How to Sell an eBook. A Guide to Making The Sales.

Making an eBook these days is quite simple. Selling it however is where the real difficulty lies and as someone who has seen the successful side of doing this as well as the failed side, I will share with you the lessons I learned, and in particular 5 different methods you too can use to make your sales explode.

how to sell an ebook guide

I actually wrote about this 2 years before and since then I have experienced a lot of new tips I want to share with you to increase the sales. Though I still have a lot of the same advice to offer in this article as in the previous one, I would recommend you ideally read both of them to get the full benefit on this subject.

If you want to see the old article, check it out here.

Before I mention them, let me share a quick, sad and yet eye opening story on this subject and how it actually ended up helping me write this guide to help prevent failure for myself and others…

How my first attempt to sell an eBook failed badly…

A very long time ago when I first got involved with selling stuff online, my first big project actually involved creating and selling an eBook.

At the time, I actually made 2 of them, both of which had nearly 100 pages of content between them. I won’t go into detail about how long it took to write that or the stress that went into it, but let’s just say it wasn’t an easy thing to accomplish, and yet I made it happen. 

However, when I put it up for sale, not only did I make a huge mistake of putting it up in the wrong site, but in the process of doing so, I actually ended up making 1 measly sale out of it. All of that work went to nothing. 

To date, this still stands as one of my biggest (and first) failures in attempting to make money online and at the same though it was one of the most important lessons I learned about what NOT to do. From the “ashes” of this failure, I picked myself back up, got back to work and started anew (more about me).

13 years later, I have learned to make sales through various networks on the internet and I know how to sell stuff, particularly eBooks (Want to see how much I made online?

The following 5 methods I will share with you are going to show you the best areas to sell yours. I’m basically giving you the same formula I have followed and/or would if I was doing it…

2 very important lessons I learned about selling eBooks:

Lesson 1: 

If this is your first time writing and selling online and you have NO brand awareness, no one knows your name and you are basically starting with nothing, make sure you write an eBook that talks about a solution to a niche problem and more importantly, a problem you personally have had and fixed (this is a great way to not just make an eBook that will sell, but it’s also a great way to make money online, as I explain here). 

Let’s say you had a particular illness or health issue (keep it specific) and solved it.

Write about this subject, the problem you had regarding it and exactly how you solved it. I’ll bet you there’s enough people who have the same issue and need that solution you have to give. Selling solutions to big problems, especially evergreen niche problems is one of the best ways to make the sales happen people.

If you want some examples of popular topics to write an eBook on, here you go:

Lesson 2: 

It is absolutely IDEAL if you have marketing and PR work done BEFORE you even put the eBook up for sale.

If you have an email list of people who know you and want to buy from you, if you have a website with a following of people who enjoy your content, if you have affiliates ready to promote your stuff, this will undoubtedly boost your sales and make them skyrocket once you release the eBook and this is the 5 methods I’ll show you below will include this lesson within them.

Let’s get to the 5 methods and places to sell your eBook on:

Note: I’m going to be brief with each method so if you want me to go into greater detail on one of the methods which interests you, let me know in the comments below and I will write a separate article on it, giving more precise instructions.

Method 1: Amazon.

While this is the biggest network to sell pretty much anything through, it is one I have the least experience with. However, I have made a lot of sales on Amazon as it’s affiliate so I have a lot of  experience with the subject of selling stuff on it.

If you’re going to use this option, I would honestly recommend growing brand awareness through the method I will describe below and some of the others, collecting leads through an email list, then when you put up your eBook on sale on Amazon, to let the leads know about it, so they can buy it, which would boost up the sales figures and thus allow it to show up on the different subject categories within the Amazon site so you can get more exposure.

From what you may know about Amazon, it divides it’s products, whatever they are into different subjects, and those subjects often get divided into their own topics as well.

Let me explain:

If you’re selling an eBook on a specific diet, here is how the Amazon system would probably categorize it:

Books (biggest sales)–>Weight loss (a lot of sales)–>Diets (good amount of sales).

