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How To Make A Revenue From Selling Ebooks Online

Written by: Krystle Wong

Aug 18, 2023

How To Sell Ebooks Online

While the love for print books remains undeniable among avid readers, the rise of ebooks has changed how we consume and share information. Authors and creators have found new ways to reach readers and generate revenue by creating ebooks

From tips on how to make your ebooks sell to picking the right platforms and genres that work well, I’ll separate fact from fiction in this article on how to make a revenue from selling ebooks online

To get a headstart on how to design an ebook that catches eyes, browse our gallery of ebook templates and start customizing your ebook today. 


Click to jump ahead:

Tips to Grow Your Youtube Channel eBook Template

12 Tips on how to make your ebooks sell online 

For writers just starting out on their literary journey or with a budget, publishing ebooks are often more budget-friendly. However, selling an ebook without an established audience might feel like stepping into uncharted territory. 

Before you start discarding the idea of selling ebooks online, I’ve got you covered with these 12 tips to help you take your first step into the ebook market:

1. Choose the right niche

Selecting a niche that resonates with your target audience is a critical step in ebook creation. Research popular and trending topics within your expertise. Analyze audience interests, competition and potential demand. 

2. Create high-quality content

Your ebook content should be valuable, accurate and engaging. Thoroughly research your topic, provide actionable insights and present information in a clear and organized manner. Address your readers’ pain points and provide solutions that truly benefit them. The more value you offer, the more likely readers are to recommend and buy your ebooks.

3. Design a professional cover

Don’t judge a book by its cover? We all do! Your ebook cover design is a visual representation of your content’s quality. Hire a professional designer or use design tools to create an eye-catching cover that conveys the essence of your ebook. Colors, imagery and typography should align with your content’s tone and genre to attract potential buyers.

Your ebook cover aside, check out these inspiring ebook examples to get an idea of how you can enhance readability with a good design.


4. Leverage ebook publishing platforms

Utilize ebook publishing platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords or others that align with your goals. These platforms provide access to a massive online audience and streamline the distribution process. Follow their guidelines for formatting and metadata to ensure your ebook is well-presented to potential buyers.

5. Optimize pricing

Research similar ebooks in your niche to determine competitive pricing. Consider factors like length, value and your target audience’s willingness to pay.

6. Implement effective marketing strategies

Consistent and strategic promotion can significantly increase your ebook’s visibility. Some effective ebook marketing strategies include creating a professional website or landing page for your ebook and promoting it through social media, email marketing, guest blogging and collaborations with influencers. To quickly enhance your ebook’s visibility, consider using social media platforms such as Instagram to reach a wider audience. Utilizing strategies that allow you to get Instagram followers can effectively jumpstart your marketing campaign. 

Nonprofit Brand Style Guide Ebook Template

7. Collect and use reviews

Positive reviews build credibility and trust. Encourage readers to leave reviews on platforms like Amazon, Goodreads or your own website. Display these reviews prominently to showcase your ebook’s value and encourage new readers to make a purchase.

8. Offer value-added content

Enhance your ebook by including supplementary materials that complement the main content. These could be worksheets, templates, case studies or additional resources. Value-added content elevates the reader’s experience and justifies a higher price point.

9. Engage with readers

Establish a connection with your audience by responding to comments on social media, blog posts and emails. Create a sense of community around your ebook, making readers feel heard and valued.

Simple Social Media Marketing eBook Template

10. Diversify revenue streams

Explore opportunities to expand beyond direct ebook sales. Consider creating related products, such as audiobooks, online courses or exclusive memberships. This diversification not only increases your revenue but also caters to varying audience preferences.

11. Monitor sales and adapt

Regularly analyze your ebook’s sales data and performance metrics. Identify trends, understand what’s working and make necessary adjustments. Tweak and adapt as needed and your ebook will thrive in this ever-changing digital world.

12. Learn from successful authors

Study authors who have achieved success in ebook sales. Analyze their marketing strategies, engagement techniques and writing styles. Get inspired by their strategies, but remember, you’re the unique ingredient that makes your ebook sizzle.

Lastly, embrace consistency and patience. Remember, every reader you connect with is a step toward building a loyal audience that appreciates your content. 

