When I first looked to the internet as a means to make an income, I wanted to know how to sell ebooks on your own website. I wrote an ebook about becoming a stuntman and attempted to sell it. Unfortunately it didn’t sell but it did pave the way for me to learn affiliate marketing. I’ll come back to affiliate marketing because if you’re wondering how to sell ebooks on your own website, it’s another income stream you can use.
But back to ebooks. After purchasing an ebook which taught me a clever eBay business strategy, I later realised that the ebook itself was an automated business model. After learning how to start a profitable ebay business, (from the ebook), I realised I didn’t want to be tied to my laptop, shifting physical products all the time. So I thought about the ebook purchase I had made. It was so simple; a downloadable product which could be sold automatically without me having to speak to customers or handle products. I thought the ebook was the perfect business – automated sales and deliveries!
How To Sell Ebooks On Your Own Website – Setup
First you’ll need to create your ebook of course and put it in pdf format. Then create a book cover which you can do if you have the right software. Alternatively you can use Fiverr.com and pay someone to create a great ebook cover for you. If you don’t have any pdf conversion software on your computer, you can use one of the many pdf converters for free which you can find with a quick Google search. Freepdfconvert is one of them, but there’s many other which are free.
So now you have your ebook in pdf format and a nice cover. So on to how to sell ebooks on your own website. Upload your pdf document to your website and take a note of the url where you can find it. Here’s the url of one of my ebooks as an example. You’ll need this later for the setup of your payment portal.
Next you’ll need to create a page where you can sell your ebook from. There’s two main options for this and you can either create a landing page and give away a portion of your book for free, or create a sales page and just sell your book. The benefit of creating a landing page is that you can collect your visitor’s email address and follow up with them via email.
Here’s an example of a basic sales page. Click here to look at one I’ve created (on or the image below).
How To Sell Ebooks On Your Own Website – Using Paypal
Paypal is a good payment platform to use because it’s easy to create an account and set up a payment button. Once you’ve set up an account with Paypal (with API access), you’ll need to go to http://paypal.com/buttons. Click on “Buy Now” button shown below.
You should get the following screen where you can access and design your own payment button:
Setting Up Checkout Pages
Once you’ve set up your prices and ebook title in the fields, click on step 3 (customise advanced features) as shown below:
Click on the drop down menu and fill in two fields which you customers will land on when they cancel checkout or purchase your ebook.
You’ll need to create two pages on your website which you can put in these fields. Ideally, create another landing page to lead customers to your ebook. You can of course link them directly to your ebook url. However, it can be helpful to offer some instructions about downloading the ebook on this page.
Get Your Paypal Button Code
Once you’re done select create code at the bottom and you’ll go to the last page where you can select your code to paste onto your website.
If you’ve created a landing page, make sure you link your ebook image (or another link) to your ebook url. Like below (click to test).
So if you’ve got this far well done. You’ve set up your “digital storefront” and are ready for business. Selling things automatically is quite exciting, especially if you can get it all to work for you! Here’s a quick summary of what you should have done so far:
- Written your ebook and turned it into a pdf format
- Created a ebook cover – or paid someone on Fiverr.com to do it for you
- Built a cancelled checkout page on your website
- Created a success page on your website to lead buyers to their new book
- Built a payment button on Paypal and grabbed the code
- Pasted your code on your sales page
- Oh yes, built a sales page where you can “showcase” your book and do a little selling too!
Here’s a quick recap of one of my sales pages for the ebook I’ve been using as an example:
How To Sell Ebooks On Your Website – Next Steps
So now you’ve hopefully built your online digital store. The next step is to get people to your landing/sales page where they are desperate for your ebook.
One of the main problems with ebooks is that people all over the internet are giving them away for free. So why would anyone purchase your ebook when they can find them for free elsewhere? Your book needs to offer something which no-one else’s does. Ideally write a list of benefits on your sales page. Don’t get caught up in listing features. All your visitors want to know is WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?” Focus on that in your sales copy.
To market your sales page takes time and effort. The main problem I found when I came to sell my own ebooks was getting people to see it. This takes time and a lot of effort. It’s definitely worth building an email list of subscribers and getting your website visitors to opt in. Once you have an email list, you can build relationships with your subscribers. This makes selling much easier because you can get your subscribers to know, like and trust you.
Traffic To Your Website
Getting people to your website is what beginners always struggle with. I struggled for a long time with this too. One of my favourite strategies is blogging. Take this article for example. This piece of content is one of many. Each one by itself doesn’t have a massive impact. But many pieces of content will bring in people to your site over time. Ideally write a blog post daily and put it on your website. Create content which is useful and aimed at people who would want to purchase your ebook.
Alternate Income Sources
I mentioned earlier about affiliate marketing which is a business model which lets you sell other people’s products over the internet.
After I tried selling my own ebooks online, I found affiliate marketing and realised that it offered a far better opportunity than selling my own ebooks. After all, an ebook offers a small reward and a small amount of value. Some affiliate products offer much more value and continue to pay out long after you make the sale. Recurring commission affiliate programs are a good example of this.
With a recurring commission program, you keep earning from membership programs or software. So if you’re going to put a lot of effort into blogging to sell your ebook, it’s a good idea to also sell and promote these kinds of products too. One sale of an ebook can make you $10. But one sale of a recurring membership program can make you $10 a month, potentially for life!
High ticket affiliate programs also offer a huge value to the customer and the affiliate. With a high ticket program you can earn over $500 on a single sale. Would you rather work your ass off for $10 or $500? What is often the same amount of effort can be far more rewarding if you choose the right kind of products to sell.
Marketing And Advertising Your Ebook
An ebook which only makes $10 can be more difficult to sell than an high ticket program too. If you only make $10 for a sale, you can’t afford to spend a lot paying for advertising. With a product which sells for $10,000 and gives you a 40% commission ($4000), you can afford to learn how to use paid marketing – and even fail many times in the process!
To advertise an ebook and be profitable, you’ll need to focus on free marketing strategies such as blogging or video marketing (YouTube). This takes a long time before you see any tangible results. Most people will give up before they see a reasonable return for their efforts too!
Access An Online Business Mentorship Program
If you’re interested in earning more from the internet in ways other than selling your ebook on your own website, through affiliate marketing, you can access a free video series from two of my online mentors who have built an online mentorship program with thousands of members worldwide.
Access by clicking the image below.