Between a quarter and a third of all books sold are ebooks. As a matter of fact, digital book sales on Amazon, the largest retailer of ebooks, outnumber printed book sales. All of this goes to show that selling ebooks is big business, and one of the best ways to make money online.
Find a Source of eBooks
If you want to sell ebooks, the first thing you need to do is to find a source of products. There are three basic ways to gain access to titles you can sell:
- If you have a way with words, you could write, publish, and sell your own titles.
- If you’re not interested in writing, but know of a specific book you want to sell, you could hire a writer to do the job.
- If you want to get started right away, you could purchase the rights to resell ebooks that are already written.
Whether your write your own ebooks, hire someone to write them for you, or purchase completed ebooks to resell, it’s important to understand the rights that apply to the work. It’s critical to nail down the rights you will have, and the rights the author or publisher will retain prior to moving forward with an ebook writing or publishing plan. Failing to do so could mean you end up with ebooks that you can’t market as you planned, edit for content and visual style, and resell through the channels you had hoped to use.
Distributing Your eBooks
Once you have ebooks you’re ready to sell, you need to set up a distribution channel. There are two primary categories of channels you could consider: your own website, and online bookstores.
Selling eBooks Through Your Own Website
Why should you consider selling ebooks through your own website?
- You have the potential to sell at a higher price. When you sell through an online bookstore you’ll be competing with every other book in the store. When you sell through your own site your customers won’t see competing products.
- Your profit margins are maximized. By selling through your own website, you can minimize your distribution costs and earn maximum profits per sale.
- You can control your customer’s experience. When you sell through an online bookstore that site is doing it’s best to sell lots of products – not just to sell your product. On the other hand, when you sell through your own website you can strip away distractions, increasing the likelihood of converting a website visitor into an ebook customer.
While there are a lot of good reasons to sell through your own site, doing so is more complex than the alternative. You will need to set up your website, and it will need to be good enough that customers feel comfortable buying from you. You will have to set up a secure download delivery system, either on your own, or by using a service such as E-junkie, Payloadz, GetDPD, or Sellfy. Lastly, if your delivery service does not include an integrated payment platform, you will have to set up a payment method that is widely accessible, secure, and works like clockwork.
Selling eBooks Through Online Bookstores
Another way to get your ebooks out to the masses is to offer them for sale through an online bookstore. Three stores control the majority of the ebook market: the Amazon Kindle store, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks for iPhones and iPads.
Ebook sales at Amazon.com now outnumber printed book sales.
Provided these downsides, why should you consider selling your ebooks through online bookstores? There are at least three good reasons to think about using these stores:
- You will have immediate access to a massive customer base. Unless you have an extremely popular blog to sell your books from, when you sell from online bookstores your products will receive a lot more traffic.
- Your ebooks will be recommended to shoppers who are looking at similar titles, meaning that people who aren’t even looking for your ebook could end up buying it.
- You don’t have to go through the technical steps necessary to sell books from your own website. Online bookstores are designed to be accessible to the average self-published author, meaning you won’t have to be a web developer to sell your book.
Getting Your eBook to Market
If you plan to self-publish the ebooks you sell, the last piece of the puzzle is to get your products ready for distribution. Thankfully, there are many ways you can turn a raw manuscript into a finished product.
Between a quarter and a third of all books sold are ebooks.
If you’d rather not take on the task of converting and formatting the ebook yourself, for a modest fee you can have it done for you. Professional self-publishing platforms such as Createspace, Lulu, Smashwords, and BookBaby will help you format your book correctly, include the proper copyright and legal information, and distribute your ebook to a variety of online platforms automatically.
With the advent of ebooks, the barriers to becoming a book writer, publisher, and seller have never been lower. Start pursuing the opportunity to make money online selling ebooks and you’ll join a large and growing community of internet marketers and authors earning an income selling ebooks.