You probably know that an eBook is an electronic form book that you can carry around on your cellphone, tablet, and laptop. Perhaps, you've already written one eBook or two, that's why you want to sell them. For those who haven't started the writing process, check out our previous guide on how to write an eBook.
These days, selling eBooks is starting to be more beneficial than selling printed books. The constant technological trend is solely responsible for that. Everybody now wants their favorite book on their digital devices.
In addition, there are many benefits attached to writing and selling an eBook. First of all, you don't need to have planet-revolving ideas to write one. A minimum of 10 - 15 pages of content and Viola! You have an eBook.
Or if you already have an existing blog, you can repurpose your content using eBook writing software and convert them into a professionally looking eBook in no time.
Then there is the self-publishing aspect where you get the honorary status to be an author as well as a publisher. The most important part is making money from it. This might just be the passive income idea you've been waiting for.
In the recent year, an average of 191 million eBooks units was sold. Imagine such a number!
If your next question is how to sell an eBook and what are the best self publishing platforms to sell eBooks? You don't have to worry as this guide contains answers to that and many more.
You'll learn how to make, market and sell eBooks - all for free plus some popular paid platforms to sell eBooks from your own website. Read on to find out more!
Steps To Sell An eBook Online
Before I have mentioned 5 important steps that serve as a starting guide on how to sell eBooks online.
1. Decide The Type Of Books To Sell
eBooks come in different genres - fiction, non-fiction, educational, inspirational, science, etc. Each book has its own seeking frequency, some sell faster than others. Identify your target audience first and decide the kind of book you want to sell.
2. Choose the Publishing Platform & Create Your Account As A Seller
You need an account (online store) on an e-commerce publishing platform like Sellfy or Amazon to sell books. The account for a reader is different from that of a seller. Seller account comes in different plans. There is the individual (basic) plan and the professional plan, each of which has its separate benefits.
3. Set A Price For Your eBook
The price of a book depends on the type of book, the pages, and the demand for it. Also, keep a watch on the competition. So, keep your price competitive when setting it.
4. List Your eBook For Sale
Here, you upload the book you want to sell in a format that the publishing platform supports. PDF is the most common format that is supported by almost all self-publishing platforms. After uploading eBook you need to input the book's title, and a brief description of it, including the price and number of pages.
5. Market Your Books
You can promote your eBook on other platforms to create awareness of your book. The goal is to expose your book and get more people interested in it. Also, the review you get will affect the selling point. Good reviews make a good selling point and vice versa.
Design an Attractive eBook Cover
If you want to sell your eBooks like hotcakes, the cover of your eBook will play a major role in this.
eBook cover is the first thing that your target audience will notice. Having an attractive cover will help you to boost your sales tremendously.
But how to create a beautifully designed eBook cover?
There are many eBook cover maker that you can use for this purpose but I would recommend you to use either Canva (free) or Photoshop (paid).
Canva is free to use and contains hundreds of free images, icons and other stuffs that can help you create an awesome looking eBook cover within minutes.
4 Best eBook Selling Websites of 2022
Payhip is another great platform that enables sellers to sell their digital products - eBooks, software & others and also membership to their fans/readers. It is a simple solution for bloggers and entrepreneurs to get their products out to buyers.
How To Join Payhip
The process to join Payhip is free and easy. Payhip has a Free Forever plan that allows you to use the platform for absolutely free but you would have to pay 5% transaction fee on your sale. This would be perfect for beginners who don't want to pay any subscription fee to sell their eBooks.
How To Upload eBooks on Payhip
From your homepage, go to the Product tab. Select Add New. Choose digital products and click on 'upload product file. Choose the file you want to upload and you're done.
Payhip gives a limit of up to 5GB for each upload, however, ensure the file is in the right format (pdf, ePUB, MOBI).
How To Set Price
Payhip accepts two payment methods, Paypal and Stripe. To add a payment gateway, select 'account' from your dashboard. Go to Settings and click on 'Payment Details. From there you can input the option you want, then follow through with the instructions.
The price of eBooks on Payhip is on a pay-what-you-want basis, however, there are tricks to it. You can set a minimum limit. For instance, if you want your book price to start from a minimum of 3USD, input 3+. This means that buyers can pay what they want for the book, starting from 3USD. Thus, you will earn a minimum $3 for each sale.
How To Sell On Payhip
You can sell directly from your online store setup at Payhip or embed your Payhip account in your website and drive traffic to your store to make sales. From your Payhip Dashboard, go to 'Products' and choose the one you want. Click on Share and select 'Embed'. There are two sales option
- Direct Purchase
- Add to Cart
Customers can purchase the eBooks via PayPal or from all major credit/debit cards. Plus, it accepts payments from a wide array of international currencies.