If you are going to make a lot of sales, you need to know that the last option on that list (diets) is the one you will want the most sales on. If you do, then your eBook will be shown as a “best seller” for anyone who visits the diets page on Amazon but to reach the best seller list, you first need to make the necessary sales to reach it, hence the suggestion of using the other methods to initially boost up the sales to reach it.

Then, if that makes enough sales, then your eBook will also appear as a best seller on the weight loss category, one which is actually more popular than diets and this will provide more exposure and sales.

That will lead into the next section before it (if you’re fortunate enough to get that far). This is actually how a lot of “best selling” authors reach these levels of sales.

A lot of people fail to reach success on Amazon and make the desired sales they wish because they do not know about this stuff, so I’m telling you right now, that brand awareness and having sales on Amazon will actually have to come from OUTSIDE from Amazon, to boost it up enough to make sales INSIDE of Amazon.

Method 2: Sell it on a website (I recommend WordPress):

Out of all the methods I will mention here, by far, this is the one that is most familiar to me and the one I’ve made most of my sales through.

A website is one of the best headquarters for sales, building your brand, having a lot of people visit it and buy from you. Imagine having a website that gets 500 visitors a day and sells your product there for $5. Even if 10 people a day buy it, that’s $50 made each and every day for selling something you hardly invested any money into.

While a lot of work and effort will go into creating the website and building it up, know that it is one of the more stable ways to approach this topic and one that I can tell you works VERY well.

While in addition to the eBook itself, you will have to write content for your website, as long as you make it niche specific and take the time to build it up, it will pay you back many times over:

Method 3: Clickbank.

I love Clickbank and have had enough experience on it personally to know that if you create a good enough product (eBook in this case), offer a good enough compensation, that you can make sales quite effortlessly, often times without even having to worry about the other methods on this list.

Clickbank is a program in which you can either put up a product to be sold by affiliate and/or be an affiliate yourself. I’ve been on both ends during my many years in the business and can tell you a few things:

If you put up a good product, with a decent sales page, price it reasonably and offer affiliates a high commission to sell it, then they’ll do it. 

It is a growing process and it will take some months to reach that level, but as more affiliates come in to promote the eBook, the sales will grow, this will show up on you Clickbank vendor page and it will attract more people to do it.

Affiliates promote other people’s products when there’s enough incentive for them to do so.

Like I said before:

Having a good eBook, a high converting sales page (a website which sells it), and a good compensation (give affiliates at least 75% of the product’s worth) will really help make this all work.

Method 4: YouTube.

Think of method 1 with a website, but just replace it with making YouTube videos and marketing it through that.

You can make videos on your niche subject, grow a following there without having to invest in a website or other tools and give a link to your checkout page or your Amazon page which sells the eBook.

Again, you really need to target a niche if you’re going to start as YouTube channel as these things are what help it grow. Topics on dating, health related things are usually good go to subjects to consider as they can amass a large amount of views and thus clicks to your link in the video description to buy the product. 

Oh and if the 5 niche ideas above weren’t enough, would you like to see 100 more niches

Method 5: Mix the methods together people!

There should be no reason why you shouldn’t want to mix up the methods to attract more audiences and visitors to your site, YouTube channel, Amazon page, whatever the case may be.

Each of these networks I’ve listed on their own can be excellent sources of traffic, sales and growing your name and brand, but mixing them together can really make the best difference.

Now it is important to note that while it is wise to mix these options together, it is also wise not to spread your time around each method unnecessarily. If one of the methods works best for you, you should keep putting in the most time into that.

But at the same time though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing things like this:

  • Having a website which promotes your eBook.
  • Having an Amazon page which sells it.
  • Having a YouTube channel with videos that sells it.
  • Having an affiliate page via Clickbank to give affiliates a chance to handle the sales for you and again, in this post on selling eBooks, it’s one of the strategies I suggested.

