How You Can Earn Money Online From Writing E-Books
To me and a lot of other experienced online entrepreneurs, e-books are a very good way to earn extra money. The great thing is that if you are already a writer or own a blog, you’ll also have your existing expertise and knowledge to look to in order to come up with a viable e-book topic, and many of the skills you already possess will make the e-book production process easier. You have to know or learn quite a lot about online marketing in order to successfully pull it off, though.
Since bursting onto the market in 2007, digital reading devices have become incredibly popular. The first version of the Amazon Kindle sold out in just over five hours, and just recently, Amazon announced that, for the first time ever, e-book sales surpassed that of paperback books. With the advent of the new Amazon Kindle book reader and so many other great platforms, now is a great time for authors and writers to capitalize on e-book sales.
Why Should I Write an E-Book? – Some of the Benefits of Writing an E-book
E-Books come with many benefits when compared to traditionally printed books. Publishing costs are significantly reduced, revenue-splitting is minimal, and there are no shipping costs. Also, you can target the marketing of an e-book to a core group of readers.
Promotional efforts for E-books are fairly inexpensive, as you can provide free promotional copies at no cost. The production process is also very streamlined, as E-books are generally shorter in length than printed publications. Overall, creating an e-book is a great way to showcase your talents in a more simplified and economical fashion.
Writing the E-Book
Writing an e-book might seem like a daunting task, especially if you are a web designer or a web developer, and not a writer. It’s very achievable though, presuming that you approach this following process the right way.
1. Topic/Niche Selection for the E-Book
Choosing a topic that you are either very knowledgeable or passionate about is key to creating an e-book that will be informative and profitable. But you also want to take into account your target market before you even begin to write. Creating your e-book first and later identifying the target market is like trying to fit a square block into a round hole. Decide what niche you want to target, identify their needs, and base the topic of your book on those facets.
Ensure that you find a problem to solve. According to Neil Patel, the founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, “The number one thing that you should be aware of is this: Don’t create an idea that you just want to create, create a business that solves a unique problem that people are facing right now and they’re willing to pay to solve it. This is the number one thing that you should be aware of, because if you’re not able to do that, you won’t be able to create a business that’s doing well.” Many people miss that very important thing. In order to make money with any product, you must find and solve a real problem.
2. Confirm the Idea for the E-Book
Even though you have found a good problem to solve, an e-book subject you think people will pay for in order to solve a knowledge gap they have, you might still get on the wrong path because it isn’t that easy to predict what people actually need. You don’t want to spend your valuable time and resources building something that nobody wants. An e-book can take weeks or months to produce, so it’s important that the effort can produce a good outcome for you.
That’s why you should confirm and substantiate the e-book idea before you start putting in some serious work into it. How can you do this? The easiest and most affordable way to see whether someone is actually interested in your e-book idea is to do this: create a landing page or post either on your blog or any social media platform you have that describes your potential e-book; have an opt-in email sign-up form for people who are interested in the e-book and want to know when it comes out. You can use an email marketing service for this if you wish; drive traffic to that landing page or post as best as you can, through social media, guest posting on popular websites in your niche, emailing your friends, asking industry leaders to share your landing page on their social media accounts, and so forth and finally evaluate the results.
It’s important to understand that you can’t expect to sell a lot of copies of your e-book if you can’t even get people to subscribe to a free email list. However, if you manage to get 100-200 subscribers, that’s a solid indication that there is at least some interest in your e-book idea, and that it might be good to move forward with it.
3. Length of the E-book
There are no hard rules when it comes to the length of an e-book. In so many instances, I have seen and read informative and creative e-books that were less than five pages in length. Don’t be constrained by any preset word limit. On the other hand, don’t include fluff and filler in your e-book just to get it to a certain length. Say what you have to say in a concise, organized, and comprehensive fashion.
Some people equate the number of pages in an e-book to value, but this is a false assumption. If your e-book is 100 pages long, but packed with unique and creative ideas, that’s great. But if you can provide the reader with what they want in five pages, that’s fine too and probably even better.
3. Title of the E-Book
The e-book market is a competitive one, so your title should stand out from the rest. An uncreative title, such as “Five Ways to Save on Home Energy Costs” is unlikely to sell well because there just isn’t any “cool” factor in it.
For instance, an e-book on comprehensive ways to save money in your everyday life, should not have very generic and common title ideas, such as “Making Money Matter.” A unique and catchy title such as; “Don’t Be a Mule: Ways to Save More, Spend Less and Generate Income in Your Everyday Life” should be used. There is no way to measure how much profit will be directly attributable to the creative title, because an eye-catching title such as that will draw at least a few more people in to take a closer look.
4. Detailed Plan/Outline of the E-Book
Writing without a plan might work for fiction writers sometimes, but if you write non-fiction books, you have to plan ahead. Otherwise your writing will be incoherent and hard to follow.
Create a detailed outline of the entire e-book. Map everything out, from the introduction to the concluding paragraph. Look to the best selling books in your niche for inspiration and advice on structure and organization. You should have a thorough outline detailing the style, tone and content of each chapter.
5. Content/Body of the E-Book
With the high level of competition in the e-book market, packing your digital work with unique content is the key to its overall success. Your knowledge of and passion for your chosen topic will allow you to provide key insights to the reader that other e-books don’t offer. Hone in on these points and highlight them in your book.
If you are writing an instructional e-book, research the competition. You may find their content to be outdated, impersonal, not relevant to the average reader, or in many cases, inaccurate. Write in easy-to-understand terms, and if possible, utilize real-life, first person narratives and examples. Setting yourself apart from the rest of the pack is a huge factor in the overall success of your e-book. Lastly, do not forget important sections of the e-book. Be sure to include all applicable copyright information, a table of contents, and an “about the author” section.
6. Format of the E-Book
You need to save your work in PDF format. If you start formatting your work in Microsoft Word, the transition to PDF can be troublesome, as links have a tendency to be lost. One option to avoid this is to produce your work using Open Office and then save it as a PDF. An added benefit is that unlike Word, Open Office can be downloaded for free online. Also, formatting your e-book to a standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ page will make it more convenient for printing if buyers wish to print the e-book.
7. Editing the E-Book
You can offer the best e-book in the world, containing tips and ideas never before published, but if it is filled with grammatical errors, it will be doomed to failure. It is highly recommended that you utilize a professional editing service to ensure that your book is grammatically correct. Otherwise, even the smallest of errors can impart to the reader that the author was sloppy in his or her writing, or that the content itself may be inaccurate.
8. Designing the Cover of the E-Book
Never judge a book by its cover, they say. On Amazon, however, your cover will go a long way towards setting you apart from the self-published pap that usually litters the Kindle store. If you’ve done your market research right, you already know this: badly formatted books with covers that look like Photoshop disasters and a child’s scribbling in MS paint dominate the low-end of the market.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, consider KillerCovers. They offer custom-made e-book covers with your choice of over 19 different templates. They offer a no questions asked, money-back guarantee, and also offer web design services as well. Another option is 99designs, which relies on the concept of crowd sourcing. With this concept, you host your own “design contest,” where a pool of professionals will attempt to win your project, and in seven days or less, you will receive your book design. Packages start from $195, and the site also offers a money-back guarantee.
Hope this article has been helpful. Be on the look-out and keep visiting for other new business ideas and tips. We’ll soon be releasing another articles on marketing strategies for your e-book that will soon make it a best-seller.
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