How to Write Short Ebooks That Sell

Ebooks that Sell

She is waiting to read YOUR ebook.

I’ve kind of come full circle on the idea of ebooks.

Back in the day, my first “info product” of any kind was an ebook. I tried several formats for that information and it ended up being a video course, and for awhile video courses were all I created.

Now I’m back to creating ebooks for the Kindle store and I love doing it.

The Amazon Kindle platform has given everyone the opportunity to make money from publishing an ebook. Or ebooks.

Why You Should Publish an Ebook on Kindle

Before I get into the details of choosing a good topic for an ebook, I want to tell anyone reading this that you should publish an ebook on Kindle. You could have one done and published in the next two weeks, whether you write it yourself or have it outsourced.

It’s not hard to do, and it’s great experience. It will take you through all the steps of publishing your own info product, but you don’t have to figure out your own delivery platform like you do when you sell an ebook from your own site.

Not to mention that you have Amazon.com’s marketing machine working in your favor.

That’s all I’ll say about that. Try it. It’s fun.

Finding Topics That People Buy

Have you ever tried to go on a diet and lose weight? If the answer is yes like I think it is, how many different products or services or books have you paid for to try and do that? Whether you realize it or not, it’s a lot.

The same thing goes for hobbies or problems you’ve had that you wanted to figure out.

The point I’m making here, is that when someone is really interested in something, they don’t just go and buy one book on the topic- they buy several or even a bunch of them.

So to get this out of the way, this post is not dealing with fiction books at all. If you’ve got a story in your mind, then by all means get it down onto a Word document and publish it… But for this post I’m talking about non-fiction books help people solve some kind of problem.

To find topics that people are willing to buy a book about, the first place you should go is the Kindle store itself.

I like to Google “Kindle bestsellers” first, and the link that comes up will let you look through topics on the Kindle store sorted by bestseller rankings within each category. As you drill down through the different categories, you’ll notice how many categories and sub-categories there are.

You can see there is no shortage of topics. As you read through book titles within a given category, try to notice the recurring themes or ideas that come up within the top 100 books in that category. If you jot down notes as you go you’ll end up with a list of “hot buttons” that you can write a book around.

Find an Angle

Once you’ve done the exercise above and have a small list of key topics within a category, think of how you could craft a book that combines two or three of the elements you’ve written down.

This is pure marketing by the way, and like I said, it’s fun to do.

Writing a Book That Will Sell

I can tell you this, while you need to have your “marketing elements” down in order to even get any sales, the content of your book is what will make it continue to do well in the Kindle store over time.

In other words, it can’t suck.

You can’t expect to put up a garbage book and have it do well. The Amazon system works off of buyer’s feedback, and that’s what drives that best-seller lists. Take some time doing your research and putting together something quality.

You’ll find that getting organic reviews where someone said your book really helped them or that they really liked your book will be just as satisfying as making sales.

The Beauty of the Kindle Platform

One thing that’s so nice about the Kindle platform and an ebook itself is that you can revise your book and constantly improve it, and simply upload the updated version whenever you feel like it.

You can tweak your cover, your book description, your book preview- you can re-do anything to do with your book on the Kindle platform and have it re-published within 12 hours.

Just Do It

Like I said in the beginning paragraphs, the best thing you can do is to set a goal to write and publish a book, and then set a date to be done and get it done by then. You can obviously improve it as time goes on, but just get it done at first and publish it. This type of project  completion will give you more confidence and motivation to finish the other projects and goals you have for your business.

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14 Comments

  • Joe

    Reply Reply January 25, 2013

    Hi Nate,

    I am finally working on my first ebook. Its in the fitness niche but I’ve not done any keyword research on it.

    I’m aiming for 5000 words, do you think this is enough?

    Thanks.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 26, 2013

      What’s up Joe- I would aim for 7000-8000 actually for the actual book content. Then, once you’re done, go back through and add something like “key takeaways” at the end of every chapter and summarize the best points. This will add another 10-20% of length, and the reader will appreciate it as well.

