue to bring in revenue years later.
Online Bookstore Websites
- Having a great cover and book description is extremely important when selling an ebook. Often people buy the eBook simply based on the cover and description, without downloading a sample.
- When starting out, some authors focus on shorter books just to get some income in sooner rather than later.
- Online bookstores have an overwhelming number of eBooks for people to choose from so it may be hard for people to find yours. Use social media to advertise your eBook to friends and family, asking them to share this around as well. If it is a great eBook then this can start getting the word out about it and lead to more sales.
Categories: Passive Income