Do you want to make money selling eBooks? One of the most common questions about this is “Where is the best place to sell eBooks online?” We will answer that question in this article so please read it through until the end.
You had an idea for an eBook and then you spent your time writing it. It is a great achievement and you should be very proud of yourself.
Do you know what an even better feeling is?
When you sell the first copy of your eBook!
“There is nothing quite like it.”
There has never been a better time to create an eBook. With today’s technology, you can publish your eBook on a number of different websites. You do not have to try and convince a publisher that your eBook is worthy. You can take advantage of a wonderful thing called “self-publishing”.
The truth is that there are many online platforms available where you can make money selling eBooks. The majority of these websites are free to sign up to and they will split the revenue generated by your eBooks with you. In most cases, you will receive the majority of the revenue. But you need to understand that some of these platforms are better than others.
So what’s the best place to sell eBooks online? Well, we have 12 websites that you should consider here and we will let you decide which one you should use. In fact, you might want to use a few of them or even all of them. So let’s get on with it, shall we?
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
If you want to make money selling eBooks then you need a lot of traffic. Not everyone that sees your eBook offer is going to make a purchase so the more eyeballs you get to your offers the better. When it comes to traffic then Amazon Kindle is number one. We believe that it is hands down the best place to sell eBooks online.
When you sell your eBooks on Amazon Kindle you will receive up to 70% of the revenue. The minimum is 35% and the revenue percentage you receive depends upon on the amount that you sell your eBook for.
There are advantages and disadvantages to selling your eBooks on Amazon Kindle. One of the biggest advantages is the huge customer base that Amazon has. This is especially important if you are publishing your first eBook and you do not have a customer base of your own.
The second major advantage is that the Amazon self-publishing system is very streamlined and it is very easy to publish your eBook. It is also very easy for buyers to make a purchase as well which is exactly what you want. This will significantly improve your chances of selling more eBooks.
No system is completely flawless but Amazon Kindle comes close. There are very few technical problems with the Kindle publishing platform and if something does go wrong then they have a competent team that will deal with the issue.
One of the biggest disadvantages of Kindle publishing is the amount of competition. If you have written a nonfiction eBook in a popular niche for example, then you are going to have a number of competing authors. It can be difficult to get your eBook noticed on Amazon Kindle.
The other major disadvantage is low pricing, and to receive the biggest share of revenue (70%) you need to price your eBook low. We are talking from $2.99 to $9.99. Kindle is pretty price sensitive and $2.99 eBooks will outsell $9.99 eBooks for sure.
Barnes & Noble Press
Barnes & Noble Press is a platform for self-publishing created by Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble certainly know a thing or two about books, and when you publish your eBook on Barnes & Noble Press you have the chance to get it in front of millions of their readers.
A few years ago Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook reading device. It was similar to the Amazon Kindle but did not sell as well. There are still a lot of people out there with Nook devices but these days a lot of people download the Nook app so that they can read eBooks from Barns & Noble on their iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet.
One of the really good things about using the Barnes & Noble Press to make money selling eBooks is that you can use any format you like to create your eBook. Their platform will also help you to format your eBook and your cover file and then once you publish your eBook it will take around 3 days to appear on their website BN.com.
Any Barnes & Noble reader that has an interest in the genre of your eBook can find it using Nook or through the main website. There are a number of marketing programs that you can take advantage of such as emails to interested readers.
Is it the best place to sell eBooks online? Well in our opinion it is certainly worth looking at as you can earn good royalties and they do have a large customer base. Their self-publishing platform works well and they do offer marketing and design support.
“IF YOU CAN NOT BUILD TRUST WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS, THEN YOU WILL NOT BE BUILDING ANYTHING!“
Smashwords is a self-publishing platform that many eBook authors overlook. These authors think that publishing on Smashwords is not worth the time and effort but there are some good reasons why you should consider it.
A lot of eBook authors do not like the fact that there is an “auto-vetter” system with Smashwords and if you want your eBook to have Premium distribution status then a member of the Smashwords team needs to review it. If your eBook is high quality then you do not need to worry about these things.
