Surely many of you have heard the famous phrase of Jose Martí: “There are three things that each person should do during their life: plant a tree, have a child and write a book” and seen as three ways to transcend, I already fulfilled the The first two, and being a Baby Boomer generation, I must hurry to complete the third: write a book.
The information that I had from some occasions in which this idea crossed my mind, was that it was a long-term task and that it required skill and talent as a writer, for a publisher to be interested in publishing it.
If your writing was accepted, the costs of proofreading, editing, production, promotion and sale, meant that after months of work, in most cases, the return on investment of the time and expense invested, was minimal.
In recent months, due to covid19, I have been going online to explore business opportunities and I have found a world of possibilities and facilities, which have lowered the barrier of entry to whom wants to publish a book.
The purpose of this article is to inform you, what an ebook is, its most common modalities, the advantages that the digital format has incorporated, the impact on figures of these changes, and as a result, encourage you to take the step of writing your book.
What is an Ebook?
Ebook is short for electronic book. It is a book in digital format that is offered to the user through a download on the internet, free or paid.
There are two types of ebook:
- Printed books that are converted to digital format to take advantage of this market and offer it at a lower price or improve profit margin.
- Self-published books by their authors, in digital format, which rely on resources, specialists and sales platforms available on the Internet
In this article I will focus on the second type of ebooks, that is the proposal for someone who wants to share, in this format, knowledge and experience about their profession, their hobbies or activities of any kind, or also express their literary creativity.
Types of Ebook According to Their Purpose
An ebook currently has an interesting variety of applications that should be considered when thinking about writing our book.
Here are some of the most common:
A. Ebooks for sale, on very different topics focused on turning the publication of books into a source of passive income if the acceptance of an interesting number of readers is achieved. Thousands of books have been published with good sales results, ranging from 50 to 120 pages or more in length.
These are categories of ebooks that Amazon offers to its millions of readers:
- Science fiction & fantasy
- Mystery, thriller & suspense
- Teen & young adult ebooks
- Politics & social sciences
- Biographies & memoirs
- Health, fitness & dieting
B. Ebooks as part of a business strategy, serving different purposes:
• Ebooks to position yourself in a market, as an authority or specialist in a specific subject and to create a personal brand.
The extension of these ebooks is short, 6 to 20 pages usually and generally free. What matters to the author is that many people interested in the subject read it and that his name begins to sound.
• Ebooks to build a sales funnel, by obtaining emails to be able to send frequently to readers interested in the topic, information, products or professional service proposals. Its extension can also be short from 6 to 20 pages, although there are fewer or more pages.
• Paid ebooks, about your professional knowledge area that can be complete guides, with practical exercises, formats, videos or audios, with a greater extension, from 50 to 100 pages or more, that constitute an escalation or the culmination of the marketing process developed in the previous stages. These ebooks can be sold at different prices depending on the sales strategy.
15 Advantages of The Self-Published Ebook
Here are some of the advantages of the ebook, which have opened the possibilities of writing for any author who has something to say or share, through a book:
- The intervention of a publishing company is no longer essential to publish your book. You can carry out the whole process by relying on the guides and tools available on the internet, which people who have already done, provide and recommend you.
- Ebooks have a greater number of design and content resources, such as the incorporation of infographics, photos, videos or audios accessible to your reader from the ebook.
- There are numerous specialists who can support you in the design, proofreading, editing, and presentation of your book, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on these steps.
- You can publish and sell your books through the largest bookstore in the world, Amazon, which offers you specific systems to do it (KDP).
- There are other distribution and sales platforms, aimed at beginners who distribute your book globally in an economically convenient way.
- Royalties are higher, two or three times what is paid in the printed industry.
- You do not require inventories or storage warehouses.
- You have no shipping costs.
- Your book is on sale globally, in 24 or 48 hours. after delivered.
- Your book never runs out in bookstores. the problem of miscalculations in the distribution or failures or delays in the refill is eliminated.
- Readers can buy your book at any time and from anywhere, from their home, their office, the cafeteria, their resting place, traveling, etc. through your smartphone, your laptop or your pc or your reading device.
- Your readers can print all or part of your book, if they wish, for another purpose.
- As an author, you can manage the price, as appropriate, whether you want to gain volume, make yourself known or increase your profit margin.
- You can sell it as a print-on-demand book. Whoever wants to have your book printed as a physical book, can purchase it on request.
- Your ebook may be of interest to large publishing companies, if it is successful in digital format. There are cases of writers who started in digital format and, given their success, were sought out by publishing houses to offer them a contract and print and distribute their books.
The Self-Published Ebook, in Figures
The result of the facilities that the internet has opened up for all the people who have proposed to write a book, can be seen in the following figures:
- It is estimated that there are around 500,000 authors who have self-published at least one book.
- A recent study by Statista reports that the electronic book market will reach $ 16,647 million in 2020 with an annual growth rate of 4.2% in the next 4 years.
- It is estimated that, of the total sale of books, the ebook represents 19% in US dollars and 36% in units, due to their lower price and the fact that in many cases they are sold for less than $ 1.
- Bookstat’s measurement of book sales in units shows the importance of self-published books.
