Reader Mail: How Much Money Can I Make Selling An Ebook?

My friend, Patti, who is working in the couponing niche and is writing her own ebook, wrote me and asked:

Is it unreasonable to think that I might sell 1,000 copies of my book? Yes, I know there are a million different factors and that I should never UNDERestimate myself – however, that’s kind of the point in my head where I think this whole process is “worth it.” If I write the book and just my family reads it, well, that was a waste of a few months.

I think that is something that everyone who has developed their own product has wondered at some point – “Is anyone going to buy this thing? I’ve spent months writing this book… Is anyone other than my mom going to use it?”

(Let’s take a quick minute to appreciate our moms who can always be counted on to be at least one person to buy our ebook =)

There is no way to accurately predict how many books you can sell in a particular niche, but there are some ways to make sure you’re not wasting your time in writing an ebook (or developing some other product).

First, did you do your homework on your niche? Before you start developing a product, I recommend making sure that there are other people making money from your niche. Sure, there’s something to be said for the trailblazers who go and make a killing in a brand new niche, but that’s not something I recommend for your first online business. Stick to niches where people have already shown that it’s possible to make some money.

Second, what can you do to set yourself apart from the crowd? My family has spent the last 4 weeks in Las Vegas, and I’ve been impressed by some of the marketing techniques used by the big casinos on the Strip. A lot of them have big, fancy shows out front designed to draw you in – the volcano at the Mirage, the fountains at the Bellagio, the Siren show at Treasure Island, and the MGM Grand used to have live lions outside.

All of these shows are designed to help separate each casino from their competitors – and casinos have to do this because once you go in the doors, they’re all the same.

What are you going to do to set yourself apart from the other sites in your niche? It can be extraordinarily good content, it can be a new and unique take on things, it can be giving away for free what other people are selling – it can even be all of the above.

Doing the same thing as everyone else is a great way to never sell any books.

Lastly, to Patti’s number of 1,000 books. I think that selling 1,000 books in a good niche is definitely possible. However, I don’t really think about it like that. I want sustained passive income, so I’m more concerned with setting up systems that will run by themselves indefinitely. I’m more concerned with getting automatic search traffic, setting up a great sales funnel, and making making sales to my readers on an ongoing basis than I am with the total number of books that I’ve sold.

But I know that everyone has their own idea of what makes all the work “worth it” so let’s look at Patti’s number of 1,000 ebook. Is it possible to sell 1,000 ebooks? Sure. You’re probably going to have to ask around 30,000 people to buy your book to get to that number.

If that sounds daunting, don’t think about it in those terms. Work on setting up a system that will sell 1 book every day. If you can do that, then selling 10 per day or 100 per day is only a factor of traffic.