How I Earned $45K Self-Publishing 10 Ebooks: Top Takeaways

It seems like the other day that I was self-publishing my really first ebook, Make a Living Writing: The 21st Century Guide. I made several mistakes putting that out, and its no longer offered (cough).
I lived and discovered, and developed much better ebooks. As I prepped to launch my newest, Small Blog, Big Income: Advanced Ninja Tricks for Profitable Blogging, I understood I now have TEN ebooks offered for sale, counting my totally free ebook for subscribers.
Ive discovered a ton along the way, so I believed I d save others a long time and unpack it all by mentor you how to make cash composing ebooks.
Ive made over $45,000 selling ebooks over the past 6 years, without a lot of effort (I included it up when I was composing the brand-new ebook, due to the fact that I wondered!). It can include up to a substantial chunk of modification, over time.
What helps me make well from each ebook I launch these days? Here are 17 hard-won pointers for how to generate income composing ebooks.
17 Things Ive Learned About How to Make Money Writing Ebooks

1. Ask Readers First
Just like any item you develop, start by finding what your readers desperately need– and for that reason, would invest cash to gain from you. Take a survey, run a question-driven post and read the comments, hold a tweetchat, begin a Facebook thread. However you do it, discover what your readers discomforts are, and believe about how you can solve them.
2. Research study the Competition
As soon as you know what readers want, its time to look into the competitors to fine-tune how to position your ebook, and to tweak the title to utilize the very best possible keywords.
Are there currently a lot of current ebooks on this subject? This competitive intel will help you fine-tune your ebook idea. It certainly did for me with that first Small Blog, Big Income ebook, which began out as “How I Earn a Six-Figure Income From My Tiny Niche Blog.”
These days, Im using Dave Chessons excellent research tool KDP Rocket (yes, since I utilize and love it, I affiliate offer it), which offers you quick responses to these essential competitive-research questions. The modified title has “specific niche blog writer,” “generate income blogging,” other useful essential terms the preliminary title idea did not have.
An evaluation of current offerings and feedback from my author mastermind showed me that my initial title choice may feel scammy to some (although thats exactly what the content is), and it wasnt various enough from other offerings. Dont write an ebook in a vacuum!
3. Much shorter Is Better
Individuals dont wish to check out limitless ebooks like my very first one, which topped 200 pages! Much better to separate your product into several ebooks than to attempt to stuff it all into one. Yes, Amazon is now penalizing much shorter ebooks in author royalties … but short ebooks are still more effective in developing reader commitment, particularly in nonfiction.
4. Compose a Series
Absolutely nothing is simpler to offer than a sequel to a previous ebook. Ive done a series of four Freelance Writers Den ebooks adapted from bootcamps, and the new Small Blog, Big Income ebook is the sequel to the initial Small Blog, Big Income: A Niche Bloggers 7-Step Success Formula.
Know what I did to offer the brand-new one? I sent an e-mail to everybody who purchased the first one, and made numerous sales. Easy!
5. More affordable Is Better
Believe me, you will make more in the long run with lower-priced ebooks, nearly every time. On Amazon, anything above $3.99 is real tough sledding.
I recently heard from a new writer who desired me to affiliate sell his $27 ebook. I said, “Have you gone to Amazon lately?”
Remember, though they may be a paid item, ebooks are hardly ever a substantial earner, particularly in the brief run. The majority of ebook sellers price them low to get people into their marketing funnel and sell them pricier stuff– their consulting, premium courses, and the like.
If youre dreaming of selling a $79 ebook as your main earner, youll have a tough time making sales, unless youre a huge name with a built-in audience dying to buy anything you put out.
6. Repurpose Your Content
Ive done well turning whatever from live occasion records to collections of post into ebooks. Individuals are not angered that youre recycling– different buyers like to buy things in different formats, and some like ebooks.
Do not believe you need to write from scratch! Aside from my very first ebook and the 2 Small Blog, Big Income entries, all of my other ebooks are repurposed material.
7. Team up
Yes, Collaborators are great for ebook composing! Many of my ebooks have co-authors– I even did one with 40 different authors that I modified and provided. That suggests I had 40 other authors who would promote the ebook.
Curated content rocks. Teaming up will permit you to generate more ebooks faster, which is necessary.
8. Compose Multiple Books
The easiest way to sell more copies of your ebook is to have actually another ebook come out. Readers will be more responsive and less upset than if you keep flogging that one, old ebook. A brand-new ebook gets readers examining– and purchasing– your old titles.
When you have extra ebooks, you can likewise produce bundle sales of numerous ebooks at a discount. Thats been one of my most popular types of ebook offers.
9. Refresh/Update Your Ebooks
You can also upgrade the cover of an older ebook, update and present a brand-new edition, or otherwise refresh an older ebook and promote it to create a sales surge. Linda Formichelli and I did this with our co-written ebook 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster, which at first had a tacky, homemade cover– and weve been offering copies steadily since.
10. Purchase Design
I do not go on Fiverr and pay $10 for a cover. I usually invest $1200-$ 2000 in my ebook publishing procedure– and make it back the first week. You can compensate for the reasonably modest size of your audience and look more effective with better-quality ebook style.
I utilize the web designer group I utilize for my blog site and Den community, but if you want turnkey help, Im hearing good ideas about Archangel Inks services and have seen nice products from them (so I suggest and affiliate offer them). I learnt more about them from self-publishing professional Steve Scott, who I check out regularly. Discover some self-publishing successes and watch what they do– youll conserve yourself a load of time and effort.
11. Take part in Events