- Some research estimates that about 89 million Americans are active e-book readers.
- There are more than 90.5 million electronic reading devices in the US.
- Readers by age are distributed in a balanced way, 34% between 18-29, 31% between 30-49 and 35% from 50 and over.
- Amazon estimates that it sells 83% of e-books in the US.
- The royalties paid by Amazon in its KDP system are 70% on book sales with a price between 2.99 and 9.99, and 35% on prices above this range.
- Thousands of freelance authors who self-publish their books with KDP earned more than $ 50,000 from selling their books on Amazon, with more than a thousand spending $ 100,000 in royalties. (Kindle, One Year Review. Dec 2019).
Write for Pleasure? by Business? or by Both
Writing is an activity that can bring many benefits to those who practice it. Sharing what is known, through a book, can give us the pleasure of giving and in the process of doing so, it can produce different results such as becoming aware of what we know and of the multiple and varied experiences that we have lived and discovering. that it could be very fascinating to write about and very interesting to other people.
Writing can be the center, the beginning or the complement of a business project. We can turn it into an activity to live, if we discover that we have the facility, the imagination and the taste to do it; We can make it a cover letter of our professional experience, which makes us known and positions us as an authority in the professional area that we dominate, and it can also be part of a strategy to create our list of prospects, interested in the subject , to whom to give a course, sell conferences, or consulting or coaching services.
In the circumstances that we are living in the confinement, perhaps we have realized that there are spaces of time that we do not know how to fill because the initially attractive activities have lost interest. Writing can be a stimulating activity, occupying our time productively, activating our minds, exercising our intellectual resources, and producing pleasant and helpful writing for many people.
I Want To Write My Book, Where Do I Start?
Ebook, is the greatest opportunity to write your first book! As I proposed at the beginning of this article, my purpose is to give a very general overview of the facilities found on the net for those who want to write a book in order to encourage them to do so. Writing a book and self-publishing it implies knowledge, techniques and detailed information that is available on the internet and presenting it in this work would be cumbersome for the reader, so I invite those who wish to write it, to get involved in the process to better plan their project and carry out a first experience in an acceptable and satisfactory manner.
Some questions that anyone who wants to write their first book can ask themselves are: where do I start? How do I determine the topic? What structure do I give it? How long will it take me to write it? What tools can I use? What specialists can support me and where do I find them? And, once the writing is finished, how do I publish it on a sales platform and how do I promote it in the market?
There are countless articles and sites where you can find different answers to some of the previous questions; for my part, I give you two references of professionals who have successfully traveled this path, one with a focus on living from the publication of books and the other as part of a broader project to support entrepreneurs. They both cover the whole process and can give you a very good guide to get started.
I start by suggesting Published, a very sold and widely recognized book in the medium, that encourages those who want to write, to write it without looking for the perfect product to publish it.
It takes you from “Looking for Why? Until “Free- plus Shipping Launch Strategy”, goingthrough “The 30-day Writing Challenge” and states that if you believe and trust their90 day approach to writing, promoting and publishing your book, there’s nothing that can stop you.
Regardless of the fact that few people achieve these results and that the required time dedication may be greater, their experience shows that it is possible to do it and they want the new writer to jump into the water and try. Chandler Bolt also founded a school for authors who want to self-publish, self-publishingschool.com, where he teaches his methodology and accompanies people interested in writing.
On the other hand, I recommend the “SPI Comprehensive Guide to Writing and Publishing your book” by Pat Flynn, founder of SPI smartpassiveincome.com and an excellent professional committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by offering quality services and products to achieve it. In this guide, he shares his experience in publishing his book Will it Fly? taking steps by step to who wants to write, from “How to Start Writing Your Book For Publishing” to, “Take Your Book Publishing to The Next Level” through “14 Tips for Writing and Self-Publishing Your Book”.
It is a very useful guide with the necessary detail to take the author from scratch to the publication of the book. In which Pat shares the tools that were most helpful to him in the process and his advice on the type of specialized external supports he used to bring his book to the desired result.
The digital era has lowered the entry barrier to this exclusive area, until a year ago only for professional writers and publishing companies, by providing the facilities for an author to publish his book autonomously, relying on tools, specialized services and digital sales platforms, available on the net.
The characteristics of ebooks have many advantages that reduce the difficulties to publish, promote and sell a book and are a very convenient alternative to the printed book. The situation of confinement due to Covid 19 has shown the practicality of its characteristics, dramatically increasing the purchase of digital books.
The numbers of readers and the market value in dollars and in units show the importance that this option has acquired, and the existence of half a million authors who self-publish their books is an indicator of the number of people who have crossed that door.
The facilities that the ebook has opened for the authors, does not relieve them of doing a dedicated and professional work, which requires learning, dedicated time and effort, but we have tools like they have never existed in history and professionals willing to guide and accompany to those who want to take advantage of these favorable circumstances to share, in a book, their experiences, their knowledge or their literary creativity.
I sincerely hope that if you have experiences and knowledge to share, you will take the step of writing your book!
If you have thought about writing a book and have not done so until now, please tell me if the content of this article has encouraged you to consider your idea and take the steps to carry it out, or what questions you need to resolve to do so. I will be happy to assist you.