How to Create and Sell an E-Book Online – The EASY Way
Selling e-books on your own website is a great way to make some money online. You write the book once and you can keep selling it… forever, really. You can wake up in the morning and see orders. The books get delivered automatically and the money hits your bank account – daily, weekly, and monthly!
This is one form of passive income where you do the work once and keep getting paid. Sure, you will have to do some promotion of the book but that’s all the work you need to keep doing. The book you produce is an asset because it keeps paying you.
Setting up such a system to sell an e-book online isn’t difficult. I’ll show you the steps here. Just follow them and you’ll be about to sell e-books online with PayPal where you can send the money to your checking account or use it right away at PayPal.
Really Quickly… My Success Story
I’m a ski instructor in the winter. It’s fun. I love the people there and being outdoors. I like teaching and giving people a skill they’ll have for the rest of their life.
There’s a lot of training we get as instructors, which is great because it also helps my own skiing, but it’s actually pretty technical. It has to do with forces, physiology, bio-mechanics, and then combining that in a way where you can demonstrate and teach it to people. There are 3 levels of certification with PSIA, which is the Professional Ski Instructors Association. Passing level 1 takes some work but isn’t too difficult. Passing level 2 is a lot more work. And then passing level 3 is also a lot more work plus you need experience. Some people don’t pass levels 2 and 3 on their first or even second tries.
I was fortunate enough to be at a ski school with excellent instruction and training. We got it for free – we just had to attend the clinics, practice, and study. We have great coaches and I learned a lot of tricks. I was able to pass the level 2 exam on my second try. I was close the first time but the second time it really just clicked and I basically aced it.
But what I realized was that other candidates did not have the same level of training I was getting. In fact, people from other ski schools (local and pretty far away) were paying for training at my ski school – that’s how good it was. I liked writing, so I thought I’d put together a book outlining my journey – just hoping it would help others.
And it has!
I’ve sold hundreds of the books so far. Even at exam events, I might be down at the pool or hot tub where others are and I hear them quizzing each other. They then find out who I am and usually a few of them have my book. They thank me for it and beg for some tips or advice to help them the next day. It’s cool.
That book was really my first e-book that I published on Amazon and on my own website. I set up a cart for it but you don’t have it. It’s easy to just set it up using PayPal.
If you’ve put a lot of work into something (maybe for a exam or a project), you’re an expert at it. There are people who want to know what you know and get advice and tips.
If you can lay out what you know in a book that’s easy to follow, you can sell that book online!
1. Do You Have a Book Yet?
The first thing you need is your own book, obviously. It should be original but if you don’t want to write a book, there are websites you can go to where you can buy pre-made books and they give you the rights to resell them as your own. This is called Private Label Rights (PLR) and just search for that on Google and you’ll find lots of sites selling these materials.
If you don’t have a book yet, then I’ve got you covered. I have a Microsoft Word template you can use to create your book and that template also works for publishing on Amazon Kindle (another great way to publish books online). If you need my free e-book template, then go download it now.
A good cover really matters. I suggest going to Fiverr.com to find someone who can do that for you or else if you’re creative and educated about layout, then check out the book cover software and also the graphics program I use.
2. What is the Title of the Book?
The title really matters. It’s so important!
The title needs to sum up what they’re getting and let them know the book will solve their problem or help them. This takes some research and testing.
Don’t just come up with one title for the book but many. Write down 20 of them at least. Ask your friends what they think is best. I did this and I got some great advice.
With marketing and SEO, we can add keywords later to help promote it – the title is what converts a visitor into a buyer. That is the job of the title and it needs to do that for you. A bad title will not sell any books for you but a great title will sell tons of books for you.
3. How Much Will You Sell it For?
Figuring out a price is actually a little difficult but very important.
From your perspective, you’ve put hours and hours into this book and you want to get paid for it, right? To you, the value of the book is really high. This actually doesn’t matter, though, so let’s change your thinking a little.
Looking at the market and pricing is something you should do before you even start writing it – that is, if you’re looking to make money. With my first book, my intent was really to help people and I wanted to go through the process of creating a book. I didn’t care about how many I sold and for what price. I just priced it so it was affordable even though the value was much higher (and many people have told me that). This may be your situation, too.
If not, and if you want to make money, then you need to do market research and come up with a good price.
Go look for similar books on Amazon. Look to see if there’s demand for what you’re teaching. Is it selling well? How much are they charging?
Then look at how much time you need to put in to compete with those books. Do you need to hire an editor? How much will that cost?
There’s also book cover creation and promotion to think about as well.
Next, put that into a spreadsheet or add it up. What’s your break even point? Is it after you sell 50 books? One hundred books? A thousand books?
Is it worth it? Do the numbers work out?
They should. Selling books is pretty profitable.
You need a price that is competitive and you need to provide more value than your competition. Just remember to focus on that and not necessarily how much you think your sweat equity (hard work) is worth or you might price your book too high and not sell any. Sure, you can bring the price down later but you’ve now lost some prime marketing opportunities with the initial rollout.
One great strategy is to have a higher retail price but then have a launch price which is lower. Say when the launch price will end so people know when the price will increase. This scarcity creates demand and urgency.
For example, maybe the retail price is $47 but your launch price is $17.
