Maybe writing is your passion, and you dream of how you can make a full time wage from doing what you love. Maybe you have a lot of expertise in a certain area, and want to put your ‘how-to’ knowledge into an eBook to sell. Whatever the reason, these 7 Key Secrets will show you exactly how to write an eBook and make money!
If you’ve tried traditional publishing without success, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your project! Authors have more power and control now than ever before.
Self-publishing is an incredibly viable route to take. It can also be a great way to create passive income. But this won’t happen without a lot of effort and, more than anything else, strategy!
I will mainly focus on selling through Amazon KDP here as I’ve found that this is what works for me.
However, you will have to decide if you want to diversify and sell on other platforms, or have the benefits of Kindle Unlimited on Amazon but be exclusive with them.
Kindle Unlimited allows readers who subscribe on Amazon to check out and read your book for free. You are paid per page read. Although this doesn’t seem like a lot, Kindle Unlimited is a huge chunk of sales for many authors.
When you enroll a title with KDP Select, your book must be exclusive to Amazon. However, you only need to sign up for 3 months at a time. This allows you to experiment and see what works best for you. You can choose whether or not to enroll in KDP Select for each individual book.
These tips on how to write an eBook and make money are essential for every platform.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, so I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you choose to purchase these products. They are all products I know and love. Thanks for supporting Happier With Tea!
1. DECIDE ON YOUR STRATEGY
This first question might seem obvious, but it’s crucial to answer.
Why do you want to sell an ebook?
Do you want to finally publish your life’s work? Or is it a side hustle that you want to make some extra money from?
Neither are wrong, but how you approach it will be different.
If you are hoping to make easy money, or to get rich quickly from it, you are very likely to be disappointed!
Look into other ways to make money online– it’s possible to write an eBook and make money online, but to be successful and make anything more than just a few dollars takes hard work and serious strategy! There are other side hustles with much faster results.
Also check out my post on making money online with Amazon.
However, if writing is a passion and you’re happy to go slowly and spend the time and effort to build your eBook success, then you have a good chance at making money from your eBooks!
Self-publishing has blown publishing wide open- there is a massive market for eBooks… although be aware that the supply far outstrips the demand- you will have to stand out!
Decide on your budget. If you want to self-publish a novel that you have been working on for a long time, budget for professional editing. Don’t sell your book short at the last hurdle. Yes, this can be expensive, but remember that you are now your own publisher! For your book to really take off, it will need to seem professional. This isn’t as important if you are publishing a book that you’ve spent much less time on.
Have your goal firmly in mind and make your decisions based on what you want to achieve.
2. PROTECT YOUR BRAND
When you put yourself out there as an author and publish a book, by default you now have a ‘brand.’
Be very aware of this from the very first moment and make decisions that will strengthen your brand.
If you want to know how to write an eBook and make serious money, it boils down to this: build a fantastic brand!
These are some of the key points in building your brand.
Write a Great Book
There is no substitute for having a great piece of work. It doesn’t have to be Dickens but it needs to be quality and to fulfil the promises it makes to your readers. A reader takes a risk on you when they purchase your book.
Publishing low-quality material might get you a few sales, but it will destroy the trust with your reader and ultimately destroy your brand.
Be picky about quality- edit and revise and ask people to read and give feedback. For a full length novel, consider an editor. When you have a high quality book that delivers, it will grow through recommendations and word of mouth. For How-To books, consider how you can solve your readers’ problems.
Grammarly have tools that will proofread your book, or you can access their baseline offer. It has both free and premium options.
Design a Great Cover
Your cover is the first impression that a reader has of your book. This means that they will judge all of your work on this one thing- should they click yours or the one beside it? You need to draw them in and be the one that stands out!
Your book might be the better written, but if it has a less impressive cover, you will be selling it short. Not only this, but your cover style needs to fit into the genre of the book. And remember that it needs to stand out when it’s just a thumbnail size.
I design some of my covers myself, and outsource others.
I purchase graphics from Shutterstock and I use Canva Pro to easily create design stunning book covers (they have an eBook template which makes it very simple- try free for 30 days with this link).
To get a cover professionally made, I use Fiverr. they have an amazing range of skilled artists and designers who can illustrate or design covers based on your needs. This is especially good for children’s books!
Find someone with experience in your genre- not only can they make a pretty cover, they can make one based on what sells. This knowledge is invaluable.
Format Your Book Properly
When you’ve gone to all of the time and effort to write a great book and design a beautiful cover, you don’t want to let the formatting of the book let you down!
This will turn readers off to the extent that they may look at the badly formatted sample and decide not to purchase your book. It looks unprofessional and ruins your brand.
Luckily, formatting your book properly for ebook isn’t that difficult!
I use the TCK Publishing guide, How to Format Your Book for Amazon Kindle using Microsoft Word in Only 30 Minutes. It’s a brilliant step by step guide that makes formatting your book easy.
Have an Awesome Description
Your cover and description are what people will use to decide if they should buy your book or not. Spend time on your description- use it to entice people and reel them in. It can be tempting once you get to the point of releasing your book just to cobble something together. Slow down and write a clever description. This element can make or break your sales!
3. USE THE RIGHT KEYWORDS
Once you’ve built your brand by writing a great book, with a fantastic cover and formatting, you need to use the key words so people will be able to find it!
This is one of the biggest bumps for new authors who want to learn how to publish an ebook and make money.
If you mess this step up, no-one will ever even see your book! The competition is fierce! If your book is ranked several hundred thousands down the rank (which it will be if you’re a new author) then you might not ever sell a single copy. So this part is worth doing right!
I invested in Publisher Rocket and I saw my sales instantly soar.
