The rise of ebooks has opened up new opportunities for authors and aspiring writers to generate passive income. Passive income refers to money earned from a business or investment that requires little effort to maintain. As much as I love the feel and the smell of physical books (there is something magical in reading a physical book), ebooks are more environmentally and wallet-friendly.
In the case of ebooks, publishing one can provide a stream of passive income for the author. In this essay, I will explore how publishing an ebook can earn passive income for you as it did for me.
Easy to Publish
ebooks are easy to publish. Unlike traditional publishing, which involves finding a literary agent and a publisher, self-publishing an ebook can be done with just a few clicks. Numerous platforms, such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Apple’s iBooks Author, allow authors to upload their books and sell them directly to readers. This means an author can publish their ebook without upfront costs or investments.
But (disclaimer here), a good book that sells need editor, proofreader and an attractive cover to sell. On top, you are likely need to hire a marketer to help you to get the word out there about your book. All these will not come free.
Moreover, ebooks can be updated easily. Unlike traditional books, which require a reprint, ebooks can be updated with just a few clicks. This means that an author can make revisions and improvements to their book without incurring additional costs. Moreover, updates can help keep the book relevant and attractive to readers, leading to increased sales and revenue.
ebooks have a global audience. Anyone from anywhere in the world can purchase an ebook on the internet. This means that an ebook has the potential to reach a wider audience than a traditional book.
Moreover, ebooks are easily accessible on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. This accessibility makes ebooks an attractive option for readers who want to read on the go.
Thirdly, ebooks offer higher royalties than traditional publishing. In traditional publishing, authors typically receive royalties of 10% to 15% of the book’s sale price. In contrast, ebook royalties can range from 35% to 70% of the sale price, depending on the platform used. This means that an author can earn a larger share of the profits from their book sales.
ebooks can have a longer shelf life than traditional books. In traditional publishing, books are often pulled from shelves after a few months if they don’t sell well.
In contrast, ebooks can remain available for purchase indefinitely, meaning that an ebook can continue to earn income for the author long after publication.
A List of Popular eBook Platforms
There are numerous ebook platforms available for self-publishing authors to choose from. Here are some of the most popular ebook platforms, along with descriptions and statistics on each:
- Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Amazon KDP is one of the most popular ebook platforms for self-publishing authors. It allows authors to upload their books and sell them directly to readers on Amazon’s Kindle store. KDP offers a variety of tools and resources to help authors market their books, including promotional pricing and advertising. According to recent data, Amazon KDP accounts for approximately 80% of the self-publishing ebook market.
This is where my new book is published!
- Apple iBooks
This is another popular ebook platform allowing authors to sell their books directly to readers on Apple’s iBooks store. It is available in over 50 countries and offers a variety of marketing tools, including pre-ordering and promotional pricing. According to recent data, Apple iBooks accounts for approximately 10% of the self-publishing ebook market.
- Barnes & Noble Press
Another great self-publishing platform is Barnes & Noble, one of the largest booksellers in the world. It allows authors to upload and sell their books directly to readers on Barnes & Noble’s website. Barnes & Noble Press offers a variety of marketing tools, including promotional pricing and advertising. According to recent data, Barnes & Noble Press accounts for approximately 2% of the self-publishing ebook market.
- Kobo Writing Life
They are a self-publishing platform for Kobo, a Canadian ebook retailer. It allows authors to upload their books and sell them directly to readers on Kobo’s website. Kobo Writing Life offers a variety of marketing tools, including promotional pricing and advertising. According to recent data, Kobo Writing Life accounts for approximately 2% of the self-publishing ebook market.
Smashwords is a self-publishing platform that distributes ebooks to various retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, and Kobo. It allows authors to simultaneously upload their books and sell them on multiple platforms. Over here, it offers a variety of marketing tools, including promotional pricing and advertising. According to recent data, this platform accounts for approximately 1% of the self-publishing ebook market.
As you can see, Amazon KDP is the most popular ebook platform for self-publishing authors, followed by Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Press, Kobo Writing Life, and Smashwords. Each platform offers different tools and resources to help authors market their books and reach readers. Authors should consider their goals and target audience when choosing a platform.
In conclusion, publishing an ebook can provide the author with passive income. Ebooks are easy to publish, have a global audience, offer higher royalties, have a longer shelf life, and can be updated easily. While the process of writing and publishing an ebook requires effort and time, the potential for long-term passive income makes it a worthwhile investment for authors and aspiring writers.
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4 Comments Add yours
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This is very helpful information, Kally. Thank you.
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I remember some years ago one of my books, “Dragon Stones”, suddenly became very popular in the UK for no apparent reason, getting all the way to #1 on their Epic Fantasy Kindle chart. I didn’t know this until I started getting unexpectedly large (like, real money large) royalty checks from Amazon.co.uk. Unfortunately none of my other books has repeated this performance …
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As someone who has worked in publishing and worked with authors – those who do manage to publish a book have done a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of commitment to write that book and go through several rounds of edits.
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