Again, people: Think cooperation! Instead of attempting to offer your ebook all on your own, team up with 5-10 other authors and do it together. Do it in person at a book shop, do it online– but get together.
That way, you all swimming pool your small lists and end up with a much bigger audience. I just recently ran a 99-cent, one-day, multi-author ebook sale off a simple blog post that netted thousands of dollars for the authors (without spending for ads on BookBub or any of the other book-promo websites).
12. Know Your Goal
Know what youre trying to accomplish with your ebook before you write, rate, and market it. If its expected to be your cash cow, youll compose, design, and market it in a different way than if its your $1 tripwire.
Some authors use their ebooks to build authority and land rewarding public speaking gigs, or fill seats at their online or live conferences. With this brand-new ebook, for example, Im lastly acceding to numerous demands that I use blog site coaching, and debuting that service. When your ebook is the idea of a sales iceberg of related services, you can earn a lot more.
13. Sell Within Your Book
One recently found out technique for me is to provide one inexpensive additional ebook prior to the table of contents in your ebook. That way, it shows up in Amazons Look Inside the Book excerpt, and exposes readers to more of your products.
Turn to the end of my ebooks, and youll see a link to each and every single product I use. Do not forget to update your endpapers in your ebooks as you add brand-new products. Your reader is now a qualified purchaser from you, which suggests theyre a great bet to purchase additional things from you.
14. Presell, Presell, Presell
Offering ebooks is all about preparing the method. Its difficult to begin too early, talking about an ebook!
Offer your readers discount rates for scheduling presale copies. Get the buzz going, before official launch day. At this moment, the bulk of the cash I make from ebooks occur during presales! And running a presale likewise suggests youve got a list of people whove checked out the book that you can email on release day and ask to leave Amazon evaluations.
15. 99 Cents Is the New Free
A lot of authors are hooked on the unique, complimentary Kindle Direct Publishing discount ebook launch. Theyll even pay BuckBooks and so forth hundreds to promote their free deal! Ive tried it myself, and Im here to say I think these complimentary giveaways are a crockery– especially for blog writers with a smaller sized audience. Yes, you get some sales after them, due to the fact that the freebie event surges your rankings … but the effect tends to be short lived.
You get thousands of free downloads, get all excited that buzz is spreading … and frequently, end up making $300 when you change to asking folks to spend for your ebook. At this point, Ive heard too many reports of that from other self-publishing authors. I believe this is a method that once worked well, but now that the marketplace is super-saturated with ebook releases, it simply doesnt any longer.
Why does not a KDP giveaway occasion lead to a great deal of sales? Since free downloaders are NOT buyers. Theyre freeloaders. Their downloads do not suggest much. Rather, do a 99-cent sale. Thats a way to get a big pool of qualified purchasers– specifically if you follow this next idea:
16. Capture Buyers Emails
The huge problem with selling on Amazon is you dont understand who buys. You do not get a list of previous buyers you can offer the next ebook or class.
Fix this by leaving something out of your ebook that they must pertain to your site and provide you their e-mail address to get. When it comes to my most recent Small Blog, Big Income installment, its an unique report with 90 Actionable Tips for making more from blogging. I produce fillable workbooks for much of my ebooks, so readers have a great place to bear in mind and build their own action strategy, based on the tips.
The other method to know who your buyers are is …
17. Keep All the cash
Yes, I understand I leave from the pack on this one. My Amazon sales are only a small part of my ebook sales method, and with the e-tail giants ever-changing guidelines and policies which seem to lead to ever-smaller author royalties, I recommend it be a little part of yours.
When you offer an ebook on your own site, to your own audience, you are in complete control of the procedure, and you keep all the cash. This is what you built your specific niche audience for– so you can sell them directly, and not be dependent on the whims of Amazons algorithms to earn! I stop working to see why I ought to give Amazon 70% of the money for selling an ebook to someone I currently know.
On Amazon, you can not run bundle sales or deal readers unique discounts the general public does not get. Which makes it a bad place to debut a book, in my view.
I put my ebooks on Amazon after presales and after launch week, when Im done offering offers to my audience. Yes, Ive been told Im a fool, and if I went KDP Select specifically and emailed all my peeps to buy on Amazon, I might rank well and Amazon would become a money device … and all I can say is, Im hesitant.
As a niche blogger, its essential that you keep rewarding your customers and make them feel unique when they purchase. Send them to Amazon to buy your book, and … well, its less special.
I also feel confident that theres no way I would have earned near to $50,000 offering these ebooks by means of Amazon. They just take too big of a chunk of your sales.
18. Bonus! Track the Trends
It would be that the world of online self-publishing keeps on altering if I had a last point to add. The points above summary my approach to this point, but the playing field keeps shifting. Try new things, and stay on top of whats going on in the ebook sales marketplace to see where you have the very best chance.
Got self-publishing concerns? Leave a comment, and lets talk about.

Individuals dont want to check out endless ebooks like my very first one, which topped 200 pages! Yes, Amazon is now punishing shorter ebooks in author royalties … but brief ebooks are still more reliable in constructing reader commitment, specifically in nonfiction.
The most convenient method to sell more copies of your ebook is to have another ebook come out. Some authors utilize their ebooks to construct authority and land profitable public speaking gigs, or fill seats at their live or online conferences. Selling ebooks is all about preparing the method.

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