Writing and Selling Ebooks Online: Diary of My Quest to Publish 50 Ebooks on Amazon in One Year, Part VIII

In the last post in this ebook writing series, I told you about how I’d published 13 titles on Amazon. Well now, I’m up to 16 – and I plan to add at least two more this week. FYI, sprinkled throughout this post are some photos (click to see larger views)…

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details. FYI, you can read all entries in this ebook writing series at the end of this post.

I want to touch on two things this week: (i) a question from an aspiring ebook writer (that I hope you may be able to lend some insight to); and (ii) my ebook writing progress in this “Quest for 50” this week.

Questions from an Aspiring Ebook Writer

A couple of weeks ago, I received a long email from an aspiring ebook writer with a few questions. He wrote:

Hi Yuwanda,

I am so glad I came across Inkwell Editorial last week and want you to know that I have taken your wisdom to heed. There are a few items that surfaced in my mind which I’d like 

My Office View in Negril Some Days

     My Office View in Negril Some Days

to ask you for help with.

First, have you written anything on copywriting? I’d writing my first fiction novel (a transfer from a screenplay I wrote ages ago, which is actually taking a new life of its own) and have no copywrite as of yet.

Can I simply tag it with a copywrite claim on the bottom pages, like in your ebook, or must I fill out a form and mail it to Big Brother?

Second, I’ve decided to use a pen name (he mentioned pen name) so that I can maintain some privacy should I actually achieve some level of popularity. That being the case, I am once again concerned with formalities. Does one need to file a form with the government to have a pen name? Any help with these housekeeping items will be greatly appreciated.

And lastly, I am already working on chapter three of my romance novel and have considered loading my first two chapters on Amazon and the other sites to sell for $0.99 each. However, I’m uncertain because I kinda want to have the book complete and polished before releasing anything. But at the same time, I think that releasing it chapter by chapter may very well entice readers to continue buying subsequent chapters as a sort of mini-series in print. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks in advance for your replies and for such great work you’ve done!

I answered some of his questions in a quickly fired-off email.

My Reply

Drinks after a Day at the BeachWelcome to InkwellEditorial.com; I too am glad you found us on the web. As for your questions, a lot of what you’re looking for can be found simply by doing Google searches.
I’ve written on copyright protection (an ebook) and pen names before.

Here’s the post on whether or not to use a pen name as a writer.

Here’s the ebook on copyright protection/copyright infringement.

I’ll address the part about publishing your book in parts in my post in the ebook writing series on Friday. FYI, I’m not a fiction writer, so do a Google search and find the blog of a fiction writer you like and follow their advice.

Again, almost anything you want to know about self publishing can be found online. All it takes is some digging.

Ebook Writing: Insights about If You Should You Sell Chapters Separately on Amazon

I never got around to answering the part about selling chapters separately, so here goes.

First, I’m a non-fiction, “how to” writer. Hence, I have no experience with publishing ebooks in separate parts (ie, chapter by chapter), other than doing pullouts (an ideal way to make more money writing fewer ebooks by the way).

I think I read somewhere that Stephen King did something like this a few years ago – to great success. But, he’s friggin’ Stephen King! He could probably publish the alphabet letter by letter and make a mint.

In my opinion, this can be an uphill battle for an unknown author, simply because you can get whole ebooks for way cheap — 99 cents to $2.99 – from very famous and very well-known authors (eg, JA Konrath).

Hence, you can’t compete on price, which leaves your “writing.” But if no one knows you, it’s that much more difficult for them to discover you (eg, give you a try) if they can buy whole books from other unknowns for so little.

But again, take my opinion with a grain of salt. I’m no fiction writer and know very little about the genre.

The one good thing about self-publishing ebooks via Amazon is that you can change your pricing as often as you like. So, it doesn’t “cost” you anything to give it a shot.

There’s a first for everything – and you just might be the first author to sell one million “ebook chapters,” instead of selling one million ebooks, like author John Locke.

Following are some links to further insight on this:

Prix Fixe vs. A la Carte Publishing: What’s the Upside for Authors?

Discussion Forum on Selling Books Chapter by Chapter

Do you have an additional insight on this? Have you published an ebook chapter by chapter? Know someone who has? Please leave comments below so everyone can benefit from your sharing.

My Ebook Writing Progress Last Week

To recap briefly, last week, I finished the ebook, How to Create Ebook Covers for Less than $5 and uploaded it. Then, I created a cover for an existing title (the SEO writing ebook) and uploaded it.

More "Office" Traffic Noise (ah, the days I have :-))This past Sunday, I finished How to Sell Ebooks Online via e-Junkie and Set Up an Ebook Affiliate Program (I get quite a few questions about this, my ebook upload service, so thought it was an appropriate title), and uploaded it.

Remember, my goal is to finish at least one new title per week and upload it by Sunday. I was tired as all get out, but I was determined not to let the day go by without uploading a title – and I didn’t.

In My Bathing Suit — In Jamaica – But My Butt Didn’t Hit “a Drap” of Water; NOT. . . ONE. . . DRAP!