After the sales have been made, customers are automatically sent to their download page. The buyer can download the book only 5 times to limit book saturation. But you can reduce this limit from the settings tab. Click on advanced settings and select download limit. Input the new limit and save it.
Under the Free Forever plan, Payhip charges 5% transaction fee on each sale. The transaction fee get reduced if you subscribed to any of the paid plans offered by Payhip. Which means that the higher your subscription, the lower your transaction fee.
- The basic plan has zero subscription fee and a 5% charge per sale
- The standard plan is $29 per month and a 2% charge per sale
- The professional plan is $99 monthly and zero charge for sales
If you need a completely free plan that allows you to sell eBooks and you don't mind paying a 5% transaction fee, then Payhip is a great choice to begin with. Join the Free Forever plan with the link given below and start selling your digital products including eBooks today.
Sellfy is one of the best e-commerce platforms for selling both digital and physical products as well as subscriptions. It is a cloud-based platform and it allows users to create and customize their online store to start selling immediately.
How To Join Sellfy
The first thing you'd be asked to do is sign up for the free trial with your email address. Sellfy also has a free plan but you can't sell digital products like eBooks under this plan. To sell digital products you need to subscribe to the paid plans.
However, the good news is that Sellfy offers a 14 days free trial under which you can sell unlimited digital products including eBooks. Under the free trial, you can try all the premium features to see whether Sellfy is the right publishing platform for you or not.
Customize Your Online Store
You can easily create your online store at Sellfy without requiring you to know any coding skill. Change the appearance of your store to go in line with your product (in this case, books). You can change the look, feel, background and colors of your store to match your brand, product page and store page.
From your dashboard, go to 'Store Setting' and click on Customize. Online stores that you create at Sellfy are mobile-responsive that offers a flawless checkout experience so your customers can shop at your store on any device - desktop, mobile or tablet.
How To Upload Books On Sellfy
From your dashboard, go to the Product tab and choose the kind of product you want to upload either single or subscription.
Browse for the eBook file you want to upload from your device or drag and drop it on the upload area.
How To Set Price On Selly
Setting price on Sellfy is different for each seller, that is, you can choose a price on your own. Don't set your eBook price too high or too low. As a newbie, you want more buyers, and a low price point is where to start from. There is also a pay-what-you-want option where buyers pay any amount they want.
How To Sell On Sellfy
Selling on Sellfy is not the same as selling on Amazon or Google Play. You need to embed your Sellfy account on your website or any other site you want to sell it on, either your blog or social media.
If you have an existing website with decent traffic, you can use Sellfy to sell your eBook on your own site.
From the store setting tab, click on Embed options. Select if you want to embed a 'Buy Now', or your whole store by copy-pasting a line of code to your editor. Choose the product you want to add to your website and copy the code. Paste it on your website to get buyers from there.
When your site visitors clicks to buy your eBook, a checkout page will appear and they'll be able to buy your products without leaving your site.
Apart from eBooks, a premium account at Sellfy also allows you to sell:
- Digital Arts
- Online Memberships
- Videos and Films
- Music and Audio Books
- Online Events and Promotion
Add a Payment Method
Sellfy supports two payment methods - PayPal and Stripe. To add either of the two, go to the store setting. Click on 'payment setting'. Choose your primary account currency.
Enter your PayPal email address to choose the PayPal option or stripe for card payments.
Fees on Sellfy
Sellfy does not charge any fee on book sales apart from the subscription fee.
The Starter Plan subscription fee is 19 USD per month and it offers 10000 sales per year and up to 2000 email credit.
The Business Plan is 49 USD each month with up to 10000 email credits and 50000 sales per year. There is also a $99/month plan for 50000 email credits and 200,000 sales per year.
Both the above paid plans allows you to sell print-on demand products, physical, digital and membership products from your online store. Sellfy also has a free plan but it only supports selling print-on demand products.
If you want to learn more, check out my Sellfy review where I have explained each of its features in detail and how it can help you create up a store and start selling within a few minutes.
Each premium plan offered by Sellfy is backed by a 14-day free trial. It allows you to get used to the platform and its features. Get started with Sellfy with the link below and start selling your eBooks to make passive income every month.
Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world today. It specializes in the sales of various products, including digital distribution. It also has a branch (the Kindle Store) where eBooks can be published for sale. The Kindle Store offers unlimited books for sale. You can self-publish your eBook for free on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
How To Join Amazon
To join Amazon as a seller, you either do that as an individual seller or a professional seller.
