I make money writing ebooks.
It’s not a massive sum but it’s a nice bit of residual income that supplements my freelance writing career.
When I started writing ebooks for money, I didn’t check out tips or suggestions for making the most of the opportunity. It was mostly a trial and error endeavor. Some of the work I did performed really well, some of it didn’t.
Based on the experience, I learned a few major lessons. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes you should try to avoid when attempting to make money writing ebooks.
Mistake #1: Writing an Ebook on a Topic You’re Not an Expert in
Just do a bit of Amazon research and you’ll come across dozens of ebooks (some of these are actually ebooklets ) on any given topics. It’s very easy to recognize the stuff that has just been written because the topic is popular and because the author wants to make money.
Don’t attempt to sell a text on a topic you’re not an expert in.
Today’s audience is more discerning than ever before. People are looking for something genuinely valuable when buying ebooks.
Whether it’s fiction or a self-help book, it has to exude confidence and knowledge. It has to provide information that’s new to the reader and that’s not something you can simply Google online in five seconds.
Mediocre ebooks could still sell in the beginning. People, however, will be generally dissatisfied with the quality of the work. Chances are that you’ll get multiple negative reviews that will severely limit your ability to continue selling ebooks in the future.
Mistake #2: Having a Sole Goal to Make Money Writing Ebooks
This one ties in with the first mistake but let’s take a deeper look at it.
Things have gotten so bad that reviews of the worst self-published books out there emerged on multiple reputable websites.
The idea to make money writing ebooks shouldn’t be your primary driver and motivator.
There are so many options for earning in the online realm. If you’re not passionate about writing and creating quality digital products, you should probably look for an alternative.
People will recognize ebooks that have been written for the sole purpose of earning an income. When you’re writing ebooks for money, the final outcome will typically be mediocre and lacking depth. Obviously, there are exceptions. Being a good writer and thinking commercially at the same time is possible. In the beginning, however, you should start out with a great concept for an ebook that people will either enjoy or that will provide valuable information.
Mistake #3: No Website and No Online Promotion
Ebook writing is a form of passive income generation but not 100 percent.
Once you’re done with writing and self-publishing an ebook, you will have to put some emphasis on promotion.
This is especially true for new writers attempting to build a name for themselves.
Having a website and a strong social media presence will establish your brand and get people to recognize you and your work. Once this happens, you’ll see a much bigger number of books being sold.
Starting your own website is far from challenging – WordPress has made the process easy-peasy even for newbies.
WordPress offers some of the best options for the setting up of a simple blog. The content management system is user-friendly and there are dozens of free templates you can use to set up the blog immediately. You’ll only need to get a domain name and the right hosting plan.
Domain.com has an excellent WordPress package you can test out. The starter pack is priced at 3.75 dollars per month and the WordPress essential package is available at 6.95 dollars per month. Both feature unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, a customized control panel and pre-installed themes and plugins.
Domain.com offers an array of additional services and products that can be quite beneficial for first-time bloggers.
Currently, all hosting plans are available with a 10 percent discount. Domain name registration is also possible via the platform.
To get the discount, use the DOMAIN10 code.
Mistake #4: Relying on Just One Title to Make Money
Having just one ebook isn’t the best strategy, especially if you want to earn a solid income for ebook writing.
Thus, if you just test out the opportunity through the creation of one ebook and you quit, the money will dry up eventually.
To make money writing ebooks, you need to have a portfolio of titles. It’s even better if all of your books discuss similar topics. You can do cross-promotion by featuring a promo for one book in your other ebook. In addition, a larger portfolio makes it more likely for readers to come across one of your titles (and eventually explore the others if they like what they see).
When getting started, do a bit of research and come up with a list of topics people may be interested in. if you can get the titles to relate to each other, that would be even better.
Always feature your work in all of the ebooks you create. A section advertising some of the author’s other work is usually featured in the end and it also provides simple purchase links.
Mistake #5: Having No Backup Source of Income
Are you an all-in type of person? That may be great when attempting to start your own business and earn an income. To make money writing ebooks, however, you will need a backup source of income in the very beginning.
It takes time to establish your reputation and to start selling a sufficient number of books on a daily basis.
Some people will never get there when writing ebooks for money.
The competition is huge. Allegedly, Amazon featured over 485,538,000 unique titles in 2018. The number has certainly increased since then.
Chances are that your ebook isn’t going to become a best-seller. Hence, you should have a backup source of income until you start making it big.
There are so many work from home online jobs you can test out. These will give you stability and enough time to dedicate to your ebook writing efforts.
You can even opt for simple things that will score you a couple of bucks per day.
Online survey websites offer such an opportunity. You need to dedicate an hour per day to these and you’ll make a small amount of cash if you don’t want to get started with a more time-consuming online income generation option.
