14 Authors Reveal How To Write Ebooks That Sell

Today I’m excited to share with you the ideas and wisdom of 14 successful ebook authors.

This advice is gold and I highly recommend you take notes.

When I started this ebook project, I was just going to write all the lessons on my own, but I realized that there are a ton of people who have successfully written and sold ebooks.

These people have gone through the research part of ebook creation. They’ve battled the blank page. They’ve written thousands of words and they’ve sold their guides to their audience.

We have a lot to learn from them and, fortunately for us, they were kind enough to offer their advice. I believe in learning from those who have gotten the results you’re looking for.

…and these people have gotten great results.

14 Invaluable Tips For Writing Ebooks That Sell

1. Lisa from Niche Website Success:

“Take the time to survey your core audience to ensure your book meets their needs.  We often assume we know what people want, but you never really know unless you ask.

Prior to writing my Book, I used my email list to survey my subscribers.  The feedback was invaluable and inspired much of the content in the book. Not to mention, it’s a great way to win over your readers.  They ask.  You deliver.”

2. Steve from Steve Aitchison:

“Ask your audience what type of ebook they would like before writing one word of your ebook.  I have made the mistake of writing an ebook, thinking, this is a great idea my readers will love this, only to find that they didn’t love it.  The ONLY way to find out what type of ebook your readers will like is to ask them.  You can do this in a blog post, an email to your subscribers, or use social media  better yet ask them using all three.

Another thing is, make your book look fantastic.  Presentation is everything and you want to give a professional looking ebook with a great cover.  A lot of ebook creators write their book in a word document and turn it into a pdf without much thought for presentation.  In this day and age of information overload, you need a great cover to catch the readers eye, a great title to capture their imagination, and a great presentation on the inside.  It’s well worth spending a few hundred dollars to get a professional to design your book once you’ve written it.

One last thing, get someone to proof read your ebook.  Again, I’ve made this mistake of not getting an ebook proof read only to find I get lots of emails pointing out errors in my book.  If you don’t get it proof read it shows you’re not willing to invest that little extra to make it look and read great, and this will come across to the reader.”

3. Farnoosh from Prolific Living:

“I have written 7 e-books to date with contributions to many others. Some are free for download, some are for opt-in and others are for sale on my website on my own site and also on on the Amazon Kindle store, thanks to my husband’s professional help with formatting and producing them for Amazon and my excellent designers help with some of the books. My advice to you is not technical. It is deeper.

Why are you writing your book? What is the core purpose? Do you have a compelling message to tell the world? Do you want to make money and have an extra source of income? Do you want attention, notoriety, or the ability to tell others you have written a book? Do you want a sense of accomplishment?

Get seriously clear on your purpose so that you work to meeting that end goal and not be chasing every other reason out there to write an ebook that may or may not speak to your true reason. When you are clear on that, you will write your very best book. If you need a nudge, come talk to me. I’ll help you get clear. All the best and happy writing!”

4. Michael:

“I’m sure others will talk about how to create the ebook or get the sale. I want to talk about what happens after the sale because of course you will sell SOMETHING. So here it is:

Focus on buyers, not freeloaders and not tire-kickers, but buyers. Buyers have already told you they like you and trust you enough to part with their money for your product. Make them happy and keep them happy and they will continue to do so, plus they will refer others to you.”

5. Scott from Scott Young:

“The best piece of advice I can give is to develop the book around a benefit the reader will receive, not the topic you want to write about. A classic mistake many bloggers fall into is trying to repackage their free articles as an ebook, or write an ebook on a pet topic and hope it will sell.

This works some of the time, but a more effective strategy is to figure out something your audience members need help with that you can solve, write that book and explain how the book solves their problem.”

6. Tyler from Advanced Riskology:

“Don’t write a single word until you’ve done your research and made sure your audience 1) actually wants what you’re about to create and 2) is actually willing to pay for it.

Let the research guide your direction, but don’t let it make every decision because you also have to create what’s interesting to you. There’s a delicate balance to strike.”

7. Amy from Blogging With Amy:

“Don’t wait. If you have any thoughts of publishing an ebook, dive in as soon as you can. The publishing landscape is changing very quickly. Self-publishing will only become more common. Better to get in on it now.”

