In August 2019, digital book sales dropped 7.3%. Now, some of you may think it’s the end of the world when it comes to eBook publishing, but it’s not. Sales numbers are rarely moving in one direction all year long. EBook publishing is still pretty much alive, or is it really?
Is Writing an eBook Still Profitable?
Before we continue, let’s put one more number on the table. Statistics say that out of 200,000 writers selling their eBooks on Amazon, only 3% are making more than $10,000 a year. That’s about minimum wage if you’re living in the US.
All things said, if you take writing eBooks as a side job, the extra $10,000 a year is not so bad when you talk about paying the bills and saving up for pension. But how do you make real money from writing eBooks? Well, here’s how:
Do your research
If your goal is to make real money, go after the profitable niches. If you write about esoteric topics, you’ll be making chump change every now and then. Check Amazon to see if the niches you’re targeting have a big enough audience for your eBook to be profitable. See if you have something new to offer or at least a new angle to the topics.
Write shorter books
Instead of selling a 300-page novel for $3.99, it’s better to turn the novel into a trilogy of 100-pages each. It takes less time to write shorter books than it does long ones, but the monetary reward is still the same.
Take a peek at the bestselling eBook in your target niche. How many pages do the books have? Aim for that number or lower.
Keep your expenses low
Unless you’re super lucky, you won’t be making five figures in your first year. Be frugal with your money and think twice before you spend $150 for a cover art. Places like Fiverr have many talented people willing to make eye-catching cover art for $5. If you can get them for cheap, why bother paying a premium?
Expecting people to notice your new eBook without any promotions is beyond wishful thinking. Save a portion of your budget to advertise. There’s no other way around this. You can advertise on Google, Facebook, popular forums, or other media catering to your target audience.
Since there’s no way to know which one will yield the best result, you may be tempted to try all at once. That’s a bad move since you’ll burn your advertising budget real quick. Try one at a time so you’ll know the one that gives the best bang for your buck. It’s going to be slow, but it’s a much better option than being bankrupt in your first month.
Cover all platform
While Amazon is the obvious choice for selling eBooks, don’t overlook Apple’s iBookstore as it’s gaining market share. You can also sell your eBooks through your own website. There are many eCommerce solutions out there that you can just plug into your website to streamline the entire sales process
Cover all formats
Always provide multiple formats of any book you write. Take advantage of the online eBook format converter. You can have your eBook available in AZW, ePub, FB2, LIT, LRF, Mobi, PDB, PDF, and also TCR.
You can make a living self-publishing eBooks – as long as you’re willing to put hours and dollars in it. Yeah, it’s silly, but if you’re up for the challenge, writing and selling eBooks can still be lucrative. Yes, even when you have thousands of writers competing for the same slice of cake.