The humble eBook has gained massive popularity in recent years and online sales of eBooks have now overtaken those of paper and hardback books. The reason for this is simple: eBooks are hugely versatile and can be read on a wide variety of different devices, from tablet computers and smartphones to small eReaders such as Kindles; they also take up zero space on the bookshelf, which is a bonus if you live in a tiny apartment. The other main reason why electronic books have become so popular is that they tend to be cheaper than traditional books. So if you have a flair for writing, is writing an eBook a viable option, or is the likelihood of you becoming the next E L James somewhere between nought and zero?
Identify your market
The key to literary success in any arena is finding a subject that you are inspired by and want to write about. If you don’t feel inspired by your subject matter, it is highly unlikely that anyone reading your book will be inspired either, which is hardly the point! So choose something you enjoy writing about, write from your own experiences, and let your imagination flow.
Fiction or non-fiction
The non-fiction market can be just as lucrative as the fiction one, so if you are an expert in your field and you have plenty to say about a particular subject, don’t be afraid of having a go at imparting your knowledge to others. People are always eager to learn more about things they are interested in, so you may be able to reach a wide audience and help educate others about something you are passionate about.
In days gone by, the only way an aspiring author would ever see their work in print was if they a) secured a publishing deal or b), self published (which was a costly process when printing actual books on paper). These days, with the advent of e-Publishing, the market is now wide open and anyone with a self penned book can publish it online for free. In most cases, all you need to do is format your manuscript to the correct guidelines (determined by the individual publishing site), create a cover, and in no time at all, you will be a published author.
Will I actually sell any books?
In order to sell large numbers of books online, you will need to do some form of marketing. It helps if you already publish work on several of the popular story websites, as people who like your work are more likely to read your books when you publish them online. Self promotion is also useful: post on blogs and spend time on social networking sites plugging your books to all and sundry. Hopefully, if people love your work, it will take on a life of it’s own via word of mouth—as was/is the case with Fifty Shades of Grey. You may also wish to tell family and friends about your literary achievements and encourage them to spread the word—although this is not recommended if you have penned a hard-core erotic novel filled with kinky sex scenes.