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23 minutes reading time (4630 words)

How to make money writing and self-publishing eBooks online – Including Amazon (Kindle & paperback)

how-to-make-money-sell-amazon-kindle-ebooks-online

One major challenge faced by writers before the inception of the internet was getting a good publisher for their books and believe me, it was no easy task. As though the difficulty was not enough, their royalties still get split up. Fortunately, eCommerce is born.

Now, virtually anyone can write and publish their books from the comfort of their room while keeping from almost 100% of your revenue. I doubt anyone is still in the dark about the unlimited opportunities writers have online today.

From freelancing, blogging to selling their own information products, writing is now a highly lucrative skill but many people are still going at it the wrong way while others are yet to tap into the recurring income aspect.


Also, at one point or the other, we have all bought or downloaded a free digital book online (There's even one from me on 101 Financial education – Ghavoch.com titled; working for money Vs making money work for you) so, this is certainly not a new concept. 

Here's my financial education article series. The question, however, has been; How do you go about it? How do you write and publish your own book online? How do you make money from it?


Since conjuring a very captivating/creative/intellectual book isn't learned overnight, I won't try to convince you to start a writing career. It's no mean feat for an absolute beginner but you can start building up the skill if you put your mind to it. 

The easiest way to start writing is by reading a lot – Learning from professional writers and spicing it up with your own style. Anyway, you really don't need to be a top-notch writer to make money from it. 

Yes, most of the top companies in hunt of content writers would prefer someone with a more sophisticated skill but you still have another option – writing your own book!


All those long processes (running big offices of writers, editors, administrative staff etc. with big printing presses and distribution centres getting their books out to bookstores all in hopes of making their books available to the end-users) carried out by the big publishing houses can now be done by you on your computer. 

All you really have to do is compile and sell your book in a digital format (PDF, ePUB etc.)– Hence eBooks. 

The internet has reduced the costs and eliminated the middlemen – Publishers. And therefore, opened a door for you to join others in benefiting from the large pool of revenues rolling in from eBook sales.


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Yes, the industry watchers have estimated that by 2018 eBook revenues will reach over $8 billion per year in the United States alone! This leaves enough room for you to get a piece of the cake.


Getting started;

There are several ways you can make money writing online. One of them would be to write for platforms like Listverse.com. Most writers make a lot of money through freelancing. Another option is for you to be a paid contributor to third-party websites. 

You could also be an independent writer on your own blog (if that's case, Lati Codes is ready to build you a quality blog) but I'm currently about to walk you through how you can create a recurring income (Real estate is the best recurring income stream. 

Learn how to tap into this industry now) by publishing your own book online. To start making money from your eBook sales, you need to produce the kind of contents that people are interested in – something relevant. Thankfully, it's not rocket science. 

We all know something. In fact, I'm sure everyone has some understanding (and knowledge) on at least one topic of interest and this is the key to creating an eBook that will sell.


There's a thin line between information marketing and self-publishing books. Most information marketers also (research for valuable information and) tend to use eBooks in delivering their products but making money from writing and self-publishing your book isn't limited to information products. Y

ou could literally make thousands on abstract fiction – Just like other writers using the traditional methods (hard copy books). 

If you have an imaginative mind, you are free to fire away in creating a great story and monetizing it instantly on Amazon or on your own website

And you must not write it all yourself. You could hire writers, outsource some of its contents, use a public domain content or create your eBook using contents from several sources.


It doesn't end there. You could practically write on any subject as well as tailoring your contents to a particular market through niche targeting. 

For instance, you could write and publish romance novels, science fiction, personal finance, life hacks, travel guides, technology, how-to manuals, spirituality, motivation, mystery etc. 

You could virtually write on any topic as long as there are readers ready to buy it. However, the first step would be to find out what people are interested in. 

A recent research proved that over 40% of all eBook sales are stories – especially romance (Believe me, women consume romance books a lot). 

This is great news if you have some nice story to tell but if you don't, you could start by finding out what topics are in high-demand in your target market (it's best if it's something you know or something you could easily research and compile together).


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Most times, we come across these opportunities but fail to see the end game. This is to say, you can always see the hot topics on your social media accounts, forums or even when you search Google. 

Did you know Google's search suggestions doesn't just pop-up because it can read your mind? Well, it's because a lot of people have searched the internet using that same phrase. 

So, there you go. People are interested in that topic. If you intend to know the hottest topics using Google, then, you should consider checking out the most searched items on Google. 

Otherwise, you could just head to Amazon kindle section, identify the best sellers (including in your category of interest) and find out what their book is about as well as why people love it so much. 

