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Can You Really Make a Living as an eBook Writer?

Make a Living as an eBook Writer

Are you looking to make money every month as a freelance writer? Whether it is through a self-hosted blog, social media, or writing a fiction or non-fiction book through a self-publishing company, there is a way. The best way of making it nowadays, however, as a full-time job is by becoming a self-published author through Kindle Publishing.

Following is a step-by-step guide on how to quit your day job, get yourself published and make money every month and impress thousands of readers.

Getting started as an eBook writer

  1. To begin writing an ebook, you need to come up with some marketable ideas. You can write about various types of content ranging from how-to guides, self-help guides, memoirs, health guides, poetry, children’s books, adult fiction, young adult fiction,etc. to name a few examples. Expand on the ideas you have to determine if this is the idea or ideas you want to dedicate time to writing about. Nothing makes writing harder than an idea you don’t feel enthusiastic about.

  2. Organize your ideas and write all ideas down, as well as any new ideas as you go along. You will often find many things that will inspire new ideas for your writing. Keep at least a note-taking application or a notebook with a pencil/pen with you at all times to capture these ideas. There are various ways you can go about organizing your ideas such as outlines or story webs.

  3. Thoroughly research the subject you want to write about,even if you are writing a fictional novel.It is always advised to do some research to help give the book more substance. Non-fictional writing should always have sound research done to avoid misrepresentation of data or false information of the subject being discussed.

  4. Set realistic goals on how you wish to complete the book. Some of the questions you should ask yourself during the goal planning process are:

  • How much time are you able to dedicate to writing your eBook?
  • What are your daily word count goals?
  • What is your total word count goal?
  • Are you writing a series, a trilogy, a saga, or one book?
  • Who is your intended audience? Are you writing for children, early readers (ages 3-6), teenagers, young adults, or adults?
  • What are you trying to offer through your writing? Are you offering information or leisure?
  • Are you writing a non-fiction novel or a fictional novel?
  • If you are writing non-fiction, what is the subject and what are you trying to inform your audience about?
  • If you are writing a fictional novel, what is the plot, characters, ending, relatable struggles, thetheme of the story, tone, point of view, setting,etc.?
  • What is the genre you want to write? Do you want to write a science fiction novel, a horror story, a steamy romance novella, mystery, or a combination of various genres?

  5. Start writing your eBook. Save revisions and fixing mistakes for after you have written out the whole text of the book. If you feel the need to go back, then only go back after finishing each chapter of your book.

  6. Revise and finalize the eBook. Many phone/computer/ tablet apps will help you. Hemingway App is one example of these types of apps. If you are a person who would rather not use an app, then you can always have someone look over your work and give their critique.

  7. Add the final details and finishing touches. Make the title of the book, add an introduction, and a bibliography if you referenced information from a specific source. Add a nice cover layout to the book once finished.

  8. Test the book by giving it to friends and family for free. Ask questions to the people you have given the eBook to and get their feedback after they have finished reading the eBook. Adjust the book and apply any useful feedback to perfect the content of the eBook.

  9. Make a table of contents of the finalized eBook. The table of contents should include the title of the book, chapters/sections of the book, title of each chapter. If applicable, include the word count of the book, and page number estimates. A thesis statement may also be included and is often recommended for eBook that is going to be of a non-fiction genre.

  10. Publish your eBook. There are various eBook platforms you can use. Things to consider when choosing a publishing platform are hidden costs, file formats required, royalties paid to you, piracy protection, audience scope, capacity to set your own price and other contract information concerning your written work.

Know your Market and Who you are Writing for
Audiences vary depending on the information you are trying to sell. It is advised during the writing process to have a specific audience(s) in mind. It is also helpful to know what books are selling and what books are not selling. Looking through book catalogs on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other book/ eBook retailers can give you a general idea of the eBook market. Many websites, magazines, online journals, blogs, and newspapers often have a best sellers list which is useful when trying to figure out what is popular at the moment for each type of audience.

The Various Self-Publishing Platforms of the eBook World:

  1.Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing

  • Publishing takes less than 5 minutes, and your book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours.
  • Earn up to 70% royalty on all sales of your eBook when you set the price between $2.99 – $9.99.
  • Enroll in KDP Select which allows you to earn more money through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
  • Keep control of your eBook rights and set your own listing prices. You can make changes to your books at any time.
  •  You can self-publish Kindle eBook and paperbacks for free on KDP.
  • Free to sign up.


  • Offers tips and advice for publishing in both eBook format and print.
  • Publishes your eBook for free.
  • Gives you 90% royalty on all sales of your eBook.
  • Offers publishing services for a fee to help edit, format, and market your eBook.
  • Wider audience range and doesn’t rely on a specific type of eReader.
  • Free to sign up.

  3. Smashwords.com

  • 60% royalties through major eBook retailers, 80% royalties through the Smashwords store.
  • Upload eBook and reach a very wide range of retailers.
  • Global retail distribution and Global library distribution.
  • You can choose to participate in weekly promotions and sales through the site.
  • Offers various free services to help you publish your eBook.
  • Free to sign up.
  • Wider audience range and doesn’t rely on a specific type of eReader.

There are many more websites that offer publishing opportunities. Research all options in advance to find the retailer for your eBook.

Extra Tips and Advice for Writing a Variety of Content Successfully

  1. To get a good idea of how to achieve your eBook goal, I recommend reading Robert W. Bly’s book “How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit.”Specifically, read chapter 8 which contains various tips and tricks for selling eBook content.

  2. A way to gain publicity for your eBook is to have a blog. Many authors often have blogs promoting their books and other written works. You can also pay to have a website or person advertise your eBook.

  3. Make links to your eBook on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Myspace, Tumblr, etc.) or make a video on YouTube advertising your eBook. Being available to answer a Q/A is also a good idea since it gives your audience a chance to give their feedback of your eBook.

  4.eBooks that make the most profit are often within the price range between $.99 – $5.99 per copy, but you can always ask for more since it is after all your eBook.

  5. Beware of all hidden costs. Some sites will offer fees to help format your eBook, edit and market your eBook. Read and learn about the various file formats and what is required for your eBook to be published.

 6. Research as much as possible about the many text file formats, retailers, genres, and other aspects of writing to get the most out of your work and make the least amount of mistakes.

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