How to Make Money with eBooks: Guide for Selling eBooks 2023

In this guide, I’m gonna teach you, how to make money with eBooks, along with a step by step guide on how to create a eBook and make money.

How to Make Money with eBooks

If you’re eager to learn how to write an ebook and make money, you’ve come to the right place.

Numerous publishing platforms are available to help you launch your first ebook, and the entire process is quite straightforward.

The exciting part is that once you publish an ebook, that’s it – you’re done. There’s no ongoing maintenance required. This is why writing ebooks is an excellent avenue for earning passive income.

Invest some effort upfront, and you’ll enjoy the benefits for years to come.

Ready to begin? We’ll guide you through all the essentials of publishing your debut ebook.

Why Should You Sell eBooks?

While some people like physical books more, eBooks made $1.1 billion in the US in 2022. This means you can earn money by self-publishing eBooks, which is a good way to make passive income.

eBooks can also bring in potential customers for your business, acting like a magnet to attract them. This is because your eBooks should give more value than what’s already free online. They also help show you’re an expert in the topic you wrote about.

There are different places where you can publish eBooks easily and affordably. In fact, if your ebook is ready, you can start selling it online now. But for long-lasting money benefits, you need to put in effort, and we’ll guide you with these 5 steps.

How To Make Money with eBooks

How To Make Money with eBooks

The key rule for writing an ebook is to research your topic before you start writing.

This applies to all types of ebooks. If you want to sell your ebooks, you need to check if there’s a market for them.

When you’re about to become an ebook author and write your ebook, planning is crucial. Whether you’re into fiction or non-fiction, to create a successful ebook, you must choose a specific area of interest.

There are different methods to do this, but whatever you choose, be ready to invest some time in planning.

How to Write a eBook & Make Money

How to Write a eBook & Make Money

Step 1: Research

To become an ebook author, you need to plan ahead. This step helps you decide if your idea is worth pursuing. If it’s not, you can explore other options. Many successful authors come up with great ideas during research.

Target the Right Audience

Think about who would be interested in your book’s content – their location, job, age, gender, and preferences. Your brand, which includes things like your book cover, writing style, title, and more, can help you figure out your core audience and attract specific people. Use these brand elements to find your audience and talk to them directly for better reader engagement.

Follow Trending Topics

You can become a bestselling author by choosing the right ebook category – one where you can sell more copies than the current bestseller. It might seem tough, but it’s not. Research “trending topics” online to find the right category. There are over 10,000 book and ebook categories, so placing your ebook in a trendy category that matches your book’s genre is important for making money.

Develop Your Niche

Having a “niche” is essential because it helps you establish yourself as an expert on your book’s topic. You might know a lot about a few things, but only a bit about many others. Focus on what you know well and be specific. While you could write a whole book on a topic, there are likely many existing books on it. Being specific allows you to bring a fresh perspective that your readers will appreciate.

Step 2: Decide on Your eBook Topic

When you hear “Stephen King,” you immediately know the genre – probably horror. If you’re after a horror novel, you might look for one of King’s books.

But if you wanted a historical romance, you’d be surprised to see his name next to a picture of a romantic hero and a swooning lady in old-fashioned dresses.

The Horror King made his mark in publishing. You can do something similar.

This lesson from traditional publishing works for successful eBook writing too.

Step 3: Writing an eBook

Making an ebook involves typical writing and design steps, just like creating a regular book. You research, plan, write, revise, take breaks, review again, improve, and then you’re ready to go.

Book Length

eBooks can be as short as 12 pages or as long as a thousand-page novel. The rules aren’t fixed, so you can check similar successful books in your category to decide your book’s length.

For profitable ebook sales, consider these ebook elements, which we’ll explore together.

Interactive Elements

Use an eBook tool to add multimedia like pictures, interactive visuals, audio, and video. This makes your readers more engaged. You can also include links for extra info or to guide readers.

Editing and Proofreading

You have different options for editing. A cost-effective way is hiring an editor for the initial chapters. Many issues found there will likely appear later, and you can fix them yourself if you know what to look for.

If you’re editing on your own, print it and read aloud. Try different fonts and styles, and review the manuscript multiple times.


