As an author—current or aspirational—it’s thrilling to think of your words displayed on the devices of readers all around the world. Just as ecommerce has streamlined buying and selling products, the growing ebooks market has made it easier than ever to both consume and sell ebooks online.
It’s also an exciting time to enter the market because authors no longer find themselves bound to more traditional publishing processes. Independent publishing is on the rise. Toward the end of 2017, 38 percent of book units and 22 percent of ebook dollars came from purely “indie” publishing.
Whether you write mystery novels, vegan cookbooks or anything in between, a niche market exists for every genre of content imaginable. The key is getting your material onto the screens of people interested in reading it. This requires an understanding of how to sell ebooks and the easiest way to start an ebook store.
Ebook Success Equals Authorship Plus Entrepreneurship
These days, you must be as much entrepreneur as author. Successfully distributing and monetizing ebooks requires an understanding of the business and commerce side of the equation. The challenge then becomes how to balance a passion for writing books with the practicality required to get them out into the world. As tempting as it is to picture yourself holed up, researching and writing your best seller, it’s just as important to consider how you’re going to market and sell it to online users.
If you spend all your time writing, you’ll end up with a great manuscript that misses seeing the light of day. If you spend all your time selling and marketing, your writing will suffer—and you may even burn out from feeling bogged down by the business logistics.
As with anything in life, balance is key. One thing you can do to make it easier is optimize how you approach selling your ebook.
Advantages Creating Your Own Ebook Store
Your first instinct may very well be to publish your book in a popular marketplace like Amazon or iTunes and call it a day. After all, millions of users are already perusing these popular forums, right? While this is partially true, this mindset loses sight of the big picture. Why? Because, as one HuffPost contributor points out, “As long as [Amazon, iTunes and the like] provide the sole outlet for your ebooks, all the promo work you do drives traffic to their websites, not yours.”
Launching your own ebook store allows you to control the branding and helps you build clout behind your name. Your first thought might be something like, “But I’m a writer, not a web designer.” Platforms like Shopify allow today’s authors to build and host ebooks online stores using a simple interface and pre-made themes for this very reason. This presents an opportunity to streamline how much effort you devote to setting up your shop and running it on the back end. The result? You still have time to write while maintaining full control over everything from the way your website looks to how it handles customer service.
Selling ebooks through your own website also provides a distinct marketing advantage. The Balance Small Business offers this advice for making money through ebooks, “Use your Amazon ebooks to drive people back to your website and get them onto your email list.” Treat your online store like a loyalty hub for readers. Encourage them to sign up for your email newsletter. Create a rewards program to keep them coming back. Post reviews and ratings. Link to useful, related content. Turn your website into a community and you’ll reap the rewards.
Simply put, the easiest way to start an ebook store is to utilize a hosting solution that makes available a simple interface for selling and handles web design with customizable templates. By simplifying how you run your ecommerce store, you’ll still have time and energy to write to your heart’s content.
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