Inbox Dollars is one of the biggest names in this field. You can earn money by doing paid surveys, watching videos, reading emails, playing games and even shopping. The only condition is for you to belong to the right customer demographic.
A final option I’d like to recommend is SwagBucks. You’ll get five dollars for signing up and you will once again be paid for doing the surveys that you qualify for. SwagBucks has been around for some time and it has an excellent reputation, just like the other two survey websites listed here.
Mistake #6: Failing to Publish Your eBook Everywhere
Amazon is the most powerful marketplace when it comes to self-publishing an ebook. You definitely need Kindle Direct Publishing if you want to access a worldwide audience and an array of marketing tools.
Publishing solely on Amazon, however, is a mistake (in my opinion). There are numerous other powerful marketplaces you can use to successfully make money writing ebooks. You can either submit your title individually to each one of those or you can test out a self-publishing service.
I went the second route because I don’t have the time to manage with each marketplace individually.
While publishing platforms withhold their commission from your earnings, they simplify the process of getting your work out there.
Draft2Digital allows for the publication of your ebook, printed book and audio book. Some of the featured marketplaces include Apple Books, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, Playster, OverDrive, Bibliotheca and various others,
All you need to do is sign up for a Draft2Digital account. Next, you’ll be taken through all of the steps that have to be followed for your title to appear on all of the above-mentioned marketplaces.
Mistake #7: Pricing Issues
Writing ebooks for money could lead you into setting a price that’s way too high for what you have to offer.
You’re not Stephen King and you’re probably just getting started with ebook writing.
As such, you cannot charge 20 dollars for a 50-page ebook on gardening.
Overpricing your ebook will reduce your prospects of earning an income significantly.
Here’s a great guide on pricing your ebook adequately. Factors like the topic, the length of the book, the genre and even the quality should be taken in consideration.
Occasionally, you may even want to consider reducing the price or offering the ebook for free as a part of your marketing strategy. I’ve offered my ebook about making money online for free several times. As a result of the campaign, subsequent sales always went up.
Mistake #8: Lacking Discipline, Writing When You Feel Like It
To make money writing ebooks, you have to treat this opportunity as a business.
True, writing ebooks is a creative process. You need inspiration and you need the right concept in order to generate something spectacular. Writer’s block is also a real thing that can stand in the way of productivity.
Sitting down to write only once per month because you didn’t feel like it the rest of the time, however, isn’t sustainable.
You need to get in the habit of writing on a daily basis. A bit of discipline will eventually start getting those creative juices flowing. Even if you don’t make much progress on a daily basis, it’s still important to sit down and write a few pages. Alternatively, you can edit your work or do research. Being constantly engaged will improve your writing and also make it easier for you to find inspiration or generate new ideas.
Mistake #9: Ignoring the Importance of Your Book Cover
The quality of writing is the number one factor that will determine if you will make money writing ebooks.
You should also understand the fact that a few other factors matter.
Your artwork and cover happen to be incredibly important. In fact, they’re the one thing that can capture the interest of a potential reader and get them to click on the product.
Here are a few examples of what bad covers are. Make sure that your ebook never ever looks like this. It’s beyond clear these covers look amateurish and even silly. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to make sure every single aspect of your product is polished.
You can easily partner up with a professional designer to get quality cover work.
Websites like Upwork and Fiverr make it so easy for self-published authors to partner up with graphic designers who offer cost-efficient services. All you need to do is set up a descriptive project ad and identify the designers whose style and price quote you like.
Mistake #10: Non-Existent or Minimal Editing
There’s one more thing you should consider investing in if you’re writing ebooks for money.
Many writers underestimate the importance of proper and professional editing.
Obviously, you’ll go through the text before it goes live (you should never ever self-publish an ebook that hasn’t been read through). Still, writers often lack the attention to detail needed to identify and eliminate all errors.
The fact that you’re reading your own work makes it even more difficult to eliminate stylistic and grammar problems.
To consistently make money writing ebooks, you should consider professional editing.
Apart from being a writer, I’m an avid reader. I’ve gone through dozens of titles over the past few years. Some of those (even books crafted by experienced novelists) featured blatant errors. The percentage of books who weren’t error-free happened to be big enough for me to notice a trend.
I never went back to the authors whose books were full of errors, even if I liked the idea and the content.
You can partner up with freelance editors and proofreaders without breaking the bank. Having someone else go through your work will give you the polished final product that can ensure consistently high sales in the future.
These are some of the biggest mistakes that rookie self-published authors make. I believe that addressing these issues will result in a much more successful and profitable ebook writing strategy. There’s a simple reason why – you’ll be crafting a quality product and you’ll be working towards getting your name out there.