Now your eBook’s appearance matters for marketing. An eye-catching cover is crucial. A strong design impacts how buyers feel about your book. You want them to see every part as excellent. If you’re unsure about designing, think about hiring a graphic designer. Remember, you need to invest to succeed.

Step 4: Price Your eBook

Ebooks are favored by many due to their affordability, easy readability, and portability. They have a clear advantage here – creating an ebook costs much less than a print book since it’s digital. Yet, setting the right price is vital for making a profit from your ebook.

Consider Expenses

Start by adding up what you spent to create your eBook. Calculate costs like hiring an editor, designer, and the expected earnings from sales. Then figure out how many eBooks you need to sell at different prices to cover your expenses.

Check Similar Genre Books

See what other authors charge for eBooks like yours. This helps you gauge the market’s acceptable range. If similar eBooks sell for $5, selling yours for $20 might not work.

But if you’re confident your eBook offers more value (which is the goal), you could charge more. Just keep it reasonable.

Step 5: Selling EBooks Online

At its core, an ebook is a digital product, and you should treat it as such. Ebooks offer more opportunities for self-published authors than print books, but you need to make the most of these advantages.

The most important advantage is higher earnings. With ebooks, you can earn up to 70% of the sale price, compared to 1-7% in traditional publishing.

For insights into physical book publishing, read our guide on How to Make Money Writing a Book, which gives you a glimpse into the traditional publishing world.

Know Your Platforms
When it’s time to publish your ebook, you have several platform options. Let’s dive into some popular ones.

Self-Publishing on Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is the go-to platform for self-publishing on Amazon. It’s a powerhouse in ebook publishing, holding a significant share of the market.

First, anyone can access Kindle books using the Kindle app on various devices. This widens your readership.

Second, KDP offers promotions, like giveaways, to create interest and potential future earnings.

Publishing is straightforward. You get 70% royalties for $2.99 to $9.99 book prices, and 35% outside that range. To learn more about earning money on Kindle, check out tips on making $100 a day with Amazon.

A unique feature is Kindle’s free physical copies – printed on demand after a purchase, without storage fees. You also can create an audio version via Amazon’s Audible partnership. This allows you to offer digital, physical, and audio versions all in one place.


The Nook is Barnes and Noble’s e-reader, making up around 25% of e-reader users.

Publishing on Nook has a perk – it’s easy to collaborate. So, if you’re co-writing, think about this. They also offer live chat support.

You get 65% royalties for $2.99 to $9.99 book prices, and 40% for other ranges.


iBooks makes your work available to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users via the Apple iBookstore. It’s a bit more complex, but great for multimedia-rich books like cookbooks or children’s books.

You get 70% royalties and no listing fees.

Other Platforms

Apart from the big players, other options suit different needs. Smashwords distributes to iBooks and Nook.

Kobo is user-friendly and partners with indie e-bookstores.

Scribd is growing and accepts various formats, saving time and money. Picking the right publishing platforms is key for successful ebook writing and earning.

Step 6: Promote Your eBook

Promotion is usually the final step, but for ebooks, it’s smart to start marketing before publishing to ensure a strong debut. Here’s how:

Pre-Launch Promotion

Connect with your target readers. People often buy books from familiar authors. Create a blog, social media profiles, or an Amazon Author Central page. Start promoting yourself as an author and talk about your upcoming ebook before it’s out. Build your newsletter subscribers and spread the word.

Post-Launch Promotion

A post-launch campaign is crucial to sustain sales. Here’s how:

Social Media (Free and Ads)

Keep promoting on social media platforms for sustained sales. Organic posts are effective, but consider paid ads for better results.


Encourage readers to write reviews. Include a request in your ebook’s conclusion or provide a link to the review page on your publishing platform.

Email Marketing

Engage your existing network. Your email subscribers are interested in your content. If your new ebook solves their problems, it’s a chance to keep them engaged.

7 Best Websites to Sell Ebooks

7 Best Websites to Sell Ebooks

Selling ebooks requires a reliable platform. There are various options, so pick the one that suits you.

If your ebook isn’t in the required file type, free online converters can help. You can also find freelancers on Fiverr who can manually convert your content to ebook format.

1. Visme

Visme is a versatile platform for design and content creation. Even without design experience, users can create visually impressive content using templates.

