The rise of ebooks has opened the world of book publishing to a whole swath of people to whom it was previously unavailable. It’s no longer necessary for people to get a contract with a big publisher to get their work out there. Self-published ebooks can be a great way to generate income, while also contributing to the marketplace of idea. However, not everyone is cut out for selling their work online. Consider these factors before you try selling ebooks online on your own.
Is There an Audience for Your Ebook?
Some people want to self-publish their work in ebook form simply because they don’t particularly care if they make a ton of money from it. Since ebooks are an extremely low-cost route for publishing, they are a perfect option for these people. Most people, however, want to make money doing it. Even if it’s not your main objective, you probably want to be compensated for all your hard work. If this is the case, you need to make sure there’s an audience for your ebook.
How can you tell if there’s an audience for your ebook? This can be a bit complicated. You can start by scouring social media and doing online searches to see if there are any groups dedicated to your focus. If you’re not getting any results from these searches, you might just be out of luck with your concept. Still, it’s important to note that the popularity of a subject doesn’t always correlate to the success of an ebook published about it. Think of it this way: If you write an ebook about a hugely popular topic – say, ancient Egypt—what’s going to distinguish your product from all the other ones out there? Too large of a potential audience can be inhibiting if you don’t already have a dedicated following. Your work will only get lost in the crowd of hundreds or thousands of other ebooks out there.
Are You Knowledgeable in a Niche?
Since it’s difficult to break into broad fields when selling ebooks online, it’s critical that you determine a niche. Focusing on more specialized topics makes it easier to gain an audience, as there will be less competition. Additionally, people in a narrower subset of interest or subject are likely to be more passionate about it than people who are just interested in something generally.
However, to write about a niche, you need actually to have some understanding of it. You don’t need to be the world’s foremost expert, but you shouldn’t expect to be able to write a successful ebook about a topic about which you only have the slightest interest. People who are more invested in that niche will be able to sense your lack of experience. And it’s unlikely they will give your ebook good reviews if they feel you’ve only written it to make a bit of money off them.
Are You Willing to Market Your Ebook?
Unfortunately, selling ebooks online isn’t only about putting together the book itself. If you want to make some sales, you’re going to need to do some marketing. For some people, this extra effort is enough to turn them off the idea altogether. But, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty in the marketing department, you can control your success in no small degree. There are two good places to start marketing your ebook. The first is on social media. This is a fantastic resource because it allows you to create highly targeted ads that will be seen by precisely the people who might be interested in your product. It’s also not expensive to do social media marketing, which will help keep your margins intact.
It’s also a good idea to market your ebook through blogging and content marketing. Mostly, this entails creating posts with highly specific keywords that will help your page show up in organic search results. This is a great way to gain followers, as those posts will last indefinitely passively.
Not everyone is cut out for selling ebooks online. However, if you can address these concerns mentioned above, you may very well find success in this field.