Posted March 21, 2011 4:28 pm by with 1 comment

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It might be a sad day for bookstores, but it’s a great day for readers. According to the Association of American Publishers, ebook sales rose 115% in January beating out both paperback and hardcover sales in the same month.

Paperback sales in January were dismal, dropping to 39 million, well below ebooks’ 69.9 million sales figure. Adult hardcover books pulled in $49.1 million which is an 11.3%  drop. The only kind of book beating ebooks were trade paperbacks which pulled in $83.6 million.

Marketers have long used ebooks as a reward in return for a potential client’s email address, but now that people have shown they’re willing to buy ebooks, why not look at ebooks as an opportunity to bring in some income.

Start brainstorming from two different directions. First, think about what kind of ebooks would be helpful for your customer. You sell camping gear, then how about an ebook with the best little known campgrounds in the US?

The second option is to think about your own skills and how those translate into an ebook. If you’re running a successful business of any kind, people will pay to find out how you did it. Do you overcome great odds to get where you are? Inspirational books are big sellers.

What’s important for beginners is that you don’t get too bogged down in the process. Begin by throwing all of your thoughts into one big file then work on whittling it down and organizing later. Though the book must be well written and interesting, it’s not the great American novel. You’ll do better with a small, informative book that costs under $5.00 then a 500 page narrative that costs $12.00.

If you don’t think you have the talent to write it yourself, hire a writer through a freelance website or Craigslist. But, please, no freebies, folks. Us writers need to make a living, too.

Author Barry Eisler recently made the switch from traditional publishing to self-publishing ebooks. His short story is on track to make $30,000 this year and unlike print books, it will stay on the virtual “shelf” and continue earning royalties forever. Says Barry,

“Forever is a long time to earn royalties. So it makes sense for forever to begin today, not tomorrow.”

Do you have any experience with ebook publishing? We’d like to hear about it.

  • I am from NYC, and a lot of Barnes & Noble’s are going out of business, would you say the eWorld is cause for this? I myself took to ePublishing sites like and became a member rather than buying hardcovers any longer.Thanks!