It is worth going for Premium distribution with Smashwords because your eBook will appear on many different platforms. These platforms include:
- Axis 360
- Baker & Taylor
- Barnes & Noble
- Library Direct
- Page Foundry
What is the advantage of this? Well apart from the wider network to help you make money selling eBooks you also improve your search engine optimization (SEO) so it will make it easier to find your book on the major search engines.
Smashwords also provides you with the ability to create discount coupons for your eBooks. These can be very effective to use on social media platforms where you have a good following and also if you do email marketing.
Smashwords also has an affiliate marketing system that you can use to encourage people to promote your eBooks as an affiliate. Is Smashwords the best place to sell eBooks online? Well, it certainly has a number of advantages.
There are a number of advantages for choosing Lulu for self-publishing your eBook. You can make high royalties in the region of 90% depending upon the distribution options that you choose.
If you want to self-publish yourself then you can do this with Lulu for free. At the other end of the scale, you can pay $219 for their “Amplifier” service and they will publish for you and you will receive a paperback copy. With this option, there is also the option for printing using Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
You can create your eBook using Microsoft Word and self-publishing on Lulu is easy. However, if your eBook includes tables, footnotes and images then you will be advised to contact the support people at Lulu to chat about their premium publishing offerings.
Your eBook will need approval by Lulu and one of their people will review it. Once you have approval then your eBook will appear in your Lulu account and will appear in the Lulu store. It can take up to a fortnight for Lulu to approve your eBook.
If you intend to do a lot of the online marketing of your eBook yourself then Lulu can help you to make money selling eBooks. It is not the best place to sell eBooks online by itself but the extra distribution channels can help.
A self-publishing service called Kobo Writing Life came into being a few years ago. Now the people behind Kobo claim that they have one of the largest eBook stores in the world that is available in 190 countries, with 68 different languages and more than 4 million titles available.
The self-publishing platform at Kobo is easy to use and very user-friendly. There is a 5 step process to publish your eBook and there is no charge to convert your eBook manuscript into the e-pub file format that they use.
The royalty structure on Kobo is pretty simple as well. For eBooks that are priced $2.99 or more, then the author receives 70%. There is no cap with the pricing either. If you want to charge less for your eBook between 99 cents and $2.98 then you will only receive 45% in royalties.
Kobo has teamed up with the American Booksellers Association and this means that there are thousands of independent stores that could sell your eBook on their websites. This is great digital marketing and a great way to make money selling eBooks. Kobo is one of the best places to sell eBooks online.
If you really want to be successful and make money selling eBooks then you need to think globally. A lot of people think that Amazon is the king of eBook sales everywhere in the world but it isn’t. It certainly rules in the United States but in other countries, Apple’s iBooks is top dog.
All Apple iPhones and iPads have iBooks installed. And there are an awful lot of these devices out there. Why should people have to purchase a Kindle device to read eBooks when they can use their iPhones and iPads to do this?
A lot of authors are worried about the complexity of publishing in the Apple iBookstore. The truth is that it was not that complicated at all and now there is a platform to make this easier called iBooks Author.
OK, self-publishing using iBooks Author is more involved than it is using other self-publishing platforms. If your eBook has a lot of images and other features such as tables, charts, and audio then iBooks Author has a simple drag and drop system that makes self-publishing easy.
You will need a Paid Books Account with iBooks before you can self-publish and it takes Apple a couple of days to review this. You will receive 70% royalties for all eBook sales regardless of the price you sell each eBook for. Apple iBooks can be the best place to sell eBooks online if you want to sell globally (and why wouldn’t you?).
If you are looking for a way to distribute your eBook widely on the major platforms then eBookIt is worth considering. They will distribute your eBook to big players such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Google, Apple, and Ingram.
When you sign up to eBookIt you will need to provide a onetime distribution fee of $25. You can then use their platform to convert your eBook into an e-pub file and there are tools to improve the formatting etc.
If you want eBookIt to handle the formatting and conversion then they offer a premium service at a cost of $149 to do this. You have to also pay the distribution fee of $25 as well. eBookIt will provide ISBN’s for your eBooks. For $99 eBookIt will provide you with a custom eBook cover.