For ebooks, Visme is a complete solution. It offers a space for authors to design ebooks confidently, no coding or designer needed.

You get access to ready-to-use ebook templates for B2B or B2C purposes. Fiction and non-fiction genres can use AI image generation or a vast image library. Editing ebook details is easy with dynamic fields, no manual work.

Once designed, you can download or share your ebook as a digital or printable PDF with bleed marks. Shareable links are an option for readers who buy from your website. Privacy settings let you control who sees your ebook.

Visme tracks views on shared ebooks, helping analyze content performance alongside sales and marketing efforts.

2. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon is a major online platform for selling digital ebooks. Self-publishing ebooks on Amazon is a popular way to earn money, potentially reaching $1000+ per month.

To publish ebooks on Amazon, you use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Upload your manuscript, meeting specific guidelines. You can submit Microsoft Word files, EPUB, or their special Kindle format, KPF.

You can opt for ebook, paperback, or both formats. After Amazon approves, your ebook becomes accessible to readers globally.

3. Smashwords

Smashwords is an ebook publishing and distribution platform. It caters to both new and experienced ebook writers, providing various solutions. You can upload a Word document or EPUB file, and Smashwords transforms it into a digital ebook. Then, they distribute it to major ebook platforms for consumers.

4. Rakuten Kobo

Rakuten Kobo is another platform for publishing and distributing ebooks. They sell your ebooks on their site and other distribution sites. Publishing with Rakuten Kobo is easy – just follow the steps on their website. You can upload Microsoft Word and EPUB files, and more. They also provide options for selling audiobooks and offer their own digital readers for purchase.

5. Sellfy

Stepping beyond dedicated ebook platforms, there’s Sellfy – a digital product marketplace. It allows you to sell various digital products for downloading. You can sell directly through Sellfy or use the provided link on your website.

6. Payhip

Another option is Payhip, another digital download marketplace. To sell an ebook on Payhip, it should be in your preferred file format. EPUB works well for platforms like this. You can sell using a Payhip link or add the link to a button on a landing page.

7. Gumroad

Lastly, there’s Gumroad – an online marketplace where you can set up a store to sell digital products like courses, memberships, and ebooks. Gumroad provides more control over your ebook’s marketing and pricing compared to other platforms.

Ebook File Types and Formatting

Ebook File Types and Formatting

It’s important to make your ebook easily readable in various digital formats, and it doesn’t have to be strictly vertical. For instance, reading on a laptop is more comfortable in a horizontal layout, showing the entire page. Your choice should match how readers will view the ebook.

Next is the format and file type. There are four common ones:

Printable PDF

A familiar format for online versions of paper books and documents. It can be printed or read on digital devices. Downsides include non-responsive pages and the need to zoom for small text.

Interactive PDF

Enhance a regular PDF by adding hyperlinks, videos, and more. Sharing retains links, but other interactions deactivate in downloads.

Multimedia/Interactive HTML5

Offers a rich digital experience with multimedia, animations, and transitions between pages. Great for engaging content.


A universal format readable by most digital readers. Create with tools like Adobe InDesign or convert from PDF or HTML5. EPUB is responsive and fits well on digital readers.

Choose the format based on your ebook’s style. Plain text works like a paper book. Some ebooks are visual and magazine-like, while others are interactive with videos and animations. EPUB is a solid choice for professional publishing and distribution due to its responsiveness and readability on digital devices.

Is It Profitable to Sell Ebooks?

Ebooks are profitable, but simply publishing one is not enough. eBooks are profitable when they are marketed and sold properly with intent. Some authors who use Amazon to publish their ebooks can potentially make $1000+ a month.

Where Can I Sell My Ebooks?

There are various online platforms where you can sell your ebook. Some of the top platforms to consider are Visme, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Rakuten Kobo, Sellfy, Payhip and Gumroad.

How Much Can You Make Selling Ebooks?

You can make a lot of money selling ebooks. However, the amount of money you make from selling ebooks depends on a lot of factors including the cost of your book, additional expenses such as ebook platform fees as well as how well it’s received by its audience.

Which Ebooks Sell the Most?

Bubble Cow found that the five top-selling ebook categories were religion and spirituality, biographies and memoirs, business and money, self-help and cookbooks or those focused on food and wine.