Sunday is family day here in Negril, and many head to the beach. And, that was my plan too. My sister and I suited up, packed our beach bags and headed to the next little town over (Little London) to look at some pre-fabricated cottages.

A Home in Jamaica for Less Than $10,000?

As an aside, my sister is looking for a piece of land to buy here because this is where she wants to retire and you can get a pre-manufactured wood cottage for just a few thousand dollars. You have to add on and build out the kitchens and baths, but for literally less than $10,000 you can have a cute-as-a-button, paid-for home here in Negril (not including the cost of the land, of course).

But, I digress . . .

After getting back from Little London, we went to a hotel/restaurant on the beach, had some lunch and planned to work “for a few hours” before spending the rest of the day swimming, gazing at the fine brothers on the beach while yakking and drinking Red Stripe (the national beer of Jamaica).

Well, neither one of our butts hit a drap of water! Not one drap! (I’m from the south and that’s how older people tend to say “drop” of water; they say “drap” instead of “drop”).

I’m talking, I we remained dry as the Sahara Desert. Oh yeah, we could see the ocean – we were working in the restaurant overlooking it – but we didn’t even step on the sand (my sister is a writer too).

But, I had to finish – and so did she (to get her manuscript off to that Broadway producer I told you about meeting here).

Ebook Writing Goes On: My Next Title (Wanna Move to Jamaica?)

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about living in Jamaica since I started the whole Girl a Go Go series about my life here – so I’m putting together an ebook about how to move to Jamaica (Negril) for at least three months.

I’ll talk money, renting, utilities, what to expect – and a whole bunch of other pertinent stuff.

If you want to Live the Freelance Life!, Jamaica is a good place to start because it’s affordable. And, three months is enough time to really assess if this is a place you’d like to live more permanently; also, if you’re not a resident, you have to leave the country every 90 days, so that’s why I’m focusing on this time period. I’ll be VERY specific, so you won’t have any surprises if this is something you want to do.

Note: I’m gonna start updating the Girl a Go Go series again soon. I lost the USB port to my digital camera, so couldn’t transfer photos / videos to my computer. I have one again now, so am able to do this and will start updating the series again semi-regularly.

Lessons about Ebook Writing Learned This Week

Time – Use It or Lose It: A friend of mine told me this week that she finally finished a book she started writing over 20 years ago. She finished it in about two weeks. She said, “You know what Yuwanda, you just have to sit down and write and write and write.”

This is what it takes to get a book done – nothing more, nothing less. And, as more than half this year is gone already, boy do I realize it, which brings me to my second observation . . .

More Office Traffic NoiseUnplug: I didn’t log onto Twitter all day yesterday and did very little work. I had some errands to do; that was part of it, but the main reason is I needed to unplug for a minute and recharge. I’d worked for two weeks straight without a “day off” and I was mentally exhausted (writing is hard work – don’t let anyone tell you any different).

There’s only so much you can go, go, go before you burn out. So it’s important to take breaks. They’re every bit as important as getting your “ebook writing word count” in every day.

Dreams are Exhausting: Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to give up on this whole ebook writing quest? Tons. Because until the end of the year, I know what my days (and nights, and evenings and a helluva lot of weekends) are going to look like.

So I’ve tried to talk myself out of it by saying stuff like:

You’ve published more in a month than most ever will in a lifetime, so why push yourself,” or

“You can spread this goal out over two years instead of one;”

She Works Hard for the MoneyAlong with a whole bunch of other excuses.

But that’s the thing about dreams – if you want to achieve them, you have to push yourself (at least in my opinion).

I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I have these last few months – but you know what, it’s also rewarding – and makes me realize that most of us are so much more capable than we ever dare push ourselves to achieve.

What dreams are you leaving on the table, and if you’re a writer, how many words have you written today?

Happy Writing!

P.S.: Get The Ultimate Self-Publishing Package: 4 Ebooks. 1 Low Price.

ebook-publishing-packIf you are courageous, hard-working and self-motivated, you really can make a lot of money selling ebooks online (I’m proof of this) – if you don’t forget that last ingredient – perseverance.

Share Your Ebook Selling Tips and Questions?

Have any ebook selling tips to share? Have a question about how to make money selling ebooks online? Share in the comments section below.

P.P.S.: Serious about Starting a Self-Publishing Career? Then You Need a Website/Blog. Learn why and how to start one.

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    1. Leora Madariaga says:

      Technical writing – I want to write technical articles but what are copyright laws?

    2. Gregorio Hoeffer says:

      I have written several articles and posted them on internet article directories. All directories I have posted on state that if others wish to use the article they must place the author’s link/s along with the article. I have found a website that used my article and did not give me any credit (including adding my name). Is there anything I can do about this?.

    3. I have a website I will be updating a few times a week with original animations and short films along with concept art for the animations and other kinds of media. How can I copyright everything on my site so that the copyright info I have on the bottom of every page “All original content (C) 2008 (My Name)” actually means something? Will my logo, site name, all content be copyrighted?.