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How to Sell eBooks – 7 Tips That Make Selling eBooks Easy

Knowing how to sell ebooks is crucial to earning a living as a writer. Here are seven tips that make selling ebooks seem easy — but it still takes time and effort. These marketing tips aren’t just about selling more books – they’re about figuring out who you are as a writer (your brand) and sharing the news!

Before the tips, a quip:

“Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.”  ~ Will Rogers.

The first and most important way to sell your ebook is ensure it’s the best product you can produce in terms of content, writing, editing, format, and layout. And the best way to write the best ebooks is to learn as much as you can about creating stellar content. It’s not just about writing well, it’s about writing web content that attracts and engages readers. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business is one of Amazon’s bestselling books on writing web content — it’s worth a read!

And here are seven tips for marketing your ebook…

How to Market and Sell Your eBook

Create and keep repeating your brand name

What’s your handle, your shtick, your brand name? Pick something that appeals to you and projects the image you want for your writing career. Then, repeat it until it’s as “you” as the back of your hand. “Repetition is key to creating a brand names,” writes John Kremer in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. “If you decide to try to establish your company name as a brand name, repeat it in all your ads and feature it on the covers of all your books.”

Schedule a few hours a week to sell ebooks

Unless you can afford to hire a public relations firm or marketing expert, you’ll need to spend time marketing and promoting your ebooks. One of the most effective tips for increasing your ebook sales is to allot time to learn how to market, and sell your ebook. It doesn’t happen overnight, and some writers never stop promoting.

Experiment with affiliate programs like e-Junkie and ClickBank

I’ve used e-Junkie and ClickBank to promote other people’s ebooks, but haven’t promoted my books there. It may be an effective way to increase ebook sales, but I just haven’t found the time to figure it all out. But as a blogger, I know that affiliate programs are extremely effective ways to sell products – which is why I’ve made it my goal for the next quarter!

Set a marketing budget for selling your ebook

This is a “you have to spend money to make money” tip for increasing ebook sales! Here’s what John Kremer says in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books: “Have a clear plan of how you intend to spend your advertising dollars, reserving the major portion for your prime markets and media. Word of mouth is still the most cost-effective way to advertise your books, but set aside at least one-third of your marketing budget for promotion and publicity.” What’s your marketing budget? Maybe you could put 50% of your ebook profits into marketing and promotion. Capitalize on your success!

Consider pay-per-click search engines

“At first you may be reluctant to pay for visitors,” say the folks at Publish Your Own eBooks. “However, unlike regular advertising, you will at least know how much each visitor cost. And if you know that 1 in 20 visitors buys your eBook, then you can easily calculate  how much you can afford to spend per visitor. The most popular services are from Google Adwords and Yahoo Sponsored Search.”

Join an entrepreneurs’ or small business owners’ group

I joined a small business owners’ club in September; we have breakfast every Tuesday morning and discuss ways to promote our business. I leave those meetings jazzed and energized! There are so many ways to promote your writing career and increase your ebook sales – and the more you learn how other entrepreneurs do it, the more ideas you’ll have for your own business.

Experiment until you find the tips that work for you

My primary way to sell my “Quips and Tips” ebooks is through my “Quips and Tips” blogs. None of the other ways to increase ebook sales – such as the quick tips listed below – work for me. To sell ebooks, don’t just blindly follow the masses. Instead, experiment until you find what’s most comfortable for you and what you can incorporate into your regular schedule.

Quick Tips for Selling eBooks

  • Write guest posts
  • Teach classes in-person
  • Ask like-minded bloggers for reciprocal links
  • Set up affiliate programs
  • Exchange ebook reviews with fellow writers
  • Experiment with publishing partners, such as Smashwords and Amazon
  • Use social media (Facebook fan pages, You Tube, Twitter, etc)
  • Leave your business card in unexpected places (eg, with the tip for the waitress, in the envelope if you pay your bills via snail mail, in library books, in the change room at your gym, or in the bathroom at parties)
  • Give talks at all types of places: libraries, writer’s clubs, garden parties, churches, book fairs, colleges, schools, civic groups, senior citizen’s groups, PTA’s, chambers of commerce, businessmen luncheons, workshops, conferences, cruise ships – anywhere that welcomes speakers.
  • Specialize in your topic. The more specialized you are in your genre or field, the easier it’ll be to keep writing and selling books. Specialization allows you to market your books together and build a strong network.

“If you really want your book to fly, you need to know that the reality of the publishing business is that publishers print and distribute,” says David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber. “The author has to be willing to market their book, because no one else will.”

To learn more about writing and selling ebooks, read 5 Writing and Self-Publishing Tips.

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Do you have any questions, thoughts, or tips for increasing ebook sales? I welcome you below!

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9 thoughts on “How to Sell eBooks – 7 Tips That Make Selling eBooks Easy”

  1. The tip about brand marketing is good. I guess the important thing to remember is that just like two books are different so are two authors and the marketing technique that works for one will not work for another.

  2. Hi,

    If you are interesting in selling your eBooks (tutorials, manuals, guides) I recommend that you visit our website, The Wise Journey. There you can sell your products and you keep most of the profit.

    You provide products with high quality which will be seen by thousands of customers at our website. This will surely increase your sales and income.

    Visit us and read more at Partner Program.

    Jamie McLennan

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Tom,

    Yes, writers definitely make money selling ebooks! I earn over $700 a month, without doing a thing to advertise my ebooks. Except put them in my blog sidebars, of course 🙂

  4. Tom @ Unemployment Help

    I am interested to see if anyone still makes money from e-books. A lot of the information you find in them is available on the net for free anyway. I understand the point of free e-books but not paid. Can anyone enlighten me?

  5. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I haven’t tried affiliate programs to increase ebook sales…maybe I’ll make that a goal in 2011. Ejunkie and clickbank both have good affiliate programs, and I know I’ve sold dozens of other people’s ebooks through them!

  6. Some great tips you have mentioned, I have not written an ebook till now since I am pretty much a newcomer in the online business world but if I ever write a ebook I will be doing the things that you have mentioned. And ya, I think affiliate programs are a great way of increasing ebook sales

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    I love it! That’s the beauty of writing ebooks — the residual, passive income that keeps trickling in.

    Good luck on your new ebook; let me know when it’s published.

    Tally ho,

  8. I wrote an ebook years ago and it still brings me occasional income — even though I stopped disseminating it over three years ago.

    The past few weeks I’ve been working on another. They have tremendous potential and low overhead!