That said, while quality content is crucial, aligning your content with the right audience and utilizing platforms that enhance visibility, credibility and user experience. Moving on, let’s talk about what are some of the platforms that can position your ebook for optimal reach and impact in the digital realm.

Blue eCommerce Lead Generation Ebook Template



6 steps to sell an ebook on your website

Platforms aside, are you also considering selling your ebooks on your website? If the answer is yes — you’re in for a savvy online business move. 

Self publishing ebooks on your website allows you to bypass third-party platforms that often take a significant cut of your earnings. You retain a higher percentage of each sale, translating to more revenue in your pocket. Here’s your playbook on how to sell an ebook directly from your website:

1. Create your ebook

Pour your expertise, creativity and knowledge into crafting an ebook that stands out. Write engaging content that resonates with your audience and format it to ensure readability and visual appeal. Remember, offering it in common digital formats like PDF, EPUB or MOBI ensures it’s accessible to a wide range of readers.

2. Choose an ecommerce solution

Choose an ecommerce platform that seamlessly integrates with your website. Consider options like WooCommerce (ideal for WordPress users), E-junkie or Gumroad that’ll provide the tools you need to manage transactions and digital deliveries effortlessly.

3. Set up your online store

Get your virtual store ready for business. Self published authors can follow the platform’s setup instructions to configure your store to your liking. Choose the right currency, establish shipping options (if applicable) and determine tax settings based on your location and legal requirements. This setup lays the foundation for a smooth customer experience. You can also convert your website into a mobile app and use another way to increase e-book sales.

4. Add your ebook product

It’s time to introduce your ebook to the world. Write a captivating title and description that entices potential buyers. Include an eye-catching cover image that gives a sneak peek into your ebook’s essence. Lastly, set a price that reflects your ebook’s worth and the value it brings to readers.

5. Enable secure digital delivery

Ensuring the secure delivery of your ebook is paramount. Configure your chosen ecommerce platform to trigger automatic digital delivery upon successful payment. Protect your content with digital downloads that generate secure links that expire after a specific time and use high-quality VPN auto-connect. This step safeguards your ebook and enhances the customer experience.

6. Design sales pages and buttons

It’s all about the pitch. Craft a sales page that’s irresistible – sizzling copy, visuals that pop, and benefits that make them nod in agreement. Add those ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Add to Cart’ buttons like VIP invitations to a party they won’t want to miss.

Additionally, building a self-sustaining platform sets the stage for long-term success. As your audience grows, your website becomes a hub for all your content, helping you establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field.

Magazine eBook Template

7 Best platforms to sell your ebooks online 

If you’re an ebook publisher, you’ll know that selling your ebook on the right platforms is more than a mere choice—it’s a strategic move that can significantly impact your reach, sales and overall success. When it comes to bringing your ebooks to the digital marketplace, these platforms offer a variety of avenues for success:

1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Amazon KDP

Amazon’s KDP is a powerhouse, granting access to an immense readership through its ebook store. Leverage its user-friendly interface to publish, promote and profit from your ebooks within a global marketplace.

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing allows free publishing and charges a royalty based on your ebook’s price. If you select the 35% royalty option, your royalty will be 35% of your list price without VAT for each unit sold.

Alternatively, if you choose the 70% royalty plan, your earnings will be 70% of your product’s price, excluding VAT. However, this will be reduced by delivery costs (usually around $0.06 per unit), which vary depending on the size of the file. This applies to each eligible book sold to customers in the 70% territories. For customers outside these territories, your earnings will be 35% of the price, excluding VAT.

2. Smashwords


Smashwords shines as a distribution champion. With a single upload, your ebook can be made available on significant platforms like Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and more. Its far-reaching distribution network maximizes your ebook’s visibility.

Smashbox distributes to major retailers, and you’ll receive 60% of the list price you set. For library sales, authors receive 45% of the price (libraries buy one copy, lend it multiple times, one at a time). Royalty percentages might vary depending on the country, retailer or VAT taxes.

3. Draft2Digital


Embrace ease with Draft2Digital. This platform streamlines your ebook’s distribution across major online stores, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo and others. Its intuitive tools help you sidestep technical roadblocks, allowing you to concentrate on your writing.

Draft2Digital doesn’t charge upfront fees for any of its services but instead charges around 10% of the price you establish for your book’s list price. That means most of the stores take about 30%, Draft2Digital takes about 10%, and you get to keep about 60% of the list price of your ebook.