8. James from Men With Pens & Damn Fine Words:

“The most common mistake I see with book writing is the slap-together approach. Some people think, “Hey, I have a bunch of great blog posts I wrote… I’ll just slap them together, call it an ebook and offer it for sale!” Big mistake. Huge. Cheap out on your ebook and you’ve just lost potential customers.

People might buy your ebook, sure… but will they read it, think you’re a credible expert and come back to your business for more? Will they become loyal clients? Repeat customers? Huge fans? That’s what really counts… and shortcutting the process is detrimental to your goals. So my advice is to plan properly, prepare for this large project (because it IS a large project) and do it right so that you reap the rewards.”

9. Ali from Aliventures:

“You need to have a specific topic, and stick to that topic. This is particularly crucial if you’re creating a free ebook, or a low-priced one. Don’t try to throw in everything and anything about your area; don’t shoot for the “ultimate” guide. Just pick one straightforward, popular, topic and stay on track.

This makes the writing itself easier, and makes your ebook a more attractive prospect for the reader (who might be overwhelmed or unconvinced by a more comprehensive guide). It also leaves you plenty of room for the next ebook.”

10. Kristi from Kikolani, who’s also a Freelance Writer:

“The one piece of advice I would give to someone creating their first Book is to not get overwhelmed by it.  It’s easy to get obsessed with details, trying to make everything as perfect as possible.  While I would suggest getting an outside editor to read your work and catch any little grammatical things that you might miss, I wouldn’t get too caught up on other details.

You may not have the best cover graphic, launch promotion, mailing list, etc. as other eBook authors you have seen.  But if you wait for everything to be absolutely perfect, you may never publish your book at all.  Or worse, someone might beat you to your topic!”

11. Kelly from Sticky Ebooks:

Avoid kitchen sink syndrome. Most first-time ebook authors are tempted to include every single thing they know about a subject, but this can backfire. Instead of seeing this as added value, readers can become overwhelmed with information.

No one likes to read 400 pages of anything that isn’t War & Peace. So zero-in on a topic you know your audience is hungry for, and go deep on a specific slice of it.”

12. Marc from Marc Cournoyer:

“If the goal is to create an ebook that will make money, then my advice is to test the market first before you invest your time in it. The simplest way do to this is by collecting emails with a squeeze page, making it clear you will be charging for it and how much.

Once you’ve collected a few emails, mesure conversion rate and decide if it’s worth it. Personally, I’d shoot for 5% or above.”

13. Tia from Your Life Your Way:

“Jot down your ebook ideas, pick one to turn into an book, then give it a dedicated block of time to do your writing – whether it’s an hour a day for 2 months, 4 hours on the weekend, or 3 days straight, you’ve got to eliminate distractions and do the unsexy work of writing to get the shitty first draft. THEN you can go in and clean it up, make it pretty, etc.

But don’t forget that your most important work is to sit down and do it first. Yeah, sounds so simple right? Failing to do this = you’ll do what I did and talk about your idea for a YEAR, make half hearted attempts and
then sit down for 3 days and knock it out. Don’t waste that year, amigo. Start now.”

14. Henri from Wake Up Cloud:

“I have so many things I think are extremely important, but if I had to pick one, I’d say it’s to outline before you start writing. I use a mindmap to flesh out each chapter and subchapter, so I know everything fits together, and with a mindmap it’s extremely easy to move things around.

When I finally start writing, the process is confusion-free, because everything is already in the outline. All I have to do is fill it with text.”

Ready for more?

Ebook Blueprint is my new guide on how to self-publish and sell your ebook online. Whether you have an idea for a book or just getting started, I’ll teach you the strategies used by successful book authors. You don’t have to wait to be picked by a big publishing company. You can write and sell any book on any topic on your website in a matter of weeks.

If you want to learn how to write and sell ebooks on your own website—and value your time—this is for you.


Check out the Infographic:

14 Ebook Authors Reveal How To Write Ebooks That Sell - Infographic


build your audience guide


  1. says

    Wow.. looks like you’ve put in a lot of effort into this post. From compiling the tips from the authors to creating the inforgraphic.
    I am yet to write an ebook. These are really useful tips for me. Thanks a lot Hector.