- Individual seller account. The individual seller account is a pay-as-you-go plan. It gives access to only the basic features of book listing and order management tools. With this plan, you do not pay any fee apart from the 30% that Amazon takes on each sale. If this is your first time as a seller, the individual plan is best for you
- Professional seller account. Creating a professional seller account gives you access to advanced tools on Amazon like - managing inventory, using amazon marketplace web services, etc. Regardless of the number of sales made, there is a monthly fee of 39.99 USD attached. This plan is beneficial to medium and large-scale booksellers.
How To Upload Books On Amazon
First things first, make sure your document is in the right format. Amazon Kindle accepts files in Doc, ePUB, and KDF formats. So, if you want to sell your book as an eBook, hardcover, and paperback, make sure to create all formats in your KDP account and link them together.
Once that is settled, on your Amazon account dashboard, go to Bookshelf. Under the “Create a New Title” section, click the “+” button and select the type of book you want to start. Now select and upload your book.
A confirmatory message will surface if the upload was successful. But it doesn't stop there. Click on 'look inside' to see a preview of your book. You should also add a book cover to your books.
How To Set Price For Books
Generally, the price range is between $2.99 to $9.99. If you are a new seller, it is advisable to start with a low price to guarantee sales. Three factors determine book prices on Amazon:
- Fan base
- Book size
How To Sell Books On Amazon
Publishing on Amazon platform takes less than 5 minutes and your book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours.
First, log in to your seller account, then from there, choose the book you want to sell. You should only list and sell books people are interested in buying.
From the product page, search for books you want to sell either by title or ISBN (if you already have it uploaded). Select 'Sell on Amazon' under the sales listing. Enter the quantity you want to sell and click Save to finish the process
Charges And Fees
You can earn up to 70% royalty on sales to customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and more. If you enroll in KDP Select, you earn more money through Amazon Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
Commission charged by Amazon on your eBook sales based on the royalty set by you. Let's see the example given below.
- 35% royalty: Amazon sales commission is 65% for books priced between - $0.99 and above $200 (if file size is < 3MB) / $1.99 and above $200 (if file size is >= 3MB & <10MB) / $0.99 () and above $200 (if file size is >10MB)
- 70% royalty: Amazon sales commission is 30% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99
The amazing thing about selling eBooks on Amazon platform is that you keep control of your rights and set your own list prices. Get started with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing today.
4. Google Play
Google Play is a branch of the google play store. It is dedicated to the sales and distribution of digital products and services.
How To Join
To sell on google play, you need to join their partner program. You need a google account for that. If you don't have one, first create it. Sign in to Google play with your account and set up the payment option. You will be required to add a sales territory. You can do all of this in the payment center option on the dashboard.
How To Upload
Uploading eBooks to Google play is very easy. Open the partner program and click on the book catalog. Select 'add book'. Enter the book details (ISBN and EAN). Alternatively, Google can assign a unique identifier to it.
On the metadata, add the book description and other information. Go to 'content' and select 'upload content'. Click on 'choose file' and select the file you want to upload. The uploaded file will be listed on the content tab
How To Set Prices
Under the 'price' tab, click on 'add price'. Select the currency, for instance, USD for American dollar INR for the Indian rupee. Click on 'add amount' to enter the price you want.
How To Sell On Google Play
Click on the 'publish' tab or 'summary' tab and select 'ready to publish'. From there, select 'publish to google play' and congratulations, your book will be listed for sale on the platform
The good thing about Google Play is that there is no cost for selling your eBook on it.
DISADVANTAGES Of Selling eBooks On Amazon and Google Play
Lots of competition
There are more than enough sellers on both Amazon & Google Play. And more keep coming in every month. For a new seller, it will be very difficult to get recognized.
Amazon has a set price for eBooks between $2.99-$9.99. Sellers will only enjoy the 70% royalty only when their books are within this range. Else they will only earn 35% royalty for the eBook sale.
For these reasons, it is more profitable to sell your eBooks on your own website. There are popular merchant websites to help you do that, like Sellfy and Payhip.
People love reading, and selling books online is a way of having a nice stream of income. It is a profitable online business on its own.
Fortunately, books have been in steadily high demand with a demand for eBooks more than the demand for printed books. You can monetize your website when you sell your eBook on it through these merchant website.
Sellfy is a great platform to sell eBooks if you want to be your own boss and have complete control over your online store from product pricing to customization. Plus, if join the premium plan, you don't have to pay any transaction fee on the sale of eBooks or any other digital products.
If you don't mind paying a small fee (5%) on your sale, then you could start with the free plan offered by Payhip.
Once you start getting large volume of sales you can upgrade from the free plan to any of the paid plans. Check out my article on how to sell eBooks on Payhip for free. The article include all step by step process with images explaining everything you need to know to sell your eBooks on Payhip.
I hope this article on eBook selling websites would help you choose the best platform to launch your book.
Which eBook publishing platform you like the most and why? Please offer your comment below.
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