Selling eBooks advice, Writers Tips, Process, Guidelines, Information
Selling eBooks – Writing advice for authors
Writing advice for authors – Marketing & Sales Tips Article
16 May 2019
What Writers Need to Know About Selling eBooks
There’s tons of writing advice out there for authors looking to bring their book ideas to fruition: advice for conducting initial research, tips for staying motivated during the writing process, guidelines for designing an ebook, etc. This is all useful information for authors to access as they’re creating the actual product they’re going to sell.
But writing and selling are two different ball games, so to speak. You can write the most profound or entertaining or helpful book known to humankind, but without a grasp on how to market and sell it, it will fall short of earning the attention it deserves. In this sense, authors must balance creativity with a keen business sense.
Here’s some of what writers need to know about the next step: selling ebooks.
Independent Publishing Sales Are Rising
Every once in a while, you may stumble across an article decrying the decline of ebook sales. The book downloading boom is over, some sources say. This is partially true in the sense traditional publishers are seeing their sales of ebooks decline. But, according to GeekWire, reporting from traditional publishers misses two-thirds of U.S. consumer ebook purchases and half the dollars they spend.
Looking at the ebook market through the lens of traditional publishing fails to account for the growth of the independent ebook market. Authors have more opportunity than ever before to release ebooks outside the context of established publishers, giving them flexibility. The increase of independent publishing opportunities is known as the “democratization” of the industry—more writers are finding success by doing things their own way.
Readers Want to Connect in Real Time
Selling ebooks on a platform like Shopify is how many independent authors earn money. But there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into generating sales.
First of all, writers need to harness modern marketing techniques to get their names out into the world—people can only buy your ebook if they know it exists, and if they know what you as an author have to offer.
In addition to identifying your online audience, there’s also the matter of building a community online. Writers and readers are more closely connected than ever before, especially through social media. As one Forbes article points out, an exciting thing that’s happening within independent publishing is “readers are telling the writer what they want from that individual writer now, which means indie authors can be more responsive.”
Marketing is an important tool for driving traffic to your website, yes. But today’s most successful authors go beyond mere marketing to foster an ongoing conversation with their readers. Crowdsourcing ideas, questions and opinions is one great way to include your audience.
There Are Multiple Ways to Distribute Your Ebook
Having your own dedicated website with landing pages for each book you write is a must; this platform will serve as your hub for branding and transactions. But today’s authors tend to take a multi-dimensional approach to distributing ebooks. One ebook author advises pursuing “open publishing” or making ebooks available across as many retailers as possible—from Amazon to Kobo to smaller marketplaces. The rationale here is diversifying the availability of your ebooks will get them into the hands of more readers.
The key is testing out new distribution methods to gauge their level of effectiveness. From there, you can focus on the channels bringing you the best revenue streams and publicity.
Writing an ebook is a great start, but authors must also know plenty about selling ebooks to monetize their written words in today’s market. Understanding what your community of readers wants is huge—as is marketing your ebook on the right channels using compelling messaging.
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