“How much do you make off eBooks?”
– email I get a lot
eBook sales are actually down this month. I’m not too worried though, because all my other hustles are doing better than I expected. Also, crafting short stories also gives a lot of creative freedom. I have a passion for writing anyway and like to share my interests. However, not everything that I’m into is worth starting a blog over or writing about on here.
A lot of times I’ll work on an eBook as a writing experiment. I’ll try and improve on my dialogue writing abilities and, if I like the result enough, publish my work to Amazon. I might only make a couple bucks off of it, but I still got paid to learn and do something I was interested in anyway.
Right now I’m working on a short horror story in the style of something you’d find in an old copy of Weird Tales. It’s a one off deal that doesn’t warrant a website, and would be incongruent with this blog. Instead, I’m working on it in the evenings and, if I like how it turns out, will publish it. If it turns out well enough I’ll even do a free promotion and give it away on here.
Although I can get paid on oDesk to write articles about washing machines, my real passion is making up stories and being creative. Sometimes I’ll even come up with something that’s little more than an outlandish joke, and turn it into a profitable booklet. There was an evening where I was watching Robot Chicken and decided to write an entire erotic novella out of the Hump Lighting skit.
The entire joke was build around the fact that whoever was dumb enough to buy the book was essentially getting the least sexy sex story of all time. It read like a car repair manual combined with all the dumb jokes that I find hilarious, including an entire side story about goats. The book took me two hours to write and I sell a couple dozen copies a month.
In addition to being able to write silly nonsense, I’ve also been able to use eBooks as a way to experiment with marketing. I’ve learned a lot about micro niches with my cocktail recipe books. Doing something like 25 Eggnog Recipes sells a lot more copies than the more generic 25 mixed drinks.
Lastly, my experiments help to cover most of my little expenses. I have extra money just from publishing things that would have otherwise sat in one of my notebooks and gathered dust. Since I’d be writing anyway, there’s no sense in not monetizing my work.
While I’ve talked a lot about Amazon book sales, I’ve also tried making PDF eBooks and selling them independently. This is actually extremely difficult. Even with a website that I updated frequently, I had immense trouble with getting people to buy anything. Admittedly I didn’t know a whole lot about what I was doing, but I plan on keeping my focus on Kindle books from now on.