If you are an established or budding author, you might be curious to know: Is selling eBooks profitable?
While the love for paperbacks remains unhampered in the hearts of readers, the rise of eBooks, thanks to their affordability, is shedding new light on how they can consume content.
Although one really needs to be quiet in the game to publish an actual paperback, eBooks open up a slightly less risky possibility of earning passive income. eBooks allow you to share your knowledge on any subject with the world without needing to spend a lot of money.
You do not even need to be a writer, per se, to publish an eBook. Just a way with words, knowledge, and good content/story should do.
So, let us dive right in and see how you can publish your own eBook and start making money.
The eBooks Market 2024
Plenty of people are readily shifting to digital content rather than purchasing books because of their convenience and affordability.
This change opens up a great opportunity for you to publish your own eBook and earn a passive income from it.
According to Future Market Insights, the eBook market size in 2023 is US $19.95 Billion and is expected to reach $32.19 Billion by 2032.
So, if you have a knack for writing, then keep on reading to find out the A to Z of writing and publishing your eBook.
Step-By-Step Guide On Writing an eBook
First things first. In order to make money selling eBooks, you need to first write a killer content or story for your audience. If you have no idea how you should start writing an eBook, then here’s how you can do this:
1. Think of a Popular Topic For Your eBook
Start by picking a topic for your eBook. Ideally, you should write about something that you are very passionate about. This would not only allow you to finish your work easily but will also let your audience connect to you easily.
Having said that, you cannot completely ignore the “sales part” of writing an eBook. While picking a topic, you should do your research and find out which topics sell fast. A sweet spot between writing something you are passionate about that also sells easily should be the perfect way to go about this.
For example, erotic fiction sells the most, and eBooks on money, religion, spirituality, etc., also sell well. To find out the best-selling niche, you can visit your nearest bookstore and examine their best-seller section.
2. Develop Your eBook Content
Once you have decided on the niche for your eBook, it’s time to start working on the actual content.
Start by drawing an outline or table of contents for your eBook so that you do not get lost while writing. Just draw out how you want to get started. Will your book have a plot? Is there a chronological order that you will need to follow? Will it be divided into sections? Etc. Once you have a basic plan ready, you can move on to the next step.
An eBook can be thousands of pages or just 12 pages; it’s upto you! You can either decide how long you want your book to be, or you can keep writing and figure out the length later.
Here comes the main step! It’s time for you to start writing. Remember, a good eBook should be clear and engaging. Try to make your eBook as engaging as possible right from the first page so that the reader doesn’t leave your eBook midway.
You can also put interactive elements in your book. For example, you can add a questions and answer page if you are writing a non-fiction and want to make a point. You can add graphics if you are publishing poems, etc.
Editing and Proof-Reading
They say writing is re-writing. So don’t assume that your work is done and dusted once you have typed your last chapter because here comes the most crucial part. Read your eBook and fix grammatical errors (You can use editing tools such as Grammarly for this.)
Re-write sections that you think aren’t that good. You can also hire an editor for this to ensure there are no gaps in your final product.
3. Design an Attractive Cover
The first thing a reader would see before even buying your book is your book cover. And no matter how much people say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” they usually do.
So make sure you spend time creating an attractive book cover. You can even hire a designer for this job. Not to mention, think of a unique yet attractive title for your book.
4. Price Your Ebook
To price your book efficiently, take into account the cost you have spent on creating the eBook.
This could include the cost of hiring an editor or designer, the cost of an editing software subscription, etc.
You should also check the standard price of other books in your niche and then come up with a price for your eBook.
5. Publish Your eBook
There are plenty of digital platforms on which you can publish your eBook and start making money.
Most people choose Amazon KDP to publish their eBooks because of the platform’s popularity.
But you can publish your eBook on one or more platforms to make the most out of it. We have shared the best eBook publishing platforms in the article below.
Marketing is the key to selling any product today. Make sure you develop a solid marketing plan and start spreading the word to your target audience.
You can get help from social media channels or websites (if you have one). You can even reach out to book nerds on Instagram and ask them to read and review your book.
And voila! Your eBook is ready!
5 Best Platforms To Sell Your eBooks Online
There are a plethora of platforms on which you can sell your eBook. Here are some of the best options that were reviewed and compared.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Amazon KDP is the number one choice for authors to publish their eBooks, thanks to its huge presence and ease of use. In fact, Amazon’s eBook market is a whopping 68%, and you can potentially make $1,000+ using this platform.
The best part about using Amazon KDP to publish your eBook is that it is beginner-friendly. Everything is pretty much self-explanatory. You sign in and create your account, then you upload your eBook and its cover, write a summary, fix a price, etc., and publish the book.
