Is E-Book Publishing Right for You?

Have you toyed with the idea of writing an e-book, but find the process a little bit intimidating? Will investing time into writing and marketing an e-book really be worth it? How can you determine if e-book publishing is right for you?

Reasons to Consider E-book Publishing

There's more to writing an e-book than making money. Here are a few e-book publishing motivations. See if any apply to you:

  • Writing an e-book can offer you a semi-passive income stream in addition to your freelance writing services.
  • Writing an e-book can help you build authority status or solidify your reputation as an expert in your niche or industry.
  • Writing an e-book can help you market your services or other products by spreading virally (usually through free e-books which are passed along from reader to reader or sites to their readers, exposing your name, links, etc. to your target market).

Common E-book Publishing Myths

  • Myth: No one reads e-books.
  • Fact: Many people turn to e-books (especially in technology and business-related niches) every day, because they offer instant gratification for those wanting to learn about something (while having the information already organized in front of them). If no one's reading e-books in your niche, chances are that they don't have options, or no one's currently effectively marketing e-books on the topic.
  • Myth: No one takes e-book writers seriously.
  • Fact: That may have been true years ago, and I'm sure there are still some die-hard print publishing advocates poo-pooing e-books. Those folks are also seriously behind the times. It's true that there are a lot of poor quality e-books out there, but there simply isn't a huge stigma attached to e-book writers the way there used to be. The key is building your reputation with your market as much as possible before writing your e-book.
  • Myth: There's no money in e-book writing.
  • Fact: There's actually quite a bit of money in e-book writing. In this day and age, people don't just want information. They want it fast! E-books fill that need where print books simply can't. Because of that, e-books are sometimes even able to be sold at a premium, often for much more than similar print publications. How much you can make depends a lot on your marketing abilities.
  • Myth: It's too hard to market an e-book.
  • Fact: If you can't handle the marketing side of things, chances are that you have no business being being a freelancer to begin with. If you're an even remotely successful freelancer, you have to be able to market your services. You already have the basic skill set. All you have to do is adapt it to a product. With e-books, you even have the added benefit of affiliate marketing opportunities, where you can let others sell your e-book for you, taking a lot of the marketing out of your hands.
  • Myth: An e-book will take forever to write.
  • Fact: If you can write articles, you can write an e-book. E-books don't have to be over 100 pages. My own first e-book was just 18 pages long, and took only a few hours to write from start to finish. The greatest thing about e-book writing is that it can be broken down into much smaller parts (think of your e-book as a collection of articles that have to flow together). Breaking it down into smaller goals can help you fly through the e-book writing process. You just have to stop thinking about the total length, and think about each section separately.

Have some of these myths or fears about e-book publishing crossed your mind? I hope you'll take the time to re-think your concerns, and give e-book publishing a serious try if one of the motivations above applies to you.

Remember, there's never any harm in trying something new. You may just be surprised at how successful e-book publishing can be.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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4 thoughts on “Is E-Book Publishing Right for You?”

  1. My biggest concern with ebooks is the advertising and marketing. It could be because I’ve been slacking in that department or because I really don’t know how to do it well, but either way there’s a lot I need to learn there. I’m really hoping to get some tips and ideas during this month and certainly looking forward to get started.

  2. I really agree with your comment about building your reputation in your field before trying to write and sell an e-book. Otherwise few people want to take a chance on you. Being a print author (books), and loving the feel of holding a book in my hands, I never expected to be an e-book convert. But this past year I’ve found myself buying a lot of e-books–and nearly all of them were excellent. I believe the quality has gone up a lot in recent years. However, nearly every time I staked my money on someone’s reputation in the field. I only bought one e-book from a totally unknown person–and to be honest, it was fluff stuff I’d read elsewhere online. But over all, the quality was great!

    Kristi Holl

  3. Kristi — Your book-writing background is really impressive. If you were to write an ebook on being a successful author, writing for teens, or anything in that field, I’m sure you would have no problems selling it (and for a rather high price).

  4. Interesting post, Jenn.

    I read e-books almost exclusively because my eyesight makes reading print difficult. Most of the e-books I read, however, are full-length books from e-publishers. I’d be happy if every book was available both in print and electronic formats, and I encourage my self-publishing clients to offer both.

    I have compiled a series of blog posts on self-publishing into a short e-book and will probably do the same for other series I’m planning. However, I don’t charge for the e-book; I consider it an extension of my blog.


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