Are you seeking a comprehensive guide on how to sell ebooks online? Look no further! In this article, I will provide you with a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough of the entire process, ensuring you have all the essential information to make your ebook-selling venture a resounding success. Moreover, I will introduce you to the most lucrative online platforms where you can showcase and monetize your literary creations, paving the way for you to earn a substantial income from your hard work.
How to sell ebooks on the Internet?
Before delving into the intricacies of selling ebooks, it’s important to recognize that the initial step involves creating one. However, the primary focus of this article is not to guide you through the ebook creation process.
Once you’ve successfully created an ebook, the next step is understanding how to effectively sell it and generate revenue. Therefore, let us address the fundamental question: How can you sell ebooks online?
To begin, let’s start with the basics. There are primarily two methods of sales to consider:
- Direct Selling: With direct selling, you have the option to sell ebooks online directly through your own platform. This can be accomplished via your personal website, social media profiles, or even through targeted email marketing campaigns. In this approach, you have full control over the sales process by managing transactions on a portal that belongs to you.
- Indirect Sale: Alternatively, you can sell ebooks online by using the indirect sales approach. This involves utilizing third-party websites that specialize in selling ebooks online. By publishing your ebook on these platforms, potential customers can purchase it through the designated portals. This method eliminates the need for managing the sales process yourself and leverages the existing customer base of these established sites.
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Selling ebooks directly
Selling ebooks directly involves having a website and independently managing the sales process, which includes creating a website, purchasing hosting space, and obtaining a domain. WordPress is a highly recommended and comprehensive tool that can assist with these tasks.
Once these steps are completed, you need to create a dedicated landing page for your ebook and offer it for sale online.
On the one hand, this sales method allows you to manage the sale completely autonomously and with complete customization. On the other hand, however, specific skills are needed to manage the entire process: from the creation of the site and the production of the landing page to the management of the sale. If you are not particularly skilled in these areas, it is much better to choose indirect sales.
Selling ebooks indirectly
Selling an ebook indirectly is the most common and widely used sales method. In this case, the sale takes place on a third-party site.
Remember that by signing a contract, you assign the economic exploitation of the work to the site itself.
Of course, the price will be decided by you and you will give a percentage of the profit to the site that then actually handles the sale.
It is mainly used by those authors who want to devote themselves exclusively to writing and who are not very familiar with the creation of sites, landing pages, and sales management.
With this sales method, no VAT number is required. All tax and marketing aspects will be handled by the site in question. However, I advise you to inform yourself, even in this case, about the tax aspects of the sale.
Why sell Ebooks online?
Selling ebooks online is one of the tools to earn money through your website. Online Ebooks belong to the category of info-products, i.e. real information content that solves a customer’s problem, ranging from the lack of information on a topic to the need to speed up the learning process.
There are some very interesting advantages for those who would like to start producing an Ebook online:
- Zero creation costs: no physical shop and no expenses related to it. All you will need is a computer and a program to create your Ebook
- Independent decision of the amount of time taken to create it: you can carry on with your current work and commitments, carving out spaces in which to realize your Ebook step by step
- Zero risk: the total absence of risk of failure of your business, if it does not bring the desired results, simply close it down
On which sites can Ebooks be sold?
I will now explain which are the main sites on which you can sell ebooks online. There are many different realities and alternatives. Evaluate which one is best for you and choose the one that suits your needs. Of course, these that I will now list are all ways of selling indirectly. So if you do not have your own website, do not have a VAT number, and do not intend to open one, this is the best method for you.
If you want to sell ebooks online on third-party sites, Amazon is definitely the first site to consider. Taking advantage of its enormous capacity and its millions of users is no small thing.
So let’s start now and see what procedures you need to follow to sell your digital book on Amazon.
First, you will have to create an account on Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s self-publishing service, also known as KDP. Consider that you can also use the account you use to shop at Amazon or create a completely new one. The choice is yours!
Once you have done so, you will be asked to accept the terms and conditions of access and sale. Read all and accept. You will now have to enter a number of details including your first name, last name, address, and all tax information for payments. Once you have completed all the fields we can enter our ebook and begin with the sale.
You simply have to complete the book’s publication form in a few simple steps:
- Book details form: fill in all the mandatory information including the title, author, description of your work in which you indicate the subject of your book, publication date, subtitles (if any), keywords, and anything else requested. Be very careful with the title of your ebook. It is one of the most important things and one that I recommend you spend a few minutes on so that you can choose the best title.
Remember to put a tick in the ‘I own the necessary copyright and publishing rights’ section so that you can make more money.
- Upload your Ebook: All you have to do in this section is upload your file. Please pay attention to the file format. The following formats are accepted: DOC, DOCX, HTML, MOBI, ePub, RTF, TXT, PDF, and KPF. Please also check the size of your file. Files weighing more than 650 MB are not accepted.
- Upload your book cover: in this case, there are two options. You may already have the cover of your book available and then all you have to do is upload it to the site. In this case, the formats accepted by Amazon are JPG and TIFF. Alternatively, Amazon provides the Kindle Cover Creator tool. A series of templates are made available that you can customize and modify to your liking. Use the preview tool to view your cover and if you are happy with the result, save the template and continue.
- Choose the price for your Ebook: indicate the price at which you will sell your Ebook. Consider that Amazon suggests a price ranging from $2.99 to $9.99 so that you can earn up to 70% from the sales of your Ebook (the remaining 30% is retained by Amazon as commission).
