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10 tips to make money by ebook

Tip # 1. Do something — do anything, it all helps To sell more ebooks, you’ve got to ACT — see  competition , below, in our fifth tip. W...


Tip #1. Do something — do anything, it all helps

To sell more ebooks, you’ve got to ACT — see competition, below, in our fifth tip. We all have limited time however, so you need to choose what you’ll do, and that depends on how many ebooks you’ve published, and how many pen names you’re using.
Just written one ebook? In that case, your time may be better spent in writing more. Spending lots of time and money promoting a single title is wasteful. Once readers have bought your ebook, what then? There’s nothing else for them to buy. So spend your time building your catalogue by publishing more.
I have several pen names for which I do zero promotion. I never promote until I have at least five ebooks under a specific name. Think longterm. In the final quarter of 2016, your publishing plans for 2017 should be done.
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Tip #3: Think about selling from the buyer’s perspective.
When a reader goes to buy a book in a traditional bookstore, they either go to the store looking for a specific book because they have heard about it, or they browse the shelves and tables in the store and discover a book. Then they either buy it or they don’t. As an author of an ebook, you need to figure out how readers are going to find out about your book or find it among all the more than 800,000 books in the Kindle store. Then you are going to have to do everything to make sure that once they have found it, they buy it.
Tip #4: Hang out where readers of Kindle books hang out. 
While you can promote your book through traditional means (print reviews, book tours and signings, mailed postcards, conventions, business cards), increasingly this is a world where potential readers hang out in cyberspace. They find book reviews on blogs like Mysteries and My Musings that specialize in reviewing the genre they, they look for lists on line (Cozy Mystery List or Historical Mystery Fiction), they “like” the facebook pages of their favorite author or favorite subgenre (Mystery Most Cozy), they follow twitter #tags, they join reader sites like GoodReads, and they subscribe to blogs and groups that cater to Kindle owners like KindleBoardsKindle ForumKindlechat, or Kindle Nation Daily.
As an author you need to go to these sites, sign up, become active, and participate in the conversations. Most of these sites let you put up a profile picture, and if people begin to see your face, they will begin to feel like they know you. Your voice in a comment or a guest blog post or a Goodreads review will tell a potential reader if they think they will like your perspective on the world. Your customized signature, with links back to your author website and or blog, and small pictures of your book covers, linked to your Amazon product page, play the role of your business card. The more times a potential reader runs across your name and your book titles, the more likely they will decide to put that name and book title into their search bar when they are looking for new books to download.
Tip #5: Besides having a well-written and edited book, your cover design, interior design and formatting are the most crucial elements to success.
If you are going to shell out any money out front-this is where to spend it. If the cover looks home made, or you can’t read the title and author in a small thumbnail, or if the cover doesn’t convey the type of book it is (thriller, cozy, etc), then the reader isn’t going to make the effort to find it, look at, it or buy it. If the book is hard to read and has lots of formatting errors in the excerpt, they will also take a pass. If you have the technological expertise or design experience, you can do this yourself, but if you don’t, this isn’t where to skimp. There are lots of freelancers out there with reasonable rates. See a recent post on do’s and don’ts of cover designs or the blog by Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer
Tip #6: Make sure your book is ready for prime time before you start to promote.
Your product description needs to be well-written, your excerpt must be available, and you should have at least 4-5 reviews written by professional reviewers (not just friends and family members). There are more and more websites, blogs, and enewsletters that are willing to review ebooks, and with Kindle gift certificates you can easily send a free copy to a reviewer. Most professional reviewers will then go on and put their reviews on Amazon. However, it is a good idea to have a print edition (POD) to send to those reviewers who insist on this.
Tip #7: Make your pricing competitive
Go to the specific categories in which your book will show up and look at prices of your competitors. If you aren’t a big name with a new release, $2.99-3.99 is probably the safest price point for genre fiction. While 99 cents is ok for an initial offering, in order to get a bump in sales to send you up the rankings, you really have to sell a lot to make up for the loss of the 70% royalty Amazon gives for books between $2.99-9.99. For example, if you look at the vast majority of other books in the historical mystery category, they are $6 and above, often for books that have been out for five or more years. This means there is a good chance they have either already been read by the buyer, or simply seem too expensive for an ebook, when the paperback or hard cover book may be only a few dollars more (or sometimes even the same or a lower price than the ebook. What are those traditional publishers thinking???) No wonder I am out-selling those books.
Tip #8: Don’t make your big promotional push prematurely. 
Banners on Kindle sites, promotional packages on Kindle Nation Daily, paying for an ad blitz, or promotional contests, can cause a temporary bump in sales. But only if everything else is in place (see tip #4. If the book ranking is too far away from them top 100s in the rankings of any sub-category, a temporary bump isn’t going get the book up high enough in the rankings to self-perpetuate the sales. One of the wonderful things about self-publishing is that you have time. Time to tweak your cover or book blurb, time to get those book reviews, time to correct errors in the text, time to build your readership and your rankings. Then spend the time and money on the big promotional push.
Tip #9: Use Amazon’s browsing capabilities effectively. 
If you were selling your book in a traditional bookstore, you would hope that the buyer would find your book by browsing the bookshelves. They would have the best chance of finding your book if it was on one of the bestseller or bargain tables at the front of the store, or had a little “staff recommends tag” on the book on the shelf. What would be awful would be if your book wasn’t shelved in the right place, so the potential reader looking for a good mystery to read, didn’t find your book there because it was shelved in general fiction, or romance.

Tip #10. Competition is good: act to build visibility for your ebooks

Several students in nonfiction categories on Amazon have told me that their competition is much bigger — and stronger — than it used to be. That’s only to be expected, and believe it or not, lots of ebooks in your category or genre is a good thing. It increases the overall size of the market for your ebooks.
That said, you need to ACT. After you’ve published a couple of titles, start to promote, slowly. Increase your efforts when you’ve published more. As we said in our first tip: do something, anything — it all helps.
Most importantly: have patience. You’re building a future as a self-publisher.
Here’s a piece of advice which leads to success: enjoy writing and publishing. It’s a journey. Keep working towards your goals. You’ll get where you want to be. Along the way, accept that you’ll hit speed bumps. Everyone does. Keep working anyway. If you love what you do, that won’t be a hardship. 🙂

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