This alone will arm you with an idea of the direction your eBook should take in order to attract enough readers.


It's not easy to come up with a book but it's pretty much very attainable by anyone focused on it. 

I recently published an eBook version of my profitable membership website setup blueprint on Amazon and I'm currently putting together two new eBooks on personal finance and digital business (watch for them on Ghavoch.com!) so, you aren't alone in the game. 

I have also gotten quite a piece of the global eBook sales revenue through an eBook I published 4years ago on my website and it thinks it's time you get your share.


Several Self-published authors like Hugh Howey (who sold series of science fiction and was making over $150,000 monthly from sales of about 20,000 – 30,000 copies per month) and 

Amada Hocking (a fantasy novel and paranormal romance writer who has generated over $2 million from the sale of about a million copies of her eBooks on Amazon) have had huge eBook success recently. 

Even the famous 50 Shades of Grey (erotica series) was first self-published by E.L. James before it got snapped up by a traditional publisher and later got transformed into a movie. These alone, are enough reasons to start creating your own eBook.


How to get your eBook content

I won't lie to you, this is the hard part but it only seems hard if you don't have an idea of what to do. Besides, success starts with your mindset so, if you put your mind to it, you will get it done. 

Okay, it's given that writing a quality book will probably take months to complete but you can always outsource the job. In fact, you have far too many options already. 

You may not even need to write a full book as you can just scrap a public domain work, redefine it and monetize it in a matter of days. Or wait! Are you a blogger? You have probably written a book already.


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Use your previous articles

If you have a niche blog with some good contents (or you have articles on other platforms), all you have to do is compile the quality articles in a matching order into your first eBook and get it ready for publishing. 

While doing this, you may need to do some editing of the articles to ensure all irrelevant references are removed. Then, you only need to add a table of contents, preface and conclusion. 

Just ensure the blog posts you use are related – they should cover the same topic and work well together like one huge article.

For instance, I could literally turn my business articles on Ghavoch.com into an eBook. I have written articles on how to start a business, how to write the business plan, how to raise capital for the business, how to run the business successfully, how to generate more sales from the business, how to grow the business etc. 

All these can be used to form an eBook on the business niche so, crosscheck your articles for related topics and draft your eBook from there. It's that simple.


Write a fresh story

There's never an end of the human mind's imagination and if you think you can come up with a captivating story, great! You can make it completely frictional. 

The world can't run out of stories to tell and there's greatness in originality. It might seem tough but only because it's time-consuming and you may lose your enthusiasm along the way otherwise, it's really not that difficult because we all have a story to tell. 

You could write a non-fiction (as-it-occurred) story. Things happen every day and you could just write about one of the great events of your life.

If you choose to write your book from scratch like this, you may need some motivations to keep you focused and help you finish the book. 

The first step should be to develop an outline for the book and write sections by sections daily. The key part is to create a time-frame for the book and work steadily till you complete the work. 

This is not to say you should overwhelm yourself with too much writing. You just have to set a deadline for each chapter and be disciplined enough to write a few paragraphs every day till you complete the chapter...


Use public domain works

Public domain works are books that are copyright-free (the copyright has expired) and anybody can take and publish the (updated, reworked or original) contents. 

You can also repurpose a book that is in the public domain. This means you could literally create your book from a pile of public domain materials and publish it in just a few hours. 

One popular example of a public domain work is the 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'. This book was reworked and published a few years ago before it was turned into a movie in 2016.


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There are several public domain works available online today including classics like Call of the Wild by Jack London and Shakespeare. No, it's not limited to classic novels. 

You can find public domain books on just about any subject you can think of, in places like Project Gutenberg

This is a great option if you can't write your own book from scratch. You can search and get any public domain work, restructure and redefine it and publish as your own.


Research and recompile

This option may seem tedious to the average individual but it's pretty much easy to put together. Yes, you are merely putting together several pieces of information – but in your own words. 

This is a great option if you intend to write a how-to kind of eBook. People don't only find eBooks on romantic stories to read but also a source for informative books that helps them achieve a goal. 

For instance, you will never a find a blog post that teaches programming. What you may only find are ways to fix a bug or an overall post that brushes through the headlines of it. So how do aspiring programmers get the in-depth aspect of it? E-books (and videos)!

This is when you come in, if you have a knowledge on a particular subject, consider writing an eBook guide around it or you could simply research any topic of interest and write an eBook according to your findings. 

The information for your eBook is probably already online and all you have to do is recompile them into an eBook. Or you could also outsource certain topics in the book to other writers.


Hire a professional writer

Most people might be surprised to find out that one (or more) of their favourite books was originally written by a ghostwriter other than the name of the author on it but this is actually a very common practice in the book publishing industry. 

