Ebook Writing – Worth It?

I’ve been asked recently about writing ebooks, and then one of my fellow freelancers was asking questions about ebooks today, and so I figured, all right, universe is telling me to talk about ebooks.

There’s some good money to be had writing ebooks. When I used to freelance work on Elance.com, I picked up several ebook projects for editing that paid several hundred dollars, just for the editing. The projects for the writing were paying as much as several thousand dollars per ebook.

Usually, these ebooks were about 100 pages or so, usually on a very specific topic, and were relatively easy to research and write They were, in essence, little ‘handbooks’ on certain topics. I edited ebooks on how to raise ferrets, how to select and maintain a salt water aquarium, several ebooks on quilling (paper art), and a really neat ebook on how to design and frost cakes.

There were others. So how can knowing this help you as a freelance writer?

Well, I started off editing ebooks for others, getting paid anywhere from .75 cents to 2 bucks per page for double spaced pages often with graphic images, so there were not that many words. Then I moved from there to writing the ebooks as a ghostwriter. Then I realize I could probably make more money by writing them for myself on topics I’m familiar with and then selling those ebooks myself – or selling the rights to them, either or.

So I started writing ebooks. I wrote one on how to start and grow and non-profit drug education intervention program for teens. I used to do criminal justice and victim advocacy work, and I had actually founded a youth drug prevention program at one point, from writing the grants to get the funding to actually administering the program. I then sent the link to the sales page for this ebook to every non-profit that had anything to do with youth, and I sold it to them as a complete program package.

I sold quite a few before I finally put it up online on a website called ClickBank. Now, I put several of the ebooks I’ve written up there… it’s a pretty cool website that helps you sell more because you can manage and run an affiliate program for others to sell your ebooks for you, they get a cut of the profit that you set, and then you get a check every month for whatever is yours balance left over.

If you have a skill, talent or a hobby and you can write a 50-100 page ebook, properly edit it, format it, add pictures, graphics, instructions, make it pretty and complete… then you put it up, make a quick webpage to sell it, and let others sell it for you.

I did this a lot last year, and I have several ebooks I’ll be doing this year coming up (2009) as well.

I totally think it’s worth it. The problem is, you DO need to take the time to edit it, format it, and convert it to a PDF (PDF 995 has a free converter and you can get one with bookmarking navigation ability and other stuff for just 19.95, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to do this.

Whether it’s playing piano, how to groom a dog, how to care for a specific breed of dog, how to decorate frugally… whatever you’re interested in, think you can write a short instructional ebook on, and can make it look good, and then set your reasonable price, set the commission, upload it and make a sales page – bingo, bango, bongo…. make money.

Anyway, just a suggestion to you of something that’s worked for me in the past and will work for me again in the future. I like doing ebooks about things I think are important where I might have some information to share to help others and make me a little money too.

If you’re unsure of yourself, create a profile on Elance and read some of projects asking for ebook ghostwriters and ebook editors. You can see for free what other topics people are writing about that are making a buzz and worth money and time invested. If you’re really unsure of yourself, bid on some projects and do some work editing or ghostwriting for someone else, and then once you feel comfortable doing it and have made a little money, you can then start writing them for yourself.


Love and stuff,