4. Payhip


Customization and convenience go hand in hand with Payhip. Not only can you sell ebooks directly to your audience, but you can also tailor pricing and seamlessly integrate the platform into your website. 

Payhip charges a transaction fee per sale, starting at 5% per transaction. There’s also an option for a monthly subscription fee for higher-tier plans that require no transaction fee at all.

5. Gumroad


Gumroad goes beyond ebooks, catering to creators of various digital products. Alongside ebooks, you can sell memberships, music and art. This versatile platform opens doors to diversified income streams.

The platform charges a 10% fee per ebook online sale, excluding credit card processing and PayPal fees. There are no hidden charges, monthly payments or additional fees.

6. Lulu


Lulu stands as a comprehensive partner for authors. Beyond ebook distribution, it offers an array of publishing services. With Lulu, you’re not only releasing your ebook but also tapping into a supportive ecosystem.

Your ebook revenue may vary depending on the retail sites you choose for distribution. That’s because some places (like Lulu, Apple, and Barnes & Noble) act like sales agents – they sell your ebook at the price you set and then take a cut from that. 

Other places like Amazon or Kobo on the other hand are resellers. They buy your ebook at a fixed price from a middleman and can sell it at any price, even with discounts. With the reseller bunch, you’ll always earn what you see in the retail pricing step, no matter what they end up charging for your book.

7. BookBaby


Elevate your author journey with BookBaby’s comprehensive approach. Beyond distribution, this platform equips you with marketing tools and essential author services. It’s an encompassing solution for authors ready to make their mark.

BookBaby’s pricing depends on the services you require, such as ebook distribution, formatting, editing and cover design. Costs vary based on your package selection.

For eBooks priced from $2.99 to $9.99, the earnings structure is as follows:

  • 70% for sales in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland, United Kingdom (including Guernsey, Jersey, and Isle of Man) and the United States (after deducting an Amazon delivery fee based on book size).
  • 35% for sales in all other countries.

For eBooks priced below $2.99 and above $9.99, the earnings rate is a flat 35% of sales.

Each platform presents unique features, making it vital to align with the one that suits your vision and objectives. With these platforms at your disposal, your ebook’s potential for success knows no bounds.

5 Ebook genres that sell well online

Within the digital realm of ebooks, certain genres have undeniably captured the attention and preference of readers. Here are five genres that consistently demonstrate robust sales figures:

1. Romance

Love is always in the air in the ebook world — the romance genre remains an enduring favorite among readers. Whether it’s swooning over contemporary romance, getting lost in historical tales or diving into the mysterious world of paranormal romance, readers can’t get enough of heart-fluttering stories.

2. Mystery/thriller

Who doesn’t love a good suspense-filled page-turner? Mystery, thriller and crime fiction have readers on the edge of their digital seats, craving those spine-tingling twists and turns.

3. Business and money-making guides

The digital age has ushered in a surge of interest in entrepreneurship, finance and self-improvement. Ebooks that provide valuable insights into business strategies, financial acumen, bookkeeping side hustle, and pathways to personal growth are highly sought after by readers aiming to enhance their professional and financial trajectories.


4. Self-help and personal development

The quest for self-improvement remains a pervasive theme, prompting a consistent demand for self-help and personal development ebooks. These titles offer readers practical advice and actionable steps to enhance various facets of their lives, from health and wellness to productivity and overall well-being.

5. Health, fitness & dieting

The wellness wave is in full swing. Readers are diving into health, fitness and dieting ebooks to uncover the secrets of a balanced and healthy life.

Each of these genres taps into the unique advantages of ebooks, catering to readers’ preferences for convenience, variety and instant access. By exploring these popular genres and infusing your unique voice and perspective, you can position yourself for success in the dynamic world of digital publishing.

Branding Ebook Template

FAQs on selling ebooks online

What formats should my ebook be in?

Your ebook should ideally be available in formats such as PDF, EPUB and MOBI. These ebook formats ensure compatibility with a wide range of devices, from computers to e-readers and smartphones, making it easier for readers to access your content seamlessly.

Do I need to have a published physical book to sell an ebook?

No, having a physical book isn’t a requirement for selling ebooks. Ebooks are digital products that can be distributed and sold online without the need for printing or physical distribution.