      • Joe

        Reply Reply January 29, 2013

        Thanks Nate. Will aim for 8000 plus the takeaways.

        Cheers, Joe

        • Jason

          Reply Reply January 29, 2013

          Hey Joe!

          For reference, my Kindle book is about 8700 words and ended up being 72 pages in MS Word. It has a lot images, though.

          Jason

  • Jason

    Reply Reply January 26, 2013

    I’ve got one Kindle book already selling and am writing a second. Question regarding serializing it.

    In your opinion, would it be better to have one comprehensive eBook that sales for $7.99. Or break the book into 2-3 separate books and sell $2.99 each. (Prices are arbitrary).

    Specific example. Let’s say I’m writing an eBook on slow cooker recipes. One big eBook with recipes for chicken, pork, and beef. Or three separate eBooks?

    Thoughts?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 26, 2013

      Hi Jason- The answer to your question is both. You can have them broken up into separate books, and then offer them all together as well for the higher price.

  • jim

    Reply Reply January 26, 2013

    Ello,
    Great work as always, very helpful. Im fairly new to this game, and working on http://www.strayblogger.com/fifth-secret-to-making-money-online-an-autoresponder/
    at the moment.
    I have published a book on the Kindle store, it is selling well on the UK store only at the moment, I will need to look into getting this selling on other stores somehow.

    When I searched for my book on Amazon using one of my key phrases, it was on the first page of results, but was not no.1 …..
    I changed a key word or 2 in my settings and re published it, when this was live again I could not find my book at all. I have now changed the keywords back but still do not see my book in the search results I have to type my name as the author to find it. So I feel that I have pretty much wrecked it.

    Do you know if when you do re publish your book for what ever reason it will lose its ranking and you will have to build this up again with more sales/ reviews?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 26, 2013

      Jim- I don’t know the answer to that. If you were doing okay for a certain keyword but then you took that keyword out of your submission details, it would probably remove your book from being associated with that keyword. That’s just my guess.

    • Eric @ ShuckaBuck.com

      Reply Reply February 7, 2013

      Jim, don’t worry about where your book ranks for keywords in the search bar on amazon. You need to find a way to get some good reviews for your book, then try going free for a couple days and you should see some good results if you are published in the right categories (categories where books are selling).

      The important things that you can control is the title, cover, description and content of the book. Make sure all those things are top notch – especially your cover! People DO judge books by their covers!

      • jim

        Reply Reply February 11, 2013

        Thanks for taking the time to reply Eric,
        I have just set my dates running free for a few days.
        I have got some good reviews on amazon UK but not sure how to go about reviews and sales on amazon.com (Which is where I would really like to be selling)
        I will have another look at the catagory also, as I hope to write a bunch of follow on books that will be along the same lines.
        I did get some great covers from fiver.com, easy and cheap, not sure if thats the done thing though.
        Perhaps Nate could set up a Thread or forum of some kind on here where people can submit their titles for review swaps or something? :-)

  • Victor

    Reply Reply January 28, 2013

    Hey Nate what if you want to write fiction? How do you get ranked for a fictional book.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 28, 2013

      Victor- the process is similar. 90% of your results on Kindle will come from receiving good reviews.

  • Ben Troy

    Reply Reply February 9, 2013

    I used to write a lot of eBooks on random internet marketing subjects, but I learned that for the most part there is a pretty short life to each eBook you write. Unless you go all out and write a thorough book that has a long lasting power, you will have to constantly write new books to keep a consistent income.

  • Dita @ BloggingSpree.com

    Reply Reply February 25, 2013

    Hi Nate,

    Great article on Kindle. I have not done one. I guess mostly because I am a bit overwhelmed with the “technology”. But it does not seem to be so difficult based on your article.

    The content must be top notch. I can appreciate that. There are just too many bad ebooks online and Kindle would not want to stoop that low.

    I never knew that you could actually re-edit the book after you publish it.

    Thanks for sharing the info

    Cheers,

    Dita

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