Ebooks Let You Publish and Make Money from Your Novels
Ebooks have now evolved to the extent that they are now an excellent way for people with a modicum of writing ability to make money online and control their own destiny.
If you can use a computer and type then you can write your own ebook and publish it on sites such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It can be either a work of fiction or a non-fiction "how to" type of book, or anything you like. The beauty of ebooks is that writers no longer need publishers and because of ebook readers such as the Kindle and the Nook, people can read your books without a computer, on a device that looks very much like a book.
The Kindle has changed the face of publishing to such an extent that Amazon now sells more ebooks than it does print books and Barnes and Noble has said that there revenue from the Nook and ebooks has surged by 140% and they expect to make $1.8 billion in 2011 in the ebook sector. "Pure" bookstores such as Borders on the other hand are going out of business.
This means that for enterprising souls this is a very good time to start publishing ebooks online. If you have an idea for a novel or a "how to" book you just have to put in some effort to actually write it, then format it for the Kindle as instructed on Amazon (very easy) and hey presto you have your very own ebook that people can download for a small price.
The low prices of ebooks should not put you off. An author of a print book in the USA receives a commission of 17.5% of the sale price, in the "old world" that commission is even smaller at less than 10% usually. Ebooks on Amazon priced at $2.99 provide the author with a commission of 70% which is a lot more profitable for the writer.
Writers of ebooks say that you shouldn't price your ebook too high, particularly if it is a novel. The prices they suggest are $2.99 or $0.99. $0.99 is a good idea if you are a new writer or if your ebook is the first in a series, as it allows people to try your work for a very low price and if it is good they will come back for the second book in the series.
But can you make it as a total unknown in the brave new ebook world? The answer to that appears to be yes. There are plenty of authors and wannabe authors who have taken the plunge and who are making very decent money.
The best-known of these is J A Konrath - an established author of thriller, mystery and horror novels - who decided to move to publishing his own ebooks and has never looked back - he says that last March he made $68,000 selling his ebooks !
His first 12 years as a writer were spent collecting rejection slips from publishers until finally one agreed to publish his debut novel "Whiskey Sour" (actually nine other debut novels had already been rejected), thus underlining the dependence of authors on publishers.
Ebooks and ebook readers have finally freed writers from the restrictions and control of publishers and have given them direct access to their readers, thus causing a seismic shift in the relationship between publishers and their long-suffering writers.
Many ebook writers also like to publish their numbers (much like bloggers). J A Konrath says that despite not getting a single advance for any of his self-published ebooks, he is getting rich. "Ebooks" he says "are forever. If an ebook sells 5 copies one month it may sell 5,000 the next. ... When I publish an ebook, someday my grandchildren will be making money from it." His sales are now over 30,000 ebooks a month.
Another well-known ebook writer, who sells even more than J A Konrath, is Amanda Hocking. She decided to self-publish after trying the traditional publishing route for many many years with no success. She started publishing her books herself in ebook form in April 2010 and three months later in July she was making $6,000 a month. She quit her day job and became a full-time writer. Since then, a publishing firm has signed a $2 million contract with her. In 2 just over a year she went from nowhere to millionaire !
Amanda Hocking ebooks are "paranormal romance for young adults" and are generally priced from $0.99 to $2.99 . There appears to be lots of romance and fantasy ebooks being written by many authors but the market seems to be vast.
How did her Amanda Hocking's ebooks get to be best-sellers ? The truth is that she doesn't know. She just wrote them and published them on Amazon. She says she did very little marketing, but they were at one point reviewed by a number of "book bloggers" which seemed to help sales along.
Other successful ebook writers include :- H P Mallory, paranormal romances; Michael J Sullivan epic fantasy novels; Bella Andre romance ebooks; Blake Crouch, thrillers; C S Marks, fantasy novels, B V Larson, science fiction; Selena Kitt, erotic romance. They all sell many thousands of copies each month.
Writing ebooks is not a guarantee of riches of course, there are apparently some people who write ebooks that don't sell too well, but you have little to lose by giving it a try. Just some of your time. Amanda Hocking says she writes a book in about 3 weeks and initially she did very little marketing. But to my mind, thanks to the Kindle and other ebook readers, there has never been a better time to self-publish your novels.