    I have a feeling this post will go viral 😉 All the best.

  2. says

    Hi Hector,

    There is a lot of great advice in this post! I agree with the advice to find out what your audience wants. I asked my list for their thoughts on various ebook topics and I was surprised that the one I almost didn’t add to the list was the most popular choice!

    I love infographic too! Great job!


  3. says

    Awesome article, Hector 😉 (Awesome Info-graphic, how did you make it? You should write another article about that :D).

    Thanks for the post, Hector. These advises from very prominent bloggers can surely help me to write my second eBook (well, I wrote one – which I use as an enticement for new subscriptions).

    Thanks for the awesome post,

    Jeevan Jacob John

  4. says

    Thank you Hector!
    I’m just starting my first e-book and these are invaluable tips.
    I’m trying to figure out the best way to catalog these tips in a way that I can easily reference them at a later time.

  5. says

    No point to check your marketing course at this moment in time. Wouldn’t have the time right now. However, I will study this page in depth after hours. Lisa recommended it and Lisa from sitesell knows what’s good.

  6. says

    Thank YOU for being part of it. I created the inforgraphic in Photoshop.

    I’ve been asked a few times to write a post about it – I might just do that :0)

  7. says

    Yea, the infographic alone took me 2 hours.. but the 14 authors did most of the work, so I thank them :0)

    ooh, and it got a lot of traffic.. but not viral :0(

    thanks for your comment

  8. says

    It’s always smart to ask.. thanks for sharing that Stacy.

    By the way, I got your email – I’ve just been very busy writing, but after this project is over, i’ll definitely send out the answers.. cool?

  9. says

    I’ve written a few eBooks now and I agree with all of the advice above. My 3 killer tips are: 1. Don’t get paralysed by analysis. Once you know what your audience wants, just dive in and do it. Your first one will not be perfect but that’s the only way to learn. 2. Make sure the title speaks of results and/or benefits. 3. Don’t be boring.

    eBooks are also a great way to build credibility for getting new clients, consulting gigs and speaking engagements.

    Keep up the awesomeness Hector – you rock!

  10. says

    Hey Hector, thank you for this. These are all things I can really relate to.

    One thing that resonates with me in particular is what Kristi of Kikolani says, Don’t get overwhelmed. When I wrote my first ebook, that’s exactly what happened to me. In my effort to make things ‘perfect’ I struggled with details, changes and worrying about whether it was worthy. That delayed my progress.

    If you do your research, create your outline and add useful information your readers what to know, that’s what a great book is all about. Perfectionism is a good thing but not if it ends up standing in the way of getting your book completed and published.

  11. says

    Love the idea of asking your subscribers what they would like you to write about. I usually do a little keyword research once I’ve picked a topic to see the most popular phrases that are being used. Asking subscribers is better. Asking those that have already paid – best.

  12. says

    I agree with most of these tips, and disagree with about 4 or 5 of them. The problem with tips like these are that some of them are contradictory (#6 says do your market research before you write a word, and then #7 says to dive in and don’t wait to start), and the fact that they don’t necessarily tell you *how* to do what they recommend.

    For instance, how do you go about doing market research? Especially if you’re a new blogger, and don’t have a list to email yet?

    I realize that this post wasn’t supposed to be a complete guide to writing ebooks, but I think to a new writer, this list might bring up more questions than it answers.

  13. says

    Hey Hector,

    Really cool tips. I have written the ones I liked on my whiteboard and I’m about to install a mind mapping app so I can start planning and testing the market for my first book.

    Thanks for taking the time to compile this info, greatly appreciated!


  14. says

    Some great ideas here, particularly the one that resonates through a number of comments being not to just package up free article content from your site! Saved me a big mistake there and will spend time on the important question of what problem am I solving the reader, how do they benefit?

  15. says

    I am a new blogger and wanting to write my first e-book. This article gave some really excellent tips before I start! I’m so glad they mentioned the tip to stay on the topic and to not write about everything I know. I have the tendency to give a little too much information!! Thanks!

