Do it right: How to Write, Publish and Sell E-books

They are the easiest way to get published and the most frequently sold item on Sellfy. Its no wonder e-books are so popular! And we are right here to help you every step of the way to creating a bright shining e-book of your own. Simply follow these helpful hints on how to write an e-book and stay tuned for regular updates. We can’t wait to read it!

Flawless Formatting

Many e-book publishing platforms reformat your book to their own file standards. Sellfy will not alter your text and leaves it to the reader to buy what format they need. Only thing to remember is to offer your e-book in different formats suited for all types of readers and devices. But simplicity is the name of the game for e-books, no matter what file type you or your (e-)readers prefers.

Keep in mind, e-readers often allow users to reformat the content themselves. This is well after it’s left your hands. So not only should your work be clear and readable on your screen; it needs to translate to smaller screens, bigger screens and screens with a purple filter zoomed in x400.

This is why e-books generally go without special fonts, colors – even completely ignoring photo content. Pt. 12 Times New Roman may not be your favorite font, but it translates beautifully everywhere. Large chapter headings and indentations should also be kept to a minimum. It’s best to not go above pt. 14 or put more than four blank lines in a row. The end result may seem initially stark, but having a readable, high quality end result is well worth it. Set your margins to 1 inch and write away!

Deciding on Content

What will your book be about? Maybe this is the million-dollar question, but you’ll have to answer it a thousand times: to your audience and yourself. Naturally, the options for what to write about are endless. But if your subject isn’t focused then your writing process will be endless too.

Keep an elevator pitch in mind. Your work may be brilliantly complex, but it’s crucial to be able to condense the idea enough that you could pitch it to a strange on a short elevator ride (or in a small field of text on the Sellfy site). If this seems impossible, your topic may be too wide.

“Write what you know” is said again and again in writing circles. But that’s because it’s an effective strategy. Take a topic you are more learned on than most, and focus on exactly what makes your unique stance so valuable, then maybe tell a few jokes and voila! –you’ve just written an e-book! Ok, it will take a few more drafts than that. But you get the idea; focus first.

Finding an Audience

Who is going to buy this thing? I’m sure you’re mother will pick-up a copy. But if you want to sell more than one e-book it’s important to have an audience in mind. Narrow subjects like “Eastern European Art History from 1800-1950” will immediately have a small and specific fan base. But something like “How to Change Your Life Through Blogging” could go in any direction. Think about the people your work will be the most valuable to and write for them.

Pricing Your Product

Pricing creative work is difficult. As the creator you’ll want to go high because of the personal value the work holds for you. Then you’ll want to go low, because you want your message to spread and be accessible. Where’s the happy medium?

Start by looking at the price of similar e-books. Take into account page length and how saturated the market is, also the intentions of your buyer. A book about investment banking can sell for more than “Hitchhiking 101” simply because the audience is more probably willing and able to pay for it.

Finally, think about your personal pull. If you are a well-known authority on the topic then it will be easier for you to sell. If this is your first e-book a lower price is more reasonable. Scarcity matters too. Although your tactics on interior decorating or leveraging Google Analytics may be brilliant; there are a lot of voices on the topic. Pen the definitive guide on “How To Beat Cancer”, however, and see how such rare information sells at a high price.

Create a Cover that Sells

Walk down a book aisle or past a magazine rack and chances are your eye goes directly to a particular product. Attention grabbing covers are just as powerful on the digital space as in person. While your e-book may be devoid of pictures, this is a chance to tell your story visually.

In a pinch, you can make a simple cover on a word processor and save it as a pdf file. But if you have any photo editing software, this would be a great time to dust it off. Consider obtaining some professional stock photos or bringing in a designer friend.

Keep in mind the final image will be presented as a thumbnail, so something extremely intricate won’t translate. But buyers do read e-books by their covers and the quality of your preview image denotes the quality of what’s inside– it’s not a time to be skipping steps.

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Yuri is a Content Crafter at Sellfy. He's focused on inbound marketing, copywriting, CRO and growth.