4. Get Your Domain Name and Hosting
Alright, at this point, you have these things done:
- Your book has been written
- You have a good cover image for it
- You’ve researched the market and have pricing
- You’ve exported the book to PDF (and optionally published on Amazon Kindle)
The remaining steps are:
- Get a domain name
- Get a place to host your one-page website
- Get sales copy written
- Adding the Buy button
With the domain name, having keywords in the domain name doesn’t help as much as it used to. With that said, people do look at the domain name when seeing it in search results and other places. A domain name for your book is an element of trust – trust that they will find what they’re looking for when they click on the link.
When choosing a domain name, think “branding.” You want to build a brand!
A brand isn’t “Best Men’s Shoes” instead it’s “Nike.” What is Nike? It’s a new word, actually. The cool thing about new words as brands is their really easy to track online. This is probably the best advice I can give you about branding is try to come up with a good, new word – if possible, of course. Come up with something that’s catchy and something you can make a good logo for. It should relate to what you’re doing, if possible.
If your book is about beer, maybe you’re “The Tall Beer Man” or “RedBeerd” or maybe even “Big Bear Beer” – I don’t know… brainstorm it.
With your brand, come up with a little twist. So what I mean is, think of something you can be known for – like an added perk.
Here are a few examples I can think of:
- With my first job out of college, there was one manufacturer we sold products for that always included candy in their packages. Another used popcorn for shipping material.
- There’s a t-shirt company I’ve seen that had hilarious things written on their shirt tags.
- Maybe there’s a certain phrase you use all the time.
Also, your domain name should be memorable. If you had to tell someone on a busy street your website, they shouldn’t go “what?” when you say it or confuse it with another brand. The domain should make sense and be easy to remember later when they get to their computer or have time to pull it up on their phone. Forget dashes for sure. Try to get a dot com. Don’t make it long.
And skip numbers or if you do get numbers, then make sure you also buy the written out version(s) of the domain where it’s words. One example of that is, go to: twentythreeandme.com (I think numbers in brands is pretty cool, actually.)
5. Sales Copy Is… SUPER IMPORTANT!
Words mean things.
Words come out of people’s mouths. Words come out of salespeople’s mouths. Why are some sales people better than others? A lot of that is because of the words they use.
A few, bad words can ruin your day while other words can really lift you up.
Since text on a page doesn’t include things like body language and tone, which is what you get when talking with someone, the text (copy) you put on a page needs to work even harder.
There’s skill and technique when it comes to sales copy. Good copy taps into psychological triggers that help sell. There’s like a whole industry based on that – you know… advertising and marketing? Yeah, companies spend tons of money on researching the right message before they blow a bazillion dollars on the air time.
But then there’s you with your book and you don’t have that kind of budget or know-how. Hey, I’m right there with you. Lots of us are.
So, I’ve got you covered here, too!
I know a guy who changed his life because he studied and learned how to use sales copy on websites the right way. He put in the time and effort and now he’s a master at it.
The cool thing is, he put it into a book that’s super easy for dopes like me to follow. I’ve read it and I love it. You don’t need the time a college education on this stuff would take either. In fact, it really is like a college course in a simple book.
I put together a pretty sweet package where if you buy his book, I’ll give you all kinds of bonuses to go along with it. Go check it out.
6. Add the Buy Button
The final item (besides promotion, which I cover at the end) is setting a price and adding a button so people can buy your book.
The one you want to add is a “Buy Now” button at the top right when I view it.
Next, fill in the required information about your product. Make it look nice as people will see this text.
You’ll then have the embed code to add to your page:
If you’re using WordPress, you’ll go into the Text view and add the code where you want the button. I usually add some kind of placeholder first before I add the code like “XXXXXX” or something like that and then when you switch to the Text (code) view, it’s easier to find the right place – just remove your placeholder and paste in the embed code.
One, last thing is… promotion. The best advice I got about writing books or courses or making products is, you really spend about 20% of the time creating it and 80% promoting it. That means if you spend 100 hours making it, you need to spend 400 hours promoting it. That’s how it works!
Just don’t create a book or article or product and hope you get sales. Nope. Go out there and promote.
What I also like about that advice is, when you’re out there promoting, you need to have absolute faith in what you’re selling. Make it really, really good! This makes selling it so much easier.
As I look back on this article, I see I’ve written phrases like “this really matters” a lot and well… there is a lot that really matters. And, I’ve given you the main things that matter so you know what they are and don’t skip doing those things. I want you to get into writing books and publishing them. After a little bit, if you do it right, you wake up and see book sales. It’s really cool when that happens… I love it.
Make sure to get your book proofread. Get feedback from others on the cover. Keep thinking about the main things you said – is there more you can add? Read it over… a lot. Add in new tips. Just make it super awesome.
Maybe you can also create some bonuses to go along with it. Make the deal even sweeter. Make it so good that people really can’t say no. When you get to that point, you’re not really selling anymore. What you have does all the selling for you.
And better yet, if you can show results from your book, you’ll never, ever do one bit of selling. Just show the results and the BUY button. Super easy!
Hey, and if your first attempt flops, don’t sweat it. You’ve just built yourself an asset that can be used in other ways – that’s for sure. Go create the next book or course and now you have a really sweet bonus to include. Pretty soon, you have a small empire and you’ve easily built yourself up as an authority. We all know authority doesn’t come overnight, so work at it and keep going!
Read over this article a few times before you start on your project. If you have questions, leave them below and let’s discuss things. Let me know what you think of this article, too.