Selling information online, if well done, is a good and profitable venture, especially ebook publishing. Information products comes in several formats as videos, mp3, e-books, etc.
Amongst these just mentioned, selling eBooks (eBook publishing) is the fastest and easiest way to get started in this segment. When I got started online, I had more than 30 eBooks and each of them fetched me some thousands of naira.
EBooks treat a particular topic. They are digital products unlike the traditional hard copy books. They are fast becoming a favorite of both students and working class, as you can save in your system or handsets and tread at your convenience. You can make tens of thousands of naira producing such products and selling to millions of Nigerians.
Even if you decide to go international, you could get into kindle publishing business and rock it there. But we already treated how to go about kindle publishing in a previous article.
For now, let’s see how you can rock it with eBook publishing.
In deciding to go into ebook publishing, you would do well to follow the steps below.
Steps To Making Money Online With EBook Publishing
Choosing the Topic
First of all you need to identify a topic for your eBook. Ideally it should be something that will solve a problem/challenge that people have. Here are some examples:
- Tips to training an Alsatian dog.
- How to survive in the tropics.
- Secrets to impressing your girlfriend / boyfriend.
- A blueprint to teaching a parrot to talk.
As you can see, all these topics touch on main problems/challenges that many people have, and as a result it will be much easier to sell such eBooks. If you want some insights regarding the problems people are trying to solve, then you ought to visit some online forums or discussion boards.
You may get a host of them from www.big-boards.com. Or check Yahoo! Answers.
Spend some time writing down a list of problems you have identified. After that evaluate which of them are related to your areas of expertise or interest, as this will make writing the eBook a much easier task and get your ebook publishing business on a roll.
Writing and Creating the eBook
Once you have chosen a topic, start writing your eBook right away. Aim to get at least 30 pages of pure content (the more the better, though), and make sure that your information will be top notch. If necessary research both online and offline to fill any blanks or to complement your material.
Remember to add images and to proofread the text a couple of times at least.
It is perfectly possible to write 30 pages in three or four days, so roll up your sleeves and just do it!
Once the eBook is ready to go you’ll just need to transform it into a PDF document. This is very easy to do with the OpenOffice suite (which is free). In fact, I use it in producing most of my eBooks.
Open the “Writer” text editor, copy and paste your already typed text (including the front page, the text and the images), add a footer if you want, format everything, and then use the “Export as PDF” function.
With time, as you master the OpenOffice.org suite, you will be able to set password and set restrictions to protect your eBooks.
Also, there are some versions of Microsoft word that comes with a PDF export functionality. It can also serve the purpose.
Designing the Sales Page
The next step is to create a sales page for your eBook. If you already have a blog or website, you could simply create an internal page and use it as a sales page.
If you don’t have a website, you’ll need to buy a domain name and get a hosting plan. Don’t worry, this won’t cost you much. The domain name and the hosting plan will cost less than $20 a year. Just visit namescheap.com, theexperthost.com, or any other hosting company.
You will be able to recover your investment within the first week if you sell a couple of eBooks. Or you could just use a freely hosted website. I seriously don’t advise this but if there is no other alternative, you could make do.
Here are some basic guidelines to follow when creating your sales page:
- Use a catchy, eye-popping headline to hook the attention of your visitors.
2. Tell a story explaining where you are coming from, what problems you have had, and how the information in the eBook helped you solve them.
3. Focus on the benefits the prospect will get from your eBook.
4. Include some testimonials (you can give your eBook to some people in exchange for their testimonials).
5. Include a 3D cover of the eBook. You can either ask a friend to design one for you, or try to do it yourself if you have Photoshop and some design skills. You could even use CorelDraw. The covers you see at the end of these books was done using CorelDraw. However, the fastest means would be to use the Ecover Design software application available in our Product section that can get it done for you in less than 5 minutes.
6. Place a large and visible “Buy It Now” button at the bottom.
7. Offer a 30-day money back guarantee. This will increase your sales, because it removes the risk factor, and it will also ensure you’ll not have problems with people filing chargebacks and PayPal disputes, should you decide to go international.
Setting Up the Payment / Delivery System
At this point you’ll need a system to accept payments and deliver the eBook automatically. The easiest way to do this is with a website called e-junkie.com. They’ll charge you a fee of $5 monthly, but it is worth the money. You could also use 2checkout.
However, if you want to use our own local payment platforms, you could use SimplePay, Voguepay or Onlinenaira.
You just need to configure your account, upload your PDF, and get the link where people can buy your eBook. Then you’ll set that link on your “Buy It Now!” button, and once people click there they’ll be redirected to your merchant payment platform. The money will go straight to your account, and once the payment is confirmed E-junkie or any of the chosen platform will send the customer an email with his download link.
What about the price?
There are basically three price points that perform well with eBooks: $4.95, $9.95 and $19.95. In Nigerian, I would say between N1,500 – N5, 000. There are eBooks priced higher, obviously, but usually they have over 100 pages and are published by established experts / websites. If this is not your case, going with a lower price point will maximize your earnings.
Another option you have is to search for similar eBooks available online, and see how much they cost.
I will repeat this. If you are interested in the Nigeria market, then you make use of your local bank account. I do this often.
Driving Traffic to the Sales Page
It is time to start driving traffic to your sales page once every other thing has been set! Remember that it is a numbers game. Your conversion rate (i.e., the percentage of visitors who will end up buying) will be small no matter what, so the more traffic you can send to your sales page, the more money you’ll make.
The first tactic you can use to get traffic is to comment on blogs, while making the comment link point to your sales page. Make a list of 20 or 30 blogs in your niche, and commit to write a couple of comments on each of them, every day.
Second, you can also use online forums. Create an account on large forums related to your niche, and promote your eBook whenever you feel it is feasible. You can also put a link to your sales page in your signature. Again, if you want to see results, you’ll need to join three or four large forums, and post a dozen of posts on each of them, every day.
Third, you can use E-junkie’s inbuilt affiliate program and convince some bloggers and webmasters to promote your eBook, in exchange for a commission. Just make a list of blogs where the audience could be interested in your eBook, and approach the blog owner proposing the affiliate deal. Consider that 50% commissions are standard in the industry, so if you want to convince established bloggers you might need to offer as much as 70% of the cover price as affiliate commission.
An alternative approach is to write guest posts for these blogs, and to include a link to your sales page in the byline. This strategy will allow you to build a relationship with the blogger, too, which might be useful to convince him to promote your eBook as an affiliate in the future.
However, if you want fast returns, you might want to consider Facebooks ads. They are cheap, highly targeted and deliver results……FAST.
Additionally, you can use social bookmarking sites to drive traffic to your sales page. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are the largest players here, and you should definitely give them a shot.
Depending on your eBook, however, you could also try niche social networks, as they will provide you with a more targeted audience.
If you follow the above tips, there is no way you wouldn’t be able to make it work and make some cool profits with eBook publishing.
I sincerely wish you the best of fortune.