How do I price my ebook?

Determining the price of your ebook involves researching similar ebooks in your genre, assessing the value you offer and considering your target audience’s willingness to pay. Balancing competitiveness with profitability is key to finding the right price point.

What type of ebook sells the most?

Genres like romance, mystery/thriller, business guides, self-help and health/fitness are popular choices for readers. These genres tend to have broad appeal and engage a wide range of audiences.

Do I need to have technical skills to sell ebooks?

While some technical familiarity can be advantageous when you sell ebooks online, it’s not a strict requirement. Many user-friendly ebook platforms provide straightforward tools for uploading, formatting and selling your ebook without extensive technical expertise.

Can you make money selling ebooks on Amazon?

Absolutely. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows authors to publish and sell their ebooks on the Amazon marketplace, earning royalties based on sales.

How do I receive payments for eBook sales?

Most ecommerce platforms offer multiple payment options, including PayPal, direct deposit or checks. These platforms handle payment processing, ensuring you receive your earnings conveniently.

How do I track the sales of my eBook?

Ecommerce platforms typically provide a dashboard or analytics section where you can track your ebook sales, monitor performance metrics, and gain insights into your audience’s preferences.

How to sell ebooks without writing them?

If you’re not a writer — you can always hire a ghostwriter to create the content for you. Alternatively, you can purchase Private Label Rights (PLR) content, which allows you to modify and sell pre-existing material.

How much money can you make selling ebooks online?

Earnings can vary widely based on factors like genre, marketing efforts and audience engagement. Successful authors have been known to generate substantial income, but results depend on various factors.

How to sell ebooks for free?

Platforms like Amazon KDP allow you to self-publish ebooks at no upfront cost. You earn royalties from each sale and there’s no initial investment required.

How to market your ebook?

Effective marketing involves leveraging social media platforms, email campaigns, guest blogging on relevant sites, collaborating with influencers and offering limited-time promotions. The goal is to create a buzz around your ebook, showcasing its value to potential readers.

Are ebooks profitable?

Yes, ebooks can be profitable, but success depends on factors such as quality of content, effective marketing, target audience, and pricing strategy. With lower production and distribution costs compared to traditional print books, ebooks have the potential to generate decent profits if properly executed.

How to create an ebook with Venngage

In the world of words and screens, the question on everyone’s mind is: Can ebooks truly be a money-making venture? The answer? Absolutely! Ebooks have shown time and again that they’re not just pages on a screen; they’re potential goldmines for authors, publishers and aspiring writers.

So, you’ve got something awesome to share and you’re ready to turn it into an ebook that catches everyone’s eye? Well, good news – Venngage has got your back! 

Venngage’s intuitive interface and user-friendly drag and drop editor enables you to craft professional-grade ebooks even if you’re not a design expert. Besides, with Venngage. not only you can build an ebook but also add interactive elements like links, buttons and embedded videos to create an interactive ebook.

Here’s the scoop on how to make your own killer ebook:

1. Sign up or log in: The first step is to create your account on Venngage if you don’t have one already. After signing up, log in to get started with crafting your ebook.

2. Pick a template: Browse through the diverse collection of ebook templates offered by Venngage. Choose a template that aligns with your ebook’s theme and style.

3. Personalize your template: Make the template your own by adding your unique touch. Rearrange elements, insert your brand’s colors and tweak the design to match your vision.

4. Add and adjust elements: Enhance your ebook’s visual appeal by incorporating various elements like text, images, icons and charts. Rearrange and resize these elements to achieve the desired layout.

5. Insert your content: Seamlessly integrate your ebook’s content into the template. Write or copy-paste your text, ensuring readability through well-structured headings and proper formatting.

6. Download and share: When you’re satisfied with your customized ebook, it’s time to share it with the world. Upgrade to a Premium or Business plan to download your preferred ebook format, such as PDF, and spread the word across different platforms. 

Don’t worry if you’re no design expert. With Venngage, you don’t need to be a design whiz to make a show-stopping ebook. So, grab those ideas, mix in a bit of creativity and get ready to rock your very own ebook like a pro!

About Krystle Wong

Everyday writer and a weekend baker, Krystle is a content marketer and brand strategist with experience in media, tech and SaaS.