For many who dream of becoming a successful writer, the ultimate goal is to create a book. It may be a masterful work of fiction or a nonfiction piece that inspires others from their experiences. At the same time, the idea of being a starving writer doesn’t usually appeal while they slave away working on the Great American Novel.
If you want to write books and make a living as a freelance writer, know that it is possible. Follow these tips to discover the secret to success.
The Growth of Ebooks
Check out Amazon.com or other sites, and you’ll see that more books are being offered as ebooks. Some of them are still offered as print books as well, while others are solely in electronic format. With this option, you no longer have to find an agent and publisher. Instead, you can publish your own books for a fraction of the cost.
Investigate further and you’ll see that fiction and nonfiction do equally well. Some genres are more popular in this format than others, but almost any book can be a success. One thing you’ll notice is that the ebooks are much shorter than those in print format. In fact, some are short enough to be read in one sitting. Of course, the price is also lower, but you get more of the total price than with print books.
How to Write an Ebook
Amazon offers a format that is easy to use for beginners. You will be guided from beginning to end on how to create an ebook. You can even find inexpensive or free cover art for your book or you can pay someone to create the cover for a relatively low cost.
If you use Amazon, you will be restricted on where you can sell your ebook. Another option is to use an e-publisher, such as Lulu. No matter what publisher you use to convert your manuscript, you will have to follow specific formatting guidelines so that it looks right. You’ll need a title page and other pages like you see in traditional books.
It pays to learn all you can about ebook publishing before you start. Once you feel comfortable with the process, converting future manuscripts will be much easier.
To sell your ebooks, you need to promote them. Set up a landing page or website that you can link to. Offer to guest blog on other sites for promotion. Give your friends free copies in return for reviews.
After you create one ebook, begin working on the second title. Most writers earn their success with ebooks because they have multiple titles. Since the books are short, it won’t take you long to write one. Then, you can add to your library with other titles that will help draw attention to earlier books.
Do Your Research
Before you begin writing ebooks with the hopes of making enough money to pay the bills, it pays to do your research. Determine which subjects or genres you are interested in, and learn what types of ebooks are most popular. Find out how they are priced and what length the books sell best. There are no strict guidelines that work for every type of book. For instance, many nonfiction books sell well when they have less than 10,000 words while a mystery may do better if it is longer to ensure a complete story.
Pricing is another area where you will need to research. Some titles sell best at a price of $2.99 or $4.99 while others may be popular even when they are priced higher. Many writers will sell a new book for $.99 for a limited time to gain new fans. Others may reduce the price on one book just before they have the next one ready to sell.
Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a formula that works. It’s also important to know that you will have to write multiple books before you see an income you can count on.
Become a Ghostwriter
If you like the idea of writing books but don’t care about having your name appear on them, you can make good money as a ghostwriter. You also won’t have to worry about how much money you will make since you’ll be charging a flat fee. This is also a great way to get some valuable experience before trying to write your own.
Most of the time, someone who wants an ebook written will have done the research to know the optimal length and price. They often use the ebook to promote a product or to establish their reputation in a subject. They may even have the research and outline. All they are looking for is someone to do the writing.
If you choose this option, you should have a contract with the person hiring you. Also, ask for partial payment up front instead of waiting for the book to be finished. Many times, you will have a recurring job if you please the client.
To find clients who want ebooks written, you can visit job boards or bidding sites. They are generally people with businesses who are looking to enhance their authority or they may even give away their ebooks to promote their company. Don’t discount this kind of job even if your ultimate goal is to write fiction. The experience will teach you several valuable skills that work regardless of the type of ebook you’re writing.
Many writers choose to write ebooks as a way to supplement their other careers while a few make enough money without doing anything else. If your dream is to write a book, go for it. With the growth of ebooks, there’s never been a better time to become a published author of a book.