How to Sell eBooks Online

by Jerry Shaw; Updated September 26, 2017
Woman looking at an ebook

Self-publishing has made it easy for authors of novels and nonfiction to sell their eBooks in digital or hard-copy formats. Keep your price right, depending on what you believe the readers of your book would be willing to pay. Try offering your book for free over a certain time period to generate social-media or word-of-mouth interest that helps promote your book. However you go about it, you still need to market your product.

Getting Started

Online services such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Smashwords help you to set up, format and sell your book online at no cost to you. Small fees come from sales of the book, and you have a variety of ways you can receive the royalties you want for your project. Online companies, including The Book Patch or CreateSpace, offer paid services for print on demand programs that sell hard copies of your book as customers request them. Now it's time to grow your audience.

Target Your Audience

You can use all the social media outlets you want, but it doesn’t help unless you reach your target audience. If you have a book that promotes your business, you’ll want to reach people attracted to the products or services in your industry. If your book deals with the joys of ham radio operation, for example, you’ll want to reach amateur radio hobbyists and clubs. Search for organizations and sites interested in your book’s theme and ask administrators about requirements for promoting your book in posts or advertising it on their pages.

Find Sponsors

Find companies or nonprofit organizations that have something in common with the contents in your book. A product or service that plays an important part in your narrative or account could interest customers or members. If a company or organization finds value in items or themes within the book, it could act as a sponsor for promoting the book. Some companies might offer funding to market your book or propose a deal involving profits from the sale. An organization might exchange promoting your book on its site in exchange for you helping to promote their cause through speaking or in book advertising campaigns.

Connect with Others

Take charge through your own website, other sites or blogs, or by asking others for help in promoting your eBook. The effectiveness of marketing through your own website depends on the traffic you have. Link your website or book promotion site with sites or blogs that specialize in promoting books or areas involving your book’s theme. Ask administrators of the sites about featuring your book or listing your book. Some sites will do it for free or require a fee. If you feel it’s worth the money, you can advertise your book on sites such as GoodReads which also have discussion forums where you can mention your book. Encourage people to review your book or find sites for paid reviews that may range in fees from a little more than $60 to more than $400 for prominent literary reviewers such as Kirkus Reviews.

About the Author

Jerry Shaw writes for Spice Marketing and LinkBlaze Marketing. His articles have appeared in Gannett and American Media Inc. publications. He is the author of "The Complete Guide to Trust and Estate Management" from Atlantic Publishing.

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