A final lesson on this subject before you move forward:

Do not expect that by just putting up your eBook on sale, wherever it may be that it will be enough to have it make you a good income. This expectation of your product going viral on it’s own is an extremely rare occurrence and one which you cannot rely on. I did and you know how it went for me.

You need to market your own product and/or have others who know how to market do it for you, hence the methods I mentioned. This will really increase the chances of you making a lot of sales and making the dream come true of becoming popular and successful. To make it all work, I have one final suggestion:

As I said before, if you have ANY questions on this subject, any of the methods, please let me know!

12 thoughts on “How to Sell an eBook. A Guide to Making The Sales.”

  1. Hi there Vitaliy,

    Great article and thanks for sharing it with us all. What are your thoughts in regards to creating free eBooks to give away to your readers but having them monetized by means of contextual links to affiliate products that are relevant to the eBooks topic?

    There is of course the potential to make more money than the actual price of the book this way.

    • Yes this is also VERY doable Derek and I’ve personally done this before. I’ve given away free eBooks, provided a lot of content within them, but had one or two recommendations (affiliate links) within the text of it. This can work very well and it can make the initial person who would otherwise not buy the eBook, get it for free and be more open to buy the recommendations inside the free eBook.

  2. This was an excellent and informative read. Selling an eBook is something that I wanted to do but I haven’t figured out what kind of eBook I’m going to do just yet. Either way, it’ll be a fun project for me to do down the road. Thanks for the great write up mate 🙂

  3. You’re right. Selling an eBook can be harder than creating it in the first place. Well selling a few copies is ok, but really I need to be selling a lot more.

    I’m going to look at all your suggestions. And then I’ll probably mix them together as you suggest at the end.

    What topics do you write about? I know you talked about doing books for niches but do you do some for fun as well?

    Thanks for this article!

    • I honestly focus on the niche eBooks and I actually have fun writing about them because it’s within topics I know a lot about so it works out 🙂

  4. Thanks for these great tips. To be honest I’ve always seen an eBook as a free giveaway rather than an actual product to sell, but after reading this, it makes me want to go out and try to sell one.

    Out of these methods would you say having a website/YouTube channel and putting it on Clickbank combined would make you the most sales, or does it depend from one person to the next?

    • Free eBooks are indeed a popular thing to give away Michael, but it depends on the niche market and what makes them buy in the end. As for your question on what the best method is, it really depends man…

      While having a website, a YT channel and even being a vendor on Clickbank with a product can indeed provide a lot of income, there’s so many other factors which would determine if that would be the best course of action, such as the niche, the product you are offering, what the price of that product is and where the best place to sell it on is.

      If I am selling a $10 eBook, I will probably not put it up on Clickbank as it would not attract too many affiliates to promote it due to the commission being low for them, but it would be better for me to put it up on Amazon or even sell it on my site directly. The success of those circumstances would again come down to the niche and what I have to offer, as well as the traffic I am getting to sell that product to people.

  5. Actually selling books on a website a good idea. 50 dollars per day is not bad at all. However you said that I need 500 visitors. How long does it take to reach 500 visitors? I will use SEO and also think of creating fan pages. Can I do this in a year?

    • I was just giving a hypothetical example Furkan. You don’t really need 500 visitors, but it is ideally better to have more visitors than less. As for how long it would take, well I mean that would be dependent on your niche topic and how often you write articles that get traffic. I would be better able to answer that, but considering you have it right, it would take under a year to do. 

  6. Hey there Vitaliy,

    I just got started with creating an eBook and I’m almost done. I was trying to learn the ways to make more sales beforehand so that I wouldn’t get stuck when I am done.

    I was asking, if I use the YouTube approach, I would have to own a channel and have to promote it as well, right? Or are there other great ways you can get quick YouTube traffic?

    • Well the only way is to indeed have your own videos and channel Dave if you’re going the YouTube route. What is the subject of your eBook and what is it’s niche audience? You have to ask that first, because not every niche topic is good to make YouTube videos on. But if it is, then find popular keywords, make as many videos as you can and link it back to your page where you sell the eBook, that would be my advice.


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