As an aspiring author, this may very well be your last resort but it is very effective and certainly not a crime. 

Whether you lack the time, resources or inspiration to write your book or not, as long as you have the money, you can hire someone to write your book for you.

There are many freelance writers out there who wouldn't hesitate to produce a quality book for a fee. Since the fee varies across platforms, writers as well as what they are writing about, I can't give a fitting estimate but at least, you are now aware that is an option to own a book against all odds. 

Most importantly, you don't need to panic about anyone claiming the work as it will be a professional job between just you and the author (except you want otherwise). 

Just get some legal agreements in place. You may want to join me on my journey as I launch a fresh entertainment company.



Getting your book ready for publishing

Believe it or not, a little grammatical error would ruin the sales of your book. All a reader has to do is give a bad review of it and you are done. 

This is why you should not publish any book until you are sure that everything is in place – Trust me, you don't want your readers to complain. To get your book ready for publishing, I will quickly remind you of a few guidelines.


Ensure your book is above amateur level

Readers can easily sniff out any sign of a novice on an important subject and if your book doesn't represent an advanced author, you may find yourself among the abandoned penniless writers' club. 

This is the exact reason I recommended you only write on a topic you know about and if you don't, you should hire a professional writer. 

Except if necessary, avoid writing your book on any subject you aren't passionate about. Your book needs to project a bit of confidence and authority.


Avoid complexity. Don't waffle.

Not even a single vague paragraph should be found in your book and if possible, use the simplest form of writing as though you are writing for a 9-grade child. 

The common man needs to be able to read and understand your book except you are writing about philosophy, grammar, etc. 

There's simply no need of complicating what can be conveyed in a simplified form. A recent survey proved that it's better to write in a conversational manner than in an academic manner.


Properly format your book

Use a well-structured layout throughout your book. Make things easy for your readers to access. They should know how to get to each section and what to find there. 

Your layout should be as clean and concise as possible. Use clear headings, subheadings (or even bullet highlight your points, if necessary) and ensure your fonts are consistent, bold enough and well aligned. 

Properly spacing your paragraphs are a great idea and yes, you can save your eBook in PDF.


Proofread and re-edit thoroughly

Doing this by yourself is not advisable. Someone else can easily spot your errors at a glance but this doesn't mean you should make things difficult for your proofreader by submitting a badly written work. 

If you must, you can still double check and correct any grammatical error, misspelling, punctuation etc. but you should at least give a trusted friend (if you can't get a professional proofreader) to also read a copy and draw your attention to anything that needs correction.


Create an attractive Cover

Designing your own book cover is not really difficult as there are several eBook cover design tools available online today (even Amazon has one) but it's recommended you get a professional touch on your cover.

You can do it yourself or you can hire a freelance graphic designer on Fiverr.com to do it for you. Just create a good-looking cover around your book title and you are set to publish. 

For best results, create a few variations and ask your friends to choose the best.



Publishing your best-seller eBook

AT this point, you are certainly ready to release your book to the public and you are wondering what the best medium is. 

Except you plan to make your book available for free download, chances are, you also can't wait to know how you can make money from it. 

Well, to publish your book is to monetize it and you have three major options available to get it done.


Sell on your own website.

This option is very much considerate for several reasons including the fact that you get to keep 100% of your revenue. You also get your customers' information which you can use to promote more offers. What's more? You can set your prices the way you want. 

This method is absolutely recommended if you plan to sell and make over $5 (some people set as much as $50) per sale of your eBook. Setting up your own website and selling your eBook online is no child's play especially if you are a newbie. 

Thankfully, Lati Codes is here to help you with this. However, you can also do it yourself. I already prepared a complete guide on how to build virtually any kind of website using the free Joomla platform for you. The first step is to register a domain and get a quality hosting plan from A2 Hosting.

Once your website is ready or if you already had a website/blog, simply add a shopping cart, integrate with a payment processor or insert your PayPal payment link to the eBook page of your website and you are all set to market your book. 

The suitable format for selling your eBook this way is PDF except, of course, you want to ZIP it up. The whole process is actually fully automated which means you can make money even while you are asleep. 

When someone visits your website, clicks on the payment link to place an order, makes payments and instantly get redirected to the download area. You only check in once a while to ensure the website runs smoothly.


Sell on third-party websites

This is perhaps, the easiest way to sell your eBook online. Already established websites like Amazon that receive billions in monthly visits is a huge market opportunity for your eBook but of course, there is a catch. 

