If you’ve got knowledge and expertise to share, an ebook can be a really effective digital product.
An ebook gives you the chance to offer valuable information and ideas to your audience, while generating additional revenue for your business. They’re flexible, beginner-friendly and an ideal way to build your personal brand.
Here’s how to sell your ebook online in 6 easy steps – including audience research, planning your content, promoting your product and more.
Click the links below to skip ahead:
- 3 reasons to learn how to sell ebooks online
- 6 simple steps to sell ebooks online
Learning how to sell ebooks online comes with a wide range of benefits for you and your business. Here are 3 of the best:
Boost brand awareness
The beauty of ebooks is that they’re super shareable. Build your brand awareness by publishing and selling an ebook online to attract more people to your business. This can help to establish you as a thought leader in your industry – and give you more chances to sell to a wider audience in the future.
Diversify your business
If you can learn how to sell ebooks online, you can open up a new revenue stream for your business. For entrepreneurs, it’s really important to diversify. If you have multiple revenue streams, you have more opportunities to earn an income from your expertise and create a more flexible, resilient business. If one revenue stream dries up, you have others you can fall back on. This is essential for any business – but it’s especially important if you’re a full-time creator.
Grow your customer base
As well as being a digital product themselves, ebooks can also act as a really effective lead magnet to move customers down your sales funnel. Use your ebook to build a lasting connection with your customers and generate more opportunities for reconversion. Today ebooks, tomorrow online courses, one-to-one coaching, membership, sign-ups and more! For best results, use ebooks as a key tool in your wider content strategy.
Ready to find out how to sell ebooks online? Check out our 6 easy steps to help you get your ebook side-hustle up and running.
Related: How to Make Money Self-publishing
Before you start writing an ebook to sell online, it’s really important to know who you’re writing for. Who is your ideal reader?
To help give your ebook the best chance of success, start by defining your target audience. This is an essential first step to know why you’re writing your ebook and how you will market and sell your ebook to real people.
Without a clearly defined target audience, you risk writing a generic book that’s for ‘everyone’ but in reality helps no one. If you want to end up with a product that you can sell and earn money from, you need to create highly personalized content that will speak directly to your target audience.
Your content needs to feel like it was written for them.
To get started, try answering these questions:
- Who is your ideal reader?
- What demographic are they? Including age, gender, location, etc.
- What are their biggest needs or challenges?
- What are their primary goals?
- What problem will you help them solve?
Knowing your target audience will help you shape your topic, your content and your writing style. Your ideal reader should feel like your ebook was written for them.
If you want to sell ebooks online, you need to have some content to sell! That means putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and writing your ebook.
Here are the 6 tips to help you:
Use your audience to choose your topic
If you’ve taken the time to define your target audience, hopefully you’ll have a good idea of your audience’s needs and biggest challenges.
Use these findings to help you choose your topic and structure your ebook content – write about what your audience most wants to know.
For content creators who already have an established business, you can choose topics that align with your current content. Your ebook is a chance to deep dive into topics that you’ve already written or talked about, adding more detail and value for your audience.
If you’re starting your content business from scratch, let your goals for your business dictate your ebook topic choice. Take the time to find your niche to make sure your ebook delivers maximum results – and sets your business up for success.
Write an outline before you start
The process of writing an ebook can be time-consuming. To help you stay focused and speed up the process, write an outline before you start.
Make sure you know what you want to cover. This might include outlining chapters, subheadings and/or sections. Decide exactly what you want to include and how you will structure your ebook to help the content to flow.
This will make the writing process easier – and ensure your ebook is easy to follow for your readers.
Learn More: How to write an Ebook
Pull in relevant information from different sources
Most content creators will have a bank of information, expertise and resources already. To help you create the best possible ebook for your audience, try to bring in information from a range of different sources.
You don’t have to write all your content from scratch. In fact, you can repurpose a lot of information from your existing content.
For example, if you’re an educator who is used to delivering in-person lessons, you can borrow content from your live course to include in your ebook. If you’re a digital content creator, you can use existing content from your online courses, your social media and any other relevant resources to enhance your ebook.
Just remember: if you’re looking to sell your ebooks online, you need to make sure you’re creating a product that’s worth paying for. If your customers can find the same information in your existing content, they won’t bother buying your ebook.
Add value for your audience
During the process of writing your ebook, always keep your target audience in mind. Your aim is to create a product that your customers are excited about, that’s genuinely helpful, and that feels like a bargain whatever the price!
That means answering your target audience’s questions, addressing their concerns, and offering something new that hasn’t been covered by your competitors.
Take time to think about how you will add value for your audience – and make sure they will feel satisfied with their purchase.
Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
- Include original research e.g. surveys
- Add exclusive expert quotes
- Insert interesting diagrams and infographics
- Create templates, checklists, worksheets, and activities
- Write a list of additional resources
Consider what content and resources will be most beneficial for your target audience to create a product that people will be biting your hand off to buy!
To extend the reach of your ebook and optimize it for reconversion, make sure your content includes several Call-To-Action phrases (CTAs) to direct your customers to take action.
Use CTAs to convert your ebook customers into new customers for your other digital products. For example, your CTA can direct readers to the landing page for your online course or to your membership community registration page.
Consider an audiobook
The popularity of audiobooks is on the rise. If you’re writing an ebook, consider turning the content into an audiobook too. You can use the same content – and you get two digital products for the price of one!
The major advantage of audiobooks is that people can listen to your ebook on-the-go to get more out of your content. It’s up to you whether you sell your ebook and your audiobook separately or if you choose to offer your audiobook as a free extra to sweeten the deal.
