This is a guest post by Alexis Grant, she is the author of How to Build a Part-Time Social Media Business.

Writing and selling your own ebook can be a great way to supplement your income and grow your network, but creating a quality product for your audience isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

How should you go about starting the writing process? What’s the best way to promote your ebook launch? And how do you get paid once your ebook starts selling?

Here are some of my top tips for creating and launching an ebook, so you can take the confusion out of the process and start writing!

Write and hire an editor. The first step when creating your ebook is to simply sit down and write it. Decide on the problem you’ll help your audience solve, then write in a voice similar to how you blog, conversationally, not stiff.

The length of the completed document depends on your topic, audience and writing style; write until you’ve covered all the important information, then trim the excess.

Hiring an editor will help you tighten up the content — and if you want to be perceived as a professional, don’t skip this step. Eat the costs, because you’re going to make good money off this ebook anyhow, right?

Choose a format. You want your PDF ebook to look appealing on both an e-reader and a computer screen. So don’t think in terms of old-school book formats. Favor easy to read, large font and plenty of visually-friendly white space.

Notice the details in ebooks by other writers — the appearance of their header and footer, the location of page numbers, etc. — and incorporate those effective presentations into your own work.

Decide on a price and platform. Because this is a relatively new medium, there’s no magic formula for figuring out how to price your work. While prices vary, informational eguides often cost more than traditional books. It’s not unusual to see them priced at $19, $29, $49 or more. Research your niche, ask for feedback and settle on what feels right.

From there, decide whether you’ll sell your ebook straight from your website or use a distributor like Amazon. If you sell from your own site, you keep all the profits, which sounds pretty great, right? The challenge is that you’ll need a decent-sized platform to do this successfully.

If you use Amazon, you’ll cast a wider net, but they’ll take a cut of your sales. That means the decision comes down to a few factors: the size of your audience, how much you’re selling your ebook for and how you feel about sharing the proceeds.

Consider PayPal and e-junkie if you sell your ebook yourself. If you opt to sell your book straight from your own site rather than use a distributor, consider using PayPal and e-junkie to make the e-commerce process automatic. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m writing for e-junkie; the e-commerce site has totally simplified the process for me.) e-junkie costs only $5/month initially, routes your sales through PayPal and sends your ebook to buyers automatically. It also offers an affiliate option, which lets other bloggers earn a commission for selling your products. At least 33 percent commission is standard, and many authors offer 50 percent.

Promote! Once your ebook is written, formatted and ready to see the world, it’s time to create a promotion plan. Approach bloggers with big platforms and ask for reviews, Q&As or guest posts, keeping in mind that you’ll have to actually write the guest posts you promise.

Use your network! Keep track of the people you pitch and their responses in a Google Doc. If you do this properly, you’ll be able to remember everyone who’s helping spread the word about your book and thank them accordingly.

Offer pre-launch discounts and bonuses. If you have a solid email list, offer your subscribers a discount to show your appreciation for their support and make some sales in the process. And give people who purchase your ebook a little something extra that they’re not expecting, like a discount on another product from you or an affiliate. It’s always a good idea to sweeten the pot, right?

Writing and launching an ebook may seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know the rights steps to take throughout the process, you’ll get your book out into the world in no time – and make some money while you’re at it.

Alexis Grant

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