They get to keep about 30% of your total sales. That's their commission for helping you sell your book but you will, however, have access to a larger audience. Amazon (which is the largest eCommerce platform today,) has over 89 million active eBook readers in America alone. 

Can you now imagine how large it will be globally? In fact, it's been recorded that self-published titles account for over 38% of the daily eBook sales (on Amazon.com).

Every day millions of people search through Amazon for a new book to read and your book could just the book they find. The process of selling your eBook on Kindle is pretty straightforward. 

All you have to do, is sign up with Amazon Kindle publishing, select kindle (if you want to publish in only digital format) or paperback (if you want Amazon to print and distribute the hard copies for you), fill the brief form with your information and the book details, your upload your eBook (Amazon will automatically convert it to their proprietary format), set the pricing and submit for review. E-book reviews only take a few hours and your book will go live once it's been approved.


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Sell without a website.

This is not recommended but if you do not want a website and can't publish your book on eCommerce stores like Amazon, you could still profit from your eBook by selling it independently. 

For instance, you could simply create a landing page or social media pages to sell your books directly online. All you have to do is create a payment page or invoice for your eBook using your favourite payment processor. I recommend 2Checkout for their flexibility. 

If you are in Nigeria and don't want to receive PayPal funds, you can use PayStack. Then, ensure you upload your eBook on a designated server and use the download link as your successful payment redirection page.

Now, when you promote your eBook on your social media pages, online communities etc. and drop the link to your payment page, buyers can easily pay for the book and instantly gain access to it without your actual intervention. 

The downside of this is that you have to always promote your book in order to keep generating sales, and since testimonies won't appear on every link you drop, you will have some serious challenges in convincing readers to risk their money especially if they are total strangers.


Marketing your new eBook

As you probably know, your target audience may not find your book on their own, most times, you have to your book to them and by this, I mean a targeted promotion. Your job at this point is to create an awareness for your book. 

If possible, scream to the world that your book is here and available for grasp. If you published on Amazon, great but still, you should consider the free and price slash-down promotional options offered by Amazon as this lists your book among the new cheap/free arrivals thereby drawing some attention from potential readers.

Yes, you will still make a few bucks monthly by publishing your book in the right category since some readers do visit the categories for interesting eBooks but your book may not get the exposure it needs if you don't do a proper promotion for it. 

This is the time to apply you're A-Game marketing and sales strategy to your eBook business. You are practically in full control of your eBook sales so, let's see how best you can fully utilize the opportunity.


Niche Forums – Find forums where your target readers hang out and get active on them. Reply to relevant topics, give useful insights and let them know of your book for more information. Also, drop your links where necessary but never spam.


Blog contents – If you own a blog, then you should write and post related contents around your book. Within your blog articles, you should not hesitate to mention and make necessary references to your book while writing about any related topic.


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Email newsletters – Do you already have a list of email subscribers? It's time to fully utilize it. Let the word out by including a link to it in your newsletters. Also use ConvertKit for creating quality email campaigns for your book, not forgetting to mention what it's about and why they should buy it.


Social Media – You probably have a Facebook page and you are also on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc. so, you should leverage these channels as much as you can. Post about your book (encourage your fans to share it) and link to it for interested parties to order it instantly.


In summary – To spice things up and make your potential readers hungry for your book (especially if you are sure you wrote a great content), you should offer a free chapter of your book in such a way that every reader would want more and be compelled to get the complete book. If possible, create contests and do giveaways to draw attention to your book.

For instance, if I publish a book about web development, I could create a contest about the best CSS skills or give out a free tutorial on how to build a simple WordPress plugin while letting them know of my complete web development eBook. 

Just try as much as possible to continually generate buzz for your book and watch the money flow in. In time, your readers will be the ones to inform their friends about your book.


Conclusion

With my above tips, I'm sure the steps to making money from your own eBook has been simplified but if you do not want to go through the above processes, the best alternative will be to set up a subscription-based website like Ghavoch.com where users will have to pay you a monthly membership fee in order to access your contents. 

This option is mostly great if you are writing a series of episodes of your book. For instance, if I'm writing an erotic fictional novel, I will build a membership website around it and post the episodes one after the other. 

Then, I would make visitors would actually see the intro of each episode but would be asked to log in or subscribe in order to read the full story.

This won't only make you more money but will accord you enough time to produce other episodes. 

Unlike other methods (such as selling your eBook on Amazon), where you have to publish a finished work, you could start making money with your first few chapters. 

In fact, you could start gaining an audience after your first episode. You may only have to set a time-frame on how often you will publish fresh new episodes. 

Here's my complete blueprint on how to build a profitable subscription-based website. Or you can let Lati Codes do it for you.

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