How to Make Money Online by Selling E-Books


We all know about E-books! E-Books are nothing but the same content in printed books published in the electronic format. It can be a PDF or in another formats suitable for Ipad, Amazon Kindle or other devices. In this article, we are going to see how we can make money by selling E-books. In the process we will meet a couple of people who does this successfully.

Why People are Interested in E-Books?

E-Books are a convenient way for gaining information & knowledge. We all buy books to gain more information & knowledge. For example, we buy a book on PHP to understand more about the programming language. Similarly we buy  books on cookery, fitness & many other areas where we are interested in gaining more information.

In any case, knowledge is distributed only in 2 ways – either as free content via web or as paid content via books, e-books, mobile apps (android, iphone) and other distribution platforms.  E-books are just another way of delivering content, just like printed books, websites, mobile apps.

People buy e-books for the following conveniences:-

  • It costs less than a printed book – customers can save more than 30 to 40% on the same content 
  • Customers can carry it anywhere using their portable devices
  • Customers can transfer it to many devices and access from different locations
  • Customers don’t need to wait the shipping time – they can start reading immediately

Who will buy when there is lot of free information?

We are living in an era where internet & mobile phones have penetrated deeper into the nook & corner of our world. For any one who wants to gain information, lots of authentic free resources are available. Wikipedia is a great first source of information on any topic in this world. Similarly a couple of smart queries in Google can give answer to a lot of our questions.  So with these much free information available online, who will buy your e-book? The answer lies in coming up with e-books that give advanced knowledge & information.

Of 1000 people who search  about a fitness guide, a 100 might be searching for a specific work out plan – say a guide to gain fitness with only 1 hour of exercise every day. This specific information may not be available in the free pool resources. So if you are a fitness teacher who can come up with an e-book – A Guide to Gain Fitness with 1 hour Daily Work Out, you have chance to sell a 100 copies or more.

Real People who make money online selling E-Books

Lets meet some people who makes a lot of money by selling E-books online. These people have done it successfully many times by releasing different e-books.


1) Darren Rowse – The first man among the successful E-book sellers is Darren Rowse. Most people know him as the man behind Problogger – a blog that helps to make money online via blogging. Darren is actually more than just Problogger. He is also the founder of Digital Photography School (his most successful project till date) and handful other business as well.  One of his major share of online income is by selling E-books through his 2 successful blogs – Problogger and DPS.  In DPS, he has released over 10 E-books on various topics of photography.


2) Patt Flynn – is another young man who makes thousands of Dollars every month by selling E-books online. Patt’s earnings for March 2015 was $153,397 !

Read – Top 10 money making bloggers like Patt Flynn .

Every one knows Patt as the man behind SmartPassiveIncome. But Patt began his online money making through one of his initial ventures named GreenExamAcademy. This is a website which publishes free resources for any one who wishes to pass the LEED exam (an exam necessary for architects to practise in Canada). Patt sells his LEED exam study guides (written as E-Books) to people who visit GreenExamAcademy. If you analyse his monthly income reports, you can see that he consistently makes around 2000+ USD (average value) every month by selling e-books through GreenExamAcademy. The interesting fact is that, GreenExamAcademy is one of Patt’s initial ventures which he started in 2008. He started making money from the website through Adsense initially and later moved to E-book sales. He continues to make money from the same website even in 2014 (that’s 6 years).

Why its not easy ?

When we read stories of successful people, we will become inspired. We instantly feel like jumping into the idea and start doing something. When you read theses successful stories about E-book selling, you will fell like coming up with one immediately. But you have to note one important fact that these successful people like Darren and Patt already had a set of audience in their websites before they released an E-book. Patt Flyn had GreenExamAcademy and Darren had DigitalPhotographySchool and both of these websites were having good umber of visitors and subscribers before they released these e-books.

If you already have a successful blog on a specific subject, then the next idea you should try is to release a good E-book.  From my experience, blogs that revolve around educational content are a good platform to sell e-books. You may see, Patt Flyns GreenExamAcademy is an educational resource for LEED exams. DPS is an educational resource for photography enthusiasts. If you take a closer look, you can see that they both sell advanced knowledge as e-books.

What should you do if you are planning to write and sell an ebook?

If you are new to the concept starting a business online or making money online, I recommend to start a blog or a resourceful website around a subject that you are really good at. Over time (may be in 1 or 2 years, provided you put enough work) you will be successful in setting up a resourceful website with enough audience. Once you reach this level, you can write an E-book (that carries advance knowledge on your subject) and sell it online through your website.

There are thousands of subjects to start a website/blog. You may choose one that you have passion and knowledge. Some example subjects are

  • Programming (PHP, Java, CSS, Python).
  • Cooking (Chinese, Asian, Italian etc) .
  • Investing (Equity markets, Mutual Funds, ETF’s etc) – Lindsay Ostrom from pinchofyum has written an ebook about Food Photography- Tasty Food Photography, through which she earns more than $4,000 a month.
  • Interior Designing and lots more.

 How to Sell E-Books?

Through your blog/website

If you already have a successful blog or a website which seems a good candidate for selling E-books, then I recommend you sell the goods directly through your website. If you run your website/blog on WordPress, then you can use the extension EDD (Easy Digital Downloads) to manage your digital goods and sell them online. EDD is a very popular extension of WordPress which is used to managed digital stores. We use EDD to manage our theme downloads in Layero. In addition there are handful of plugins available to handle payments in EDD, manage affiliate sales etc.  The advantage in using EDD is that you don’t need to give sales commissions to a third party service.

If you are not comfortable with EDD, there are plenty of other options available to manage E-book sales. Darren Rowse uses E-Junkie to manage his E-book sales. E-Junkie is a digital goods distribution platform which can be used to sell your E-books online. E-junkie will manage your digital goods (e-books, audios, software or whatever), will handle your payments and downloads. They will charge a fess per sale for the service offered.

Apart from EDD and E-junkie, there are other popular services available. I will aggregate them in an upcoming review.

Through other platforms

You can also sell your e-book through other platforms where which you can upload your ebook and start selling . Some of the most popular ebook selling platforms are


So thats all with selling and making money online with E-Books. You can either build your own website/blog, build traffic,brand,trust and start selling ebooks or depend on other platforms where you can sell your ebook.

About the author

Jojo Joson

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