And now the book is on sale on Amazon.
There is no cost for publishing a book on Amazon. So you do not have to pay for publishing a book on Kindle. Amazon takes its commission on the sales of the book. The percentage of this commission depends on the type of royalty. There are three types of royalty:
- Royalty at 35% for eBooks priced between 0.99€ and 2.99€;
- Royalty at 75% for eBooks priced from 2.99€ upwards;
- Royalty at 60% for books in paper format (printing costs are taken into account).
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Payhip is an English e-commerce platform that allows you to sell ebooks online. Actually not only ebooks but a lot of other digital products such as software, music, images, and digital design products. The main feature of this site is its simplicity. In fact, its intuitive and immediate interface allows you to put your book up for sale quickly and effortlessly.
It is therefore perfect for anyone who is not familiar with software and is looking for something simple to use.
The first thing you need to do is to register with the portal. Registration is totally free of charge and therefore does not involve any costs or subscriptions. Once you have created your account, all you have to do is upload your product. The portal accepts any type of format, so you do not have to worry about this. After that, you enter a title, a description, a cover page, and choose a price.
Payhip only retains 5% of the price of your book. A very low percentage that allows you to make more money. Payments are made via PayPal and are therefore extremely secure and immediate.
Lulu is one of the most widely used platforms worldwide for selling ebooks online. On the platform, you can directly convert your Word file into an ebook and immediately put it up for sale.
The special feature of this site is its huge network of digital retailers on which it will sell and promote your product. From Amazon to the iBookstore, your book will end up in the catalogs of the most important distributors allowing you to reach a very large audience. You will exponentially increase your sales possibilities. You will choose the price of your book and the platform will retain 20 percent of the total cost.
With Lulu, it is also possible to sell printed ebooks. The entire printing process will be handled by Lulu as well as the delivery to your home. Your customer will receive his or her printed book directly at home. You will not have to worry about anything. Consider of course the printing cost that will be credited to you.
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Now let’s talk about another giant in the world of ebooks. A great rival to Amazon, Kobo has millions of users and just as many ebooks in its library.
Like Amazon, Kobo also has a platform through which you can upload your work and immediately start selling. I am talking about Kobo Writing Life. It is a completely free self-publishing portal that allows you to create, edit and upload eBooks to Kobo. Once published, your eBook will be available in over 200 countries. The way it works is very similar: you upload the file, give it a title, a description, and a cost. The fees are similar to Amazon’s, only a little lower.
Youcanprint is a self-sharing platform that allows you to sell ebooks online, paper books, and audiobooks. It is a site that allows books to be sold in 29 ebook stores (including Amazon Kindle Store, Apple iBook Store, Ibs.it, LaFeltrinelli, Libreria Rizzoli, and InMondadori) and 21 international stores.
The site charges a publication fee that varies depending on the ebook but is around EUR 20.
Retention also varies depending on which store the product is sold in. You choose in which store it will be sold. In general, for each ebook sold in online stores, you will receive 50 percent of the cover price, with the exception of Google Play where you will receive 40 percent, and Amazon where you will receive 70 percent.
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Once you have published your product online, you will have to think about promoting it to increase sales. There are several strategies that are good to adopt. Some of them, in fact, need to be implemented even before publishing it.
Let’s look at them together!
Facebook is a great platform to support and increase the likelihood of selling ebooks. The first thing that may come to mind is to create an ad-hoc page to promote your book. This is not really the best strategy to adopt. In doing so, you will have to create a community from scratch and that is not an easy thing to do. By the way, if you decide to publish several ebooks, you would have to create a different page for each ebook every time. And that would not be manageable at all.
What I recommend you do is create a Facebook page about yourself. If you intend to sell ebooks of different types, this is the best thing to do. Work on personal branding, create a Facebook event a few months before your book is published and engage your audience. Once your book is published post quotes, and trailers of your book, ask for reviews from people who have read it, and make some video presentations.
In other words, involve your readers.
The same strategy can be used in parallel or simultaneously with other social media, such as Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. It depends on the content and the target audience of your work. If your product is aimed at a young audience, I recommend you consider a good Instagram strategy. If your audience involves managers, I recommend evaluating Linkedin. To sell ebooks online you need a multi-platform strategy.
Now I want to give you a little tidbit. You know Wattpad and Goodreads. They are two social platforms dedicated only to writing and are loved by readers all over the world. They count a lot of users. Consider that Goodreads has about 55 million users.
On Goodreads, you can promote your ebook by opening a dedicated page and also create sponsorships to increase visibility.
Wattpad is very useful, especially if the book in question is a novel. Wattpad is a social networking site where authors, especially teenagers and young adults, publish their stories one chapter at a time. You could post the first chapters of your work for free and then leave a download link. Great strategies to sell ebooks and stimulate curiosity.
Whatever the main theme of your ebook, if I were you, I would keep these two platforms in mind when managing your strategy.
Choose the platform that’s right for you, evaluate withholdings and royalty, choose the one that most closely matches your strategy, and sell your ebook online!
So now I can only wish you Happy Sales!
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Now you know what you need to know in order to sell ebooks in all the major stores. This may sound simple, but it is not. As you have read in this article, there are many things to take into account. And there are many things you need to learn in order to not only create but sell ebooks effectively. That is why Digital Coach® offers free consulting.
If you have any questions or queries, you can request our advice. You will be able to speak directly with one of our experts who will help you resolve all your doubts and understand what to do.
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