I’ve had many questions from writers responding to the series of posts on ebooks we published last week.
The most common question was: “Can I really make money writing ebooks?”
Well, yes. I’ve been making money creating ebooks and other info products since around 2000. In 2013, I’m trying to complete a couple of series of novels for the Kindle, but I keep getting side-tracked into ghostwriting ebooks for others. (I’m not complaining… much. It pays well.)
Many writers are happy to share the results of the money they’re making from their ebooks. You won’t have heard of most of them. As Hugh Howey reports in this article, Hugh Howey: Self-publishing is the future — and great for writers, when he says that:
… you are probably thinking these anecdotes of self-publishing success are the result of my having cherry-picked the winners. In fact, these stories appear in this exact order in my private message inbox over at Kindle Boards.
The only sampling bias is that these writers responded to a thread I started titled: “The Self Published Authors I Want to Hear From.” I wanted to know how many forum members were making $100 to $500 a month. My suspicion was that it was more than any of us realized. Every response I received started with a variation of: “I’m actually making a lot more than that.”
(The emphasis in that last sentence is mine. I talk to writers every day, and I KNOW that many writers are making more than that.)
Freebies are the key
So, how do you sell lots of books?
Then you need to make one or two of them freebies, with Amazon’s KDP Select, or by making an ebook permanently free on SmashWords.
Marie Hall, one of many writers who shared the results of offering freebies in a blog post, Author Know Thy Business: The Power of FREE Books, Survey Results, said:
Comments about the impact of your free offering: I am a completely unknown author, before I put my book to free I’d only managed to sell 68 copies of books for that month. The same month my book went perma free, I also uploaded the third book to the series. My sales took off.
I went from selling 68 a month to over 300 that next month. Each month sales increased until I’m now averaging between 3000–5000 sales a month on all my other books at Amazon alone. Her Mad Hatter helped catapult my Kingdom Series to the point that I’ve been nominated for best series of 2012 at The Romance Reviews and the Indie Convention. I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything with keeping Hatter as a perma-free title since it’s gotten me the visibility I needed to make Kingdom a bestselling series.
I often talk about offering freebies on my Just Write a Book Blog. I don’t want to rehash what I’ve said dozens of times. Please believe that you need to write more than one ebook. Volume counts. The more ebooks you have for sale, the more discoverable your ebooks are. And, since your ebooks will never be removed from the electronic bookstore shelves, they can sell forever.
I hope this helps. There has never, EVER been a better time to be a writer. Write. 🙂