If you’re looking to sell ebooks online, you also need to take time to think about how your ebook will look. The design of your ebook can make or break your sales.
Before potential customers have a chance to read your content, they’ll judge your ebook on its appearance. So it needs to look appealing. Think about matching your ebook design to your brand aesthetic – including your color choice, typeface and image choice.
- Your cover design
- Content formatting
- Additional tables, images and templates
There are a range of creator tools you can use to design your ebook and make it look presentable. You can also enlist the help of a graphic designer to turn your content into something that’s eye-catching, appealing and easy-to-follow.
Related: Top 11 Ebook Creator Tools
There are a range of content distribution platforms you can choose from to help you sell your ebooks online, including dedicated ebook platforms, ecommerce platforms and more.
With the right platform, you can start selling your ebook in no time.
What’s the best platform to sell ebooks?
The best platform for your needs depends largely on what you’re selling. Will you be sticking with ebooks or looking to sell additional digital products like online courses too?
If you’re already using a membership site platform to connect with your customers, simply add your ebook to your online store to start selling it alongside your other digital products.
Alternatively, here are 3 platforms you can use to sell ebooks online:
Thinkific makes it easy for infopreneurs to sell ebooks alongside other digital products like online courses and membership subscriptions. Thinkific is easy-to-use and simple to set up with a drag-and-drop site builder that’s perfect for beginners. The user-friendly design means you can get up and running in less than a day.
Check out these creator stories to get inspired.
Amazon is one of the best known platforms for selling ebooks. Thanks to its popularity, there is a large existing audience looking for ebooks – but there is also more competition to get your content noticed. Amazon ebooks are mostly tailored to Kindle so you’ll need to convert your content using Kindle Create.
Google Play Books
For Android users, Google Play Books is another top option for selling ebooks online. Like Amazon, Google Play Books lets you upload your content and start selling from the platform straight away. With a global user base, Google offers you the opportunity to sell your ebook to a wide audience.
Top Tip: Both Amazon and Google Play Books have a commission structure which means they take a cut of the revenue from your ebook sales – make sure you read the fine print to know how much you’ll get from your sales or opt for a fee-free platform instead.
Creating stunning content is just one part of the process of selling ebooks online.
If your ebook is sitting on your platform and not getting any attention, it’s not doing your business any good. To make the most of your investment, you need to put in the work to market and promote your ebook. It’s time to sell, sell, sell!
There are tons of strategies you can use to sell your ebook. Here are a few to get you started:
If you’re looking for ways to sell your ebooks online, look no further than social media. Social media is one of the most effective methods to promote your ebook, giving you a platform to publicize your content to your existing audience and hopefully win some new leads in the process.
Promote your ebook across all your social media channels with content that catches your audience’s attention, like excerpts, tips and tricks and interesting diagrams or research.
Pull some of the juiciest bits of information from your ebook and publish them on social media to encourage viewers to hit buy. Don’t forget to include a link to your ebook landing page or your online store with every post.
You can also encourage readers to become brand advocates by adding social sharing buttons to your ebook downloads to help them publicize your ebook to their friends and followers.
As always, brand collaborations are a great way to spread the word about your products to a wider audience. Utilize thought leaders with a similar target audience to help sell your ebook. If you’re not sure where to start, simply ask other brands and creators to do a shoutout post promoting your ebook – and offer to do the same for their content in return.
Make sure to use your mailing list to your full advantage to help you sell your ebook too. Your email subscribers are ideal leads – they’ve already made it clear that they’re interested in what you have to say and they’ve opened up their inboxes ready to receive new content from you.
Wherever possible, segment your email list to send your ebook-specific emails to the most relevant audience. This helps to make sure that everything your subscribers receive from you is helpful, personalized and relevant to them. This is essential for good engagement and more sales.
If you’ve got a podcast, this is another top channel you can use to promote your ebook online. Ebooks are ideal for monetizing your podcast and converting your audience into paying customers.
It’s also a chance for you to partner with other podcast hosts and make a guest appearance. Look out for podcasts that match your target audience. If you’re not sure, do some research to find out which podcasts will be most relevant for your marketing efforts and then reach out to the hosts or producers to start a conversation.
Don’t have a podcast yet? You can easily start a podcast with no audience to grow your business and promote your products.
Learn more: 9 Simple Ebook Marketing Strategies
To help you sell more ebooks online, make sure you take time to ask customers for feedback after they make a purchase.
Asking your readers to write a testimonial or review is a brilliant way to get more social proof for your ebooks. Happy customers means good reviews – and good reviews help you sell more ebooks.
At the same time, you can use customer feedback to increase customer success. Use feedback to shape your content strategy for future ebooks and digital content. If you’re planning a second volume or revision of your existing ebook, use customer feedback to tweak or edit your content to better suit your target audience.
In your customer surveys or interviews, find out who your customers are, what they liked, and areas where they felt your ebook could be improved. Make sure you ask them what sections or resources they found most helpful and what they’d like to see more of in the future.
The best content creators are the ones who are able to listen to their customers and tailor their content to suit them. If you can take on feedback, you’re in a good position to create the best possible resource for your target audience – and get some great reviews in the process.
Ready to sell your ebook online?
These 6 steps include everything you need to know to learn how to sell ebooks online. If you’re an infopreneur, coach or course creator, ebooks are a great way to open up another revenue stream for your business, diversify your income and attract more customers. Use ebooks to share your expertise, build your personal brand and promote your courses online.