Full-time bloggers often write e-books to share their knowledge with readers as well as increase their income and credibility. Bloggers like Chris Guillebeau and Pat Flynn have extensively documented their own experiences creating e-books on their blogs, and Pat even shows readers exactly how much he earns each month from his e-book.
Self-publishing an e-book, rather than a hard-copy, is the cheapest option for distributing your book to the public. If an e-book’s price is right (not too low or high for your niche market) and is marketed well, the potential to make profit is high. Self-publishing hard copies, on the other hand, comes with high publishing fees and the hassles of maintaining sales transactions and sending out shipments yourself (many complications can arise from these two tasks). When self-publishing an e-book, you won’t have to deal with inventory and shipping at all.
Another popular option for self-publishing is on-demand printing, where you set up shop at a site like Lulu.com and the site prints and ships your book for you, but the downside is that on-demand printing companies usually charge fees to cover manufacturing costs, which includes bindings and printing color. Some bloggers who are willing to make the extra investment might like these options, but others are more interested in maximizing their revenue. Self-publishing an e-book, and keeping it completely digital, allows you to do that, as you get to keep most of your sales profits.
Even if self-publishing e-books has many financial promises, selling them may be more difficult since purchasing a download is a newer concept than purchasing a physical product. Thus, to make your e-book more attractive to potential customers, it’s essential to ensure your book’s topic is something people wouldn’t mind not having a hard copy for. Think immediacy. Some good examples are test-prep books and study guides, since students would want to have the information right away to prepare for their exams.
A necessary step to make income off of your e-book is to, of course, market it. As a blogger with a platform, a smart first step is to inform your readers that you’re working on something big. Share with them the behind-the-scenes elements. Why did you write this? Why do you think your readers will be interested in it? How is it special to you? Give your readers all of the details.
Another marketing tactic is to offer a special deal for the first few purchasers of your book or, even, to give some away for free. Make sure your readers know your e-book is available. Create banners, a custom page for the book, and a visible call-to-action image link (something that says “buy the book now,” for instance). It’s also a good idea to guest blog for other influential bloggers.
Self-publishing an e-book, when marketed and priced correctly, can increase a blogger’s monthly income by hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. It’s a helpful financial supplement to the other methods bloggers commonly use to earn income, like Google Adsense and affiliate marketing (the act of promoting someone else’s products and receiving commission for it).
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