When you use eBookIt to distribute your eBooks they take 15% of any net profits. Authors receive their royalties via PayPal. They have a number of promotional offers such as media blasts and press releases on offer. Some authors have had good results from eBookIt but we not say that it is the best place to sell eBooks online.
You just cannot ignore Google. Their Android operating system powers the majority of smartphones out there and their bookstore is huge. When you self-publish your eBook on the Google Play store they will not ask you to provide them with exclusive rights.
Google Play is available in many countries across the world. You have a lot of flexibility with the Google Partner Book Center and if you want to offer your eBook at different prices for different countries then you can do that. You can also offer a free PDF version of your eBook which you might want to do for marketing purposes.
Royalties on Google Play are around 52% which is not great. The self-publishing interface on Google Play is not the best either and it will challenge even the most patient of authors. One good thing is that you do not require an ISBN to publish on the platform.
If Google decides to discount your eBooks (which a lot of publishing platforms can do) then it will actually pay you royalties based on the full list price which is a good feature. Will you make money selling eBooks on Google Play? Well, you may make some money so it is best to use it as a way of reaching Android users and not as your primary source.
Scribd is famous for being one of the biggest websites in the world for publishing documents such as presentations and PDF’s. A few years ago it decided that it would offer a premium reader service where subscribers would pay $8.99 per month, and with this service, customers could read an unlimited amount of books.
This monetized service presented an opportunity for self-published authors. They now have an eBook store where eBooks can be purchased (this is outside of the subscription service) and the royalties for eBook sales are 80% which is good.
When you self-publish on Scribd you do not need to worry about converting your eBook into an e-pub file. You can publish using popular formats such as PDF, RTF and Word docs free and it is easy to make changes to published eBooks after publishing.
As a Scribd self-publisher, all you have to do is register for a free Scribd account and you will be in control of pricing, what the reader can preview and the analytics showing your sales figures etc are pretty good too.
Scribd gets a lot of traffic every month but we would not recommend it on its own as the best place to sell eBooks online. Use it in conjunction with other platforms to make money selling eBooks.
BookBaby offers authors another way to distribute their eBooks to giants such as Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Amazon and Kobo. If you want BookBaby to convert your eBook into the required e-pub format then you will have to pay them $99 to do this.
There are both free and premium distribution packages with BookBaby. If you go for the free package then you receive 85% royalties of net revenue. When you purchase the premium package for $249 you receive 100% royalties of net revenue.
There are other services available from BookBaby such as a standard eBook cover design for $149 or a deluxe cover design for $279. Book baby can assign an ISBN for your eBook for $19. They also provide guides on marketing your eBook and there are other promotional opportunities.
Blurb has its own bookstore and will also distribute to the Apple iBookstore. You will need to pay a publishing fee of $9.99 for their service. Blurb is really a niche publishing service and you may want to consider it if you have a media-rich eBook such as a children’s book or a recipe book.
When you use Blurb you can use their design templates and you will receive 80% royalties. If you make sales via the iBookstore then you will have to pay the 30% fee there before royalties. You can choose payment via check or PayPal.
Although Blurb is not the best place for selling eBooks online it does have some useful features. If you really want to make money selling eBooks then there are better alternatives such as Amazon Kindle.
“BUILDING A SIX-FIGURE EBOOK EMPIRE TAKES TIME, HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE PERSISTANT, THEN ONE DAY IT WILL PAY OFF, IT JUST TAKES EFFORT & TIME.”
Payhip is another platform where you can make money selling eBooks. It is a simple platform to use to get your eBook published and ready to sell. There is a feature for affiliate marketing, the creation of discount coupons and all you have to pay is a 5% transaction fee when you sell your eBook.
You can publish your eBooks using the PDF format which is quick and easy. You can update your eBooks at any time and there are no charges for this. Payhip does not have the traffic of some of the other self-publishing platforms but it is quick and easy to use.
We recommend that you take advantage of the opportunities offered by these self-publishing platforms. Creating the right eBooks and using the right marketing can bring you a passive income each month that grows and grows as your eBooks become more popular.
The best place to sell eBooks online is probably Amazon Kindle but we recommend that you look at some of the other platforms too so that you maximize your chances to make money selling eBooks.