You don’t have to be an accomplished author to self-publish an ebook. In fact, you don’t even need a blog with high traffic volumes to get started. These accomplishments can be helpful, but today is the best day to start writing your first ebook regardless of your prior experience.
Side hustles like self-publishing an ebook are an excellent way to earn extra income with a small investment of time and money. In fact, you can even publish your ebook for free on Amazon Kindle where it can be purchased 24/7 until you remove the listing.
The best passive income plan is one that includes many income streams. Self-publishing your own books is extremely easy because you don’t have to be rich to write your own book, and most of the hard work is done by the time you publish the book.
Having published an ebook myself with no blog traffic and a small budget, I can attest that channeling your inner author can be a wise way to invest $100 in yourself and earn long-term passive income without relying on the stock market.
If you already blog, self-publishing an ebook is a natural step to develop your personal brand and gives you another way to connect with your growing audience. After all, some topics don’t fit nicely in a series of 1,000-word blog posts and you can also reach people who read books but have never visited a blog.
Make a Plan and Start Writing
Besides thinking you must be a thought leader in your niche to sell an Amazon bestseller, most people never write a book because they don’t sit down and write the first page.
They spend all their time thinking about what they will write about and move onto a new interest before they put their thoughts into action.
Before you write your first word, remember these tips:
- Follow a step by step guide to self-publishing
- Concentrate on putting words on the page regardless of the word count
- Don’t worry about making the perfect manuscript; that’s what the editing process is for
You will need to find the writing rhythm that’s ideal for your schedule. Striving to write a chapter week is an achievable goal that still lets you maintain momentum while avoiding the burnout factor.
After you complete the first chapter, the upcoming chapters will become easier to write as you find your routine.
Ask Your Friends and Others to Proofread
The editing process is usually the most time-consuming step to self-publish your book.
It’s crucial that you ask friends, family, and proofreaders that will provide you constructive criticism—avoid a “Yes man.”
I also recommend hiring an online proofreader or developmental editor from Fiverr or Upwork to help you spot and correct any grammatical errors when you don’t have a colleague to ask.
Honest feedback in the review stage means the finished product will be grammatically correct and the content is understandable. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting negative customer reviews that will sink your product rating and make it impossible to sell a copy—even for free.
Hire a Book Cover Designer
If your friends can help you proofread, your only monetary expense might be hiring a book cover designer.
I’ve had the most success on Fiverr with finding a designer as you can look through each freelancer’s portfolio and instantly get a quote.
When you finally pick a cover design you like, make sure it’s formatted as follows:
- 2D Image
- 3D Image (Side and Back Cover Design)
Because you will want to publish your ebook on several different digital platforms, having a variety of image formats ensures you will meet their specific image criteria.
Even if you don’t plan on offering a print-on-demand book immediately, it’s more affordable to get the print-ready cover now for Amazon CreateSpace right away.
Besides Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace, you should also consider listing your book on the additional publishing platforms too:
- Amazon Audible (audiobooks)
- Barnes and Noble
The more places you list, the more opportunities to make a sale. While Amazon is the largest self-publishing marketplace, these other platforms can be just as lucrative.
Leverage Your Blog Traffic During the Entire Process
During this entire process, your blog traffic or social media following can be extremely valuable when you need:
- Content ideas
- Testing cover designs
- Providing feedback on the first chapter
You can make money with little blog traffic if you know how to engage your readers.
While you don’t want to give your entire book away until it goes on sale, generate a buzz in the month leading up to your book launch with blog posts, social media updates, and even giving away the first chapter free to your email subscribers.
When the release date finally arrives, your followers will be some of the first people to make a purchase.
Don’t Underestimate Amazon Reviews
Having positive Amazon reviews during launch week can be just as important as the quality content inside your book.
While you might want to offer a free book to your launch team to review, reviews from purchased buyers are what catapult your book to the best-seller list.
For the first week, price your book at $0.99 and ask your family, friends, and followers to buy the book and leave an honest review. The review doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences in length.
You will see your ranking increase as more copies sell and your friends leave positive reviews.
After the first week, gradually increase the sales price to no higher than $7.99 as most Kindle buyers are hesitant to buy beyond that price point unless you are a well-credentialed author.
If you own a blog, make sure to add a landing page that promotes your new book and directs the reader to all the places they can purchase it.
When Will You Publish the Second Ebook?
Writing your first ebook is almost always the hardest. Taking your experience from the publishing process will make subsequent books easier to publish and generate more passive income. And, you don’t need a blog to become a best-seller as you now know!
Are you currently writing an ebook? If so, what’s it about?
Josh Patoka is a teacher and blogger. He enjoys spending his free time reading great books and spending time with his family. His goal is to learn something new every day.