At the end of 2015, I had a crazy idea. It was so crazy that I didn’t want to tell anyone (not even my husband!). It was so crazy that I knew that if I didn’t make it one of my goals for 2016, it wouldn’t happen. I would just let the idea float around in my head for months without doing anything about it.
What was this goal? To write and launch my own e-book.
I have always loved to write (hence this blog!), but I was overwhelmed by the thought of writing a book. What would I write about? How would I format it? How should I sell it? The questions seemed overwhelming! After all, who was I to try to write and sell a book? I was just a teacher, a mom, an ordinary person.
But, I am also a very stubborn person. Once I made the goal, I knew that I would follow-through–if only to prove to myself that I could! And so, my e-book, Seasons of the Faith was born.
I had no idea that this little e-book I was starting would become a source of income for my family. I didn’t know that it would earn hundreds of dollars in the first week alone! But, more importantly, I didn’t know that many people would read it and find help for their family’s spiritual lives. The absolute best part of the process is receiving e-mails from readers letting me know how much they appreciate the books and how excited they are to implement the ideas in their homes.
Now, I want to make something absolutely clear. I am just like you. I don’t have a degree in marketing. I am not a published author with dozens of titles under my belt. I struggle daily with technology. So, if I can write a successful e-book, so can you!
I relied heavily on several resources to help me write and launch the e-book. Today I want to share those resources with you so that you can start your own!
5 Must-Have Tools to Write and Launch a Successful (and Profitable!) E-book
1. Book Boss E-course by Abby Lawson
Book Boss is a fantastic course written and taught by Abby Lawson, of Just a Girl and Her Blog, that will help you create and launch a profitable e-book in 90 days. If you’ve ever thought about writing an e-book, this is absolutely the best resource available to help you. The course is self-paced and filled to the brim with useful information. In the course you will learn how to:
- choose a topic
- do market research on your topic
- price the e-book
- write the book
- build an e-mail list so that you can sell the product effectively
- promote the book
- create a launch sequence
- put sales on autopilot
- and more!
Abby and her husband Donnie know what they are talking about. They earn THOUSANDS of dollar each month from their own products. The course is a bit pricey, but completely worth it. I earned back the cost of the course on my first day of sales!
I truly believe that the only way you can write a profitable e-book is by having an engaged e-mail list. Your e-mail list is filled with people who already want to hear what you have to say–making them your best audience! I use an e-mail service called ConvertKit, and I absolutely love it. ConvertKit is much more than your typical e-mail service provider. It allows you to segment your list in order to find your ideal reader. ConvertKit also makes automations incredibly easy, allowing you to put your sales on autopilot.
For example, three months before I launched my e-book, I created a free e-mail course called Becoming a Family of Prayer: Orthodox Style. The course was designed to reach the target audience of my e-book–Orthodox moms who are committed to integrating their family life with the life of the Church. Through ConvertKit I was able to set up an automatic sequence that sends subscribers the e-mail series and segments them into a list. It was from that list that I have seen the most sales of my e-book. ConvertKit made what could be an overwhelmingly difficult marketing strategy into a simple, automated process that even a newbie like me could do!
3. Google Docs
One of my favorite tools to use is also free! Google Docs was an indispensable part of my writing process. First, I created a folder for my e-book. Then I created several sub-folders for various aspects of the process: graphics, rough draft, e-mails, letters to potential pre-readers, etc. Next, I made a new Google Doc for each chapter of my book. This allowed me to focus on each small piece, one at a time. Finally, once I had the entire book finished, I combined the documents and shared them easily with several pre-readers. I gave the pre-readers the ability to make comments on the book, which provided me with instant feedback and simplified the whole process.
Another benefit of using Google Docs is that my entire book (from rough draft to graphics and more) is web-based and cannot be lost. I don’t have to worry about a computer crashing and losing a month’s work! You seriously can’t beat a free resource that simplifies everything!
Gumroad is an “all-in-one solution to sell your work and grow your audience.” Basically, Gumroad is the shopping cart that handles all of the sales, purchases, and payouts for me. Once I had completed and formatted my e-book, I uploaded it to Gumroad. Then I linked this to my sales page as a “Buy Now” button for people to click on. When someone clicks on the link, they are taken to the Gumroad site specific to my book where they enter in their credit card information and make their payment. Gumroad then automatically e-mails them the final product. After setting up the initial link, I don’t have to do a thing!
One huge advantage to selling through my own site and Gumroad is that I can keep significantly more of the profits than if I sold through Amazon. When you sell an e-book through Amazon, you only get around 50% of the sale. When you sell through Gumroad, however, you get to keep much more! Gumroad charges a 3.5% transaction fee + 30 cents per product sold. In other words, on Amazon I’d only earn $5 for each of my $10 e-books sold. On Gumroad, I earn $9.30. That’s a huge difference!
5. Elite Blog Academy from Ruth Soukup
Finally, I learned everything I needed to know about creating my own audience and my own product through The Elite Blog Academy. The Elite Blog Academy (EBA) is the most comprehensive blogging course out there. It is taught by Ruth Soukup, the founder and writer of the Living Well, Spending Less blog. Ruth absolutely knows what she is talking about. In addition to running her own blog (from which she earns a full-time income) and teaching EBA, she has also written best-selling books and speaks at conferences around the country.
The Elite Blog Academy is by far the best investment that you can make to ensure your blogging success. Through the in-depth lessons, hand-outs, assignments, and the community forum, you will learn how to:
- write killer content
- organize your blog’s layout
- use Pinterest to grow your traffic
- monetize your blog
- work with brands
- create your own products
The unit on creating your own products is particularly helpful as you write your e-book. Elite Blog Academy only opens its doors once a year, but you can sign up here to get on the waiting list (and receive a free e-book that will help you increase your blog’s income!).
These 5 tools will help you launch your very own successful (and profitable!) e-book. And believe me, if I can do it, I know that you can, too. I’m rooting for you! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. I’d love to hear about your experiences!
Have you thought about writing your own e-book?
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