  16. najad says

    Writing your own eBook can be a great way to giving yourself an opportunity to make some extra money every month. If you know a lot about something, you should put all of that knowledge together in an eBook which can help anyone to learn more and benefit from all of this knowledge. However, one eBook may be too specific to make much of a regular profit, so in this case, you may wish to write more than one eBook to help build your profit base even more. Selling eBooks can then become something very easy, as you will have a number of manuscripts at your disposal.

    Once people begin buying the eBooks that you are selling, you will have an opportunity to get feedback from them, learning what they liked and disliked about your eBooks. This may give you the opportunity to expand on your knowledge, making selling eBooks in the future much easier because you will have better quality product that people will be happy to buy. Eventually, with enough manuscripts and pertinent knowledge to sell, you may be able to turn this stream into your main business!
    6 AWESOME PLR EBOOKS FOR JUST $5.Check it out now!

  17. says

    Highly recommended! After all, why create something that isn’t going to provide you paybacks? I think you’ve outlined everything perfectly!

  18. says

    These authors are right on point with their advice. Another point I’d like to make is that the covers also play a large role in promoting your eBook. You can judge a book by its cover and being that its the first thing folks will see with out having a chance to flip through your book, you need to make sure its top notch.

  19. says

    Another tip that we should include is to design a quality
    ecover for the ebook, since this is the first thing that
    get the customer to read the title and the content.

    By the way, We design high quality ecovers, and every week we give
    away free ecover design between our facebook fans.

    Nice post!

  20. says

    I find it very helpful when doing the writing and layout myself to set up styles before I get started. You want to create nice-looking e-books as well as informative and useful e-books that people want to buy. Figure out the style first, come up with your stylesheets and then when you put your book together it’s much easier to apply the styles for your chapters, headings, fonts and other details as you go along.

  21. mikestunna says

    Scott is my number one tip. As much as i want to write what i love i have to make sure the potential buyer finds it of use.

  22. rema says

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  23. says

    Thanks for this, great piece. I have to say, testing the market and real ‘need’ before you write a single word seems to be the order of the day and I’d love more ideas on how to do that.
    Thanks E

  24. says

    I read your interesting article about how sell ebooks.
    I have the website http://www.howsellebooks.com with one interesting affiliate program where you can earn 60% sales promoting my ebook about how sell ebooks. I think than it’s very interesting for you.

  25. says

    I think one of the best ways to choose a topic is to know what your audience wants. I posted a blog about making money online alongside some other topics but the former was the most viewed. And now i’m planning to write an ebook on that topic

  26. says

    Thanks for the tips! I happen to drop by your page on Twitter, and this post does help me to write my first piano e-book! I have not written ebooks before, but I’m kind of inspired to write a good one now, instead of a ‘slap-together’ ebook made up of many ideas. Will be back for more!

  27. says

    Yeah, wow…! Thanx for that list. I’ve been working as a photographer since forever and the idea of writing a few books always been there. And now the time is here to actually do it. And advice like these are just what I need right now…it’s both inspiration, a kick in the *ss and really good advice all together. So again, thanks…i really appreciate it.

  28. says

    Impressive list indeed. We have been working with people for over 15-years (offline initially and then online starting in 2001) helping entrepreneurs and authors package their knowledge into information products (ebooks, manuals, guidebooks, CD’s, DVD’s, etc…)

    Best advice I ever received – and then proved out with our own ebooks – is to write as if you are creating a system through which your reader will achieve a highly desired outcome to become, have, do or realize something they badly want, but have yet to achieve in their life.

    Structure your ebooks this way and you will literally have people begging to buy your ebooks, and then more…from you.


  29. says

    Hi Guys.

    I just wanted to ask a question regarding the actual content of a ebook. I am in the process of writing my ebook and I wanted to know whether pictures can be inserted? It may be a silly question, just checking incase pictures or diagrams cant be featured. The reason is that, we have built something using recycled bottles and I want to write about the project and pictures are important.

    Furthermore, is the ebook firstly prepared in word and then later prepared as a PDF file to give it that pro appearance? Can anyone help me here?

    Thanks guys. Any feedback will be appreciated.


  30. says

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