This tool suggests key words and lets you know exactly how many people search each phrase per month, and what the competition rating is (how easy it would be to rank for that keyword).
It also helps you to find categories in amazon to put your book into, and let’s you analyse your competition.
Publisher Rocket costs $97 and there is a 30 day money back guarantee. For me, this is the best investment I’ve made in my writing, and it ensures that people actually see (and as a result, buy) my book.
4. HAVE A BUSINESS MINDSET
How do you write an eBook and make money? Get into a business mindset!
These are some top tips of what works best for you to consider.
- The most successful authors have more than one book
This makes sense. Having two great books published means that they will boost each other’s sales. If someone loved one thing that you wrote, they are more likely to read something else.
The question is not how to write an eBook and make money. It’s how to build your author empire and make money writing!
- Series of books sell more copies
OK, so maybe you hadn’t considered that your book might be part of a series. But if you’re selling eBooks to make money, and you’re approaching it like a business, then this is something you can take advantage of! Another tip is to offer the first book in the series free. When it’s well written and holds your readers’ attention, then it’s very likely that they will want more and will be willing to pay.
After all, they already have an emotional attachment to the characters, and they now trust the writing quality of your book, so this is a brilliant time to sell them the second (and third) books in the series.
- Longer books sell better
And by longer, I mean more than 100,000 words. Readers love long books! And if you are with Kindle Unlimited, you get paid per page read, so doing long books is a win win.
5. PUT YOUR BOOKS ON PRE-ORDER
Offering your book on pre-order is a fantastic book launch marketing tool.
This tip works especially well for series. Instead of just releasing the next installment, put it onto pre-order. This allows you to gather sales slowly (around 3 months works well but longer is fine, too), and then cash in on the day you launch.
This gives your book a massive boost in sales that will hugely help your ratings. It can even allow you to get to the best seller rank!
This strategy works for all books, not just for series. You don’t have to submit the manuscript until a week or so before. I’d recommend having the the cover and description ready as this will draw more sales.
6. USE THE BACK MATTER TO FULL ADVANTAGE
The back matter of the book is something that I hugely underestimated in the beginning of my publishing journey. It’s basically all the pages of the book that follow after your main story.
Again, remember that you’re treating this like a business. As such, the back matter is valuable ‘advertising space.’ It’s a place to build your brand, to give readers more opportunities to connect with you, learn more about you, and to see what other titles you have available.
And even better, if readers get as far as the back matter, it means that you have kept them hooked until the end of your book! They are already interested. This is the best time to make a connection.
If you don’t take this opportunity, they may finish your book and, no matter how much they loved it, they’ll click out of the book and potentially never read another book from you.
Putting everything in the back matter optimizes the reader that you have worked so hard to engage.
The Back Matter Should Contain:
- An Excerpt– the first chapter of another book and then a hyperlink to your book on amazon with the words ‘continue reading.’
- About the Author section– this is your chance to let your reader learn more about you and to build a personal connection.
- Connect with the Author– this is a place to put links of your social media and let people know where they can find you.
- Links to other books- list all your other books here with a short description to entice people to purchase. Include a hyperlink so they can click it and be taken there straight away. It can be a pain to update old titles but it’s such a great opportunity to increase sales so it’s worthwhile to take the time.
- A description and link to pre-order books. This will be a major way of directing traffic to your pre-order titles. Doing this can skyrocket your title to a better sales rank with potential for best-seller.
- Ask for reviews- if you kept your readers’ attention for the whole book it’s likely that they enjoyed it. Therefore, this is a great opportunity to ask for a review. Most readers don’t leave a review, but simply asking can be the prompt that’s needed.
Another tip to drive traffic and awareness to your back-list of books is to offer one free book. Make sure that the back matter is fully maximized and up to date. This will broaden your reach and showcase your whole list of titles.
7. BUILD A FAN BASE YOU CAN CONTROL
All too often, a reader’s relationship with an author is to read a book, like it and maybe even love it. But then they usually forget about them.
Building a fan base is a fantastic way to write an eBook and then make money. An email list is an amazing marketing tool. Everyone who signs up is actually interested and wants to know about new releases, so it isn’t spam.
How Do you Build an Email List?
- Get a website
- Collect email addresses
Yes, I know this sounds like a huge thing! However, a website adds legitimacy and professionalism to your writing career. Surprisingly, people do actually google their favorite authors. A website is a landing place for fans to:
- See all your titles
- Learn about you
- Find you on Social Media
- Join your mailing list and have sneak-peaks, previews, and access to giveaways.
You can start a website with Bluehost for as little as $2.95 a month- and this even includes a free domain name.
You can then collect email addresses with Mailerlite (which is free for the first 1000 subscribers).
This will let you easily send out a weekly newsletter and keep your fans up to date.
This also means that if anything were to happen with a platform where you publish your books, you still have the emails of fans. And, you are in control of this email list! This stability and direct contact will greatly help you to make money with your eBook.
Build a Fan Base through Social Media
Consider starting an author page for:
Be active- engage with other authors and with fans and direct people to your website.
And that’s it!
Hopefully you enjoyed these ideas and tips for how to write an eBook and make money. Writing is amazingly fun and if you can find a way to create passive income with it, it’s a massive bonus.
My main tip is this: enjoy your writing! Ultimately, write for passion not for profit.
Please comment and let me know your experiences self-publishing, and share this post if you found it helpful.
You might also enjoy:
- How I Used Publisher Rocket to Boost My eBook Sales Instantly
- 4 Fun Ways to Make Money Online With Amazon and Create Passive Income
- 11 Easy Ways To Make Money Online
- 5 Awesome Ways to Make Money Online From Writing
- 22 Legit Work From Home Jobs for a Life You Love
Thanks for reading!