Amazon does not charge you anything upfront. However, it charges a royalty based on your eBook’s price. For example, if you select the 35% royalty option, then your royalty will be 35% of your eBook’s price, excluding VAT for each unit sold.
Draft2Digital streamlines the distribution of your eBook’s on various paltforms such as Amazon, Kobo, Apple, and others.
Again, even Draft2Digital does not charge an upfront fee to publish the eBook, but instead it charges 10% of your eBook’s list price. This means you get to keep the most part of the money you made.
Smashwords can also be utilized to publish your eBook and to make it available on different platforms like Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, and more.
This platform distributes your books to major retailers, and you get 60% of your list price.
And for library sales, you get 45% of the price. Additionally, the royalty percentage might vary depending on your country, VAT, etc.
Gumroad is a versatile platform where you can sell not only eBooks but also all kinds of digital products such as art, music, memberships, etc.
The platform charges 10% fee per ebook online sale, excluding credit card or PayPal fees. Other than this, there are no hidden charges that you should be worried about.
Using Payhip, you can not only sell eBooks to your audience but can also integrate the platform into your website.
This platform charges a transaction fee per sale, starting at 5% per transaction. You can also opt for a monthly subscription plan for more features that does not require per transaction fees.
How to Publish an eBook on Amazon KDP?
Best Selling Book Genres
Whether you are selling an eBook or Paperback, here’s a list of the best-selling genres by category:
Best Selling Genres in Fiction Category
- Science Fiction
- Detective & Mystery
- Historical Fiction
- Young Adult (YA)
- Children’s Fiction
Best Selling Genres in Non-Fiction Category
- Memoir & Autobiography
- Art & Photography
- Self-Help/Personal Development
- Health & Fitness
- Crafts, Hobbies & Home
- Families & Relationships
- Humor & Entertainment
- Business & Money
- Law & Criminology
- Politics & Social Sciences
- Religion & Spirituality
- Education & Teaching
- True Crime
How Much Does It Cost to Publish an eBook?
If you do most of the work yourself and utilize free tools, then writing and publishing an eBook should cost you under $100.
Here are some of the costs that you would have to consider while writing and publishing an eBook:
- Writing software: It could be a free option, like Google Docs, or a formatting software like Pressbooks ($19.99 per book).
- Design tool: You can choose a paid design tool such as InDesign or a free tool like Canva or Word.
- Editor: You can choose to buy a Grammarly subscription or use free editing tools available online.
How Much Money Can You Make By Selling Ebooks?
The money you make by selling an eBook depends on various factors such as genre, the content of your ebook, its length, publishing platform, etc.
In the first year of self-publishing, you can expect to make anywhere between $500 – $3000+ in monthly sales. Once you establish your name and publish a couple of eBooks, you can make a substantial income from this.
Is Selling eBooks Profitable 2024?
Looking at the increasing demand for digital Books, it can be said that selling eBooks will be quite profitable in 2024. However, your success depends on many factors, such as quality of content, target audience, effective marketing, genre, and pricing strategy.
Let’s take an example to make you understand how much sales you need to make in order to make $10,000 by selling eBooks.
Let’s assume that you are selling your eBook on Amazon Kindle for $2.95. but you would get to keep only 70% of this amount, which is $2 per book. So, in order to earn $10,000 a month, you will need to sell 5,000 books per month. Achieving this figure might look unrealistic while you are just beginning.
However, you can twitch the figure to calculate how much money you can make yourself by using the above example.
How To Price My eBook?
To price your eBook correctly, you can simply see how your competitors are pricing their books. You don’t want to keep a very high price, nor should you compromise too much on profits.
A sweet spot between profitability and competitiveness should be the right way to price your eBook.
Is Selling eBooks Profitable : Wrap Up
Selling eBooks can be pretty profitable for you if you plan smartly, write great content, and pick a niche that sells. Not to mention, marketing is the key here.
A product that no one knows about won’t sell as much as a product that your target audience is coming across every day.
By implementing all the tips and steps shared in this guide on – Is Selling eBooks Profitable? You can create a passive income stream for yourself.
How can I publish an eBook for free?
Amazon KDP is the best platform to publish an eBook for free. There are no upfront costs for publishing an eBook on Amazon, and you earn from royalties.
How will I receive payments for my eBook sales?
Many eBook publishing platforms offer multiple payment methods such as Credit and Debit cards, Paypal, Checks, etc. You can check out the payment section of your publishing platform to know this.
Do I have to pay tax on money I make from selling eBooks?
The money that you make from selling eBooks is known as royalties. And when you start earning above a certain limit, then you have to pay taxes on it.