Imagine this scenario, you are on vacation and want to read a book you heard is amazing, according to your friends. Except, your vacation is on some pretty island where they don’t have a bookstore with an abundance of books. What to do?
In today’s world, everything seems to be electronic: from money to information, to shopping, and even books. It’s no wonder that, even on vacation on a remote island, you’ll be able to get the book you want in just a few seconds. All you need is access to the internet and a device to read it on. This is the wonder of eBooks.
But what exactly defines an eBook and how it came to be? Most importantly, how could you, an aspiring writer or publisher, make money out of it? Read on and we’ll explain.
What are eBooks and what’s their history?
Are all documents that can be read online or on an electronic device, eBooks? The answer is not as easy as it seems. And when did the whole eBook mania come to be?
Let’s start with the beginning. And the beginning is not as recent as you might think.
Brief History of the eBook
The first idea of an electronic book came to life from the mind of a writer, Bob Brown. In 1930, he watched a movie on a screen and thought to himself how wonderful it would be if a book could be read on a screen anywhere, anytime. Revolutionary, no?
In 1949 Angela Ruiz Robles, a Spanish teacher, conceived a device that resembled an eBook. It was called Enciclopedia Mecanica, and it had printed text in cylinders that were activated through compressed air. It was the first mechanical device of a book.
Until 1960 there were a few more attempts at making literature remain on anything than a book, but historians attribute the first eBook to Michael S. Hart. He was a student at the University of Illinois that was inspired to transcribe the Declaration of Independence to a computer document and then uploaded it on ARPAnet (an ancestor of the Internet). The file was, then, downloaded by some people, and it is presently known as the first book on an electronic device.
What is an eBook?
But what is the modern definition of an eBook?
Well, the dictionary says that an eBook is “a book in digital form”.
This kind of book also needs to have several characteristics to be called an eBook. For example, it needs to be readable on a tablet, an electronic device you can hold, or a computer. It cannot be editable, so the format in which an eBook is presented ensures the content cannot be altered. Another characteristic is the way it fits the page on every device you download it to. Whether you read the book on your phone, tablet, or computer, the way it shows has to match the device.
The eBooks selling industries in numbers
We now know when the eBook was invented, and what exactly is an eBook, but are they that popular?
Well, according to research, in 2020 the eBook market value was 18.12 billion dollars and the estimations are that it will rise by about 4.9% until 2032.
These numbers show just how much people read on electronic devices.
The way these devices are built and the easy way of purchasing eBooks only makes it easier for literature consumers to buy them and read them at a fast pace.
So if you want to sell eBooks this is the perfect moment to start.
About selling eBooks
If you are an author and want to know how to sell eBooks online or a publisher that wants to begin to purchase eBooks that sell, you might want to consider the pros and cons of this.
The cons would be that there are plenty of sellers out there and the competition is fierce.
But the pros outweigh the cons.
– eBooks are easy to handle and don’t need physical space, for example, a built-in library.
– They save money because you don’t need to print them, and that is expensive.
– This brings us to the third benefit, they are environmentally friendly.
– You can publish them yourself, no need to get a publisher, and advertising them is easy.
– It doesn’t matter whether you are an author or publisher, it’s easy to sell books online rather than negotiating space in an actual bookstore.
– Reading them on a device allows the reader to change fonts, and the intensity of light, read them at night, and everywhere as long as you have a charged device.
– You can search for them with just a click of a button and instantly download them.
When you consider all the benefits of an electronic book, you could easily see why selling eBooks online is a great business venture.
Where to sell eBooks?
And this is the part where you’ll find out how we can help you accomplish your dream of selling eBooks and find out where to sell eBooks.
As an eCommerce business, we know just the right place for businesses to grow into their potential and cultivate interest.
Now that you have answered the question of how to sell eBooks the next step is finding out where to do that.
There are several options: sell eBooks at different online bookstores, sell them on self-published websites, sell eBooks on several platforms, and last, but not least, sell them on your website.
We’ll explore each option a bit to understand which one suits your needs better.
1. Sell eBooks in bookstores online
Some online bookstores will be of service when selling eBooks.
These are some of the most known and appreciated eBooks online bookstores: eBooks.com, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Harlequin, Blackwell’s, and Hive.
Keep in mind that selling eBooks in bookstores comes with the usual commission, the hassle with reviewing the content to fit their requests, and the format, which should be in a certain way.
2. Sell eBooks on self-publishing platforms
Self-publishing platforms are a great way of selling your eBooks whether you are a rising author or a recognized one. Even publishing houses will sell books on these platforms.
They already have a vast database of customers, the procedure is well-described and easy to follow.
Selling on these platforms will require the books to be formatted in either .epub, .mobi, or .pdf. Also, there’s a commission you’ll need to pay to publish or sell there.
The most known platforms are Amazon, Smashwords, Publishdrive, and Apple Books for authors.
Apple and Google Play are the most known platforms for downloading eBooks directly on mobile. So, you could try and sell your eBooks there.
Be prepared to pay a commission from royalties and follow some of their rules for popularity. But in the end, these two platforms are great for selling books.
4. Sell eBooks on your website
Although implementing a way of selling eBooks on your website might seem like a hassle, when working with the right team, things are pretty easy.
You control what type of book to upload, control how to present it, and present the information in such a manner that the book will sell. You will also keep all the earnings from selling the book. So, it is a pretty good place to start, and we’ll tell you more about how to design the perfect website for eBook-selling needs.
How to sell ebooks on your website?
If you decide to sell eBooks on your website, know that several platforms already have plugins and add-ons for this type of eCommerce store.
At Ecomitize we have experience with amazing platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Magento, and we know which one will help you maximize your profits and benefits on an eBook store.
Design and functionality are the main aspects of an eCommerce website that will host eBooks, so we’ll make sure that everything is just right before getting started.
You’ll need to consider several aspects if you’ll want to sell eBooks on Shopify or any other type of eCommerce platform:
– Make sure your eBook is in the right format for selling and downloading on different electronic devices. Convert it to the most used formats – pdf, epub, or mobi.
– If you are a publishing house with a store attached to your website, make sure to put down categories of eBooks for better searching options.
– Don’t forget to write a blurb for each book and make the content compelling and interesting.
– Make sure people know where to download the eBook from, how to pay for it, and how to get it.
– Implement security certificates and work with secure payment processors, so the integrations we do are useful.
– Set up the right prices if you are an author.
– Promote your website through various channels.
How to promote the website and the eBook?
The first thing you could do is open a social media page on the most used platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Before releasing the eBook or the website, make waves. Start talking about it in various community groups, release excerpts and urge people to subscribe to your newsletters, offer discounts for pre-orders, and create flash sales and giveaways.
Use SEO content on your website to reach the first page in Google.
Use paid advertising on social media and Google to raise traffic on your website.
If you love books and writing and want to become an author or a publisher, this is the way to do it. Selling eBooks nowadays is not that hard if you do it properly and have a team of people that can help you with every step.
At Ecomitize we have what it takes to help you achieve your dream. Let’s connect and begin your journey.