Anyone who wants to start an ebook business can do so on Smashwords, one of the newest sites for publishing ebooks. Since 2008, more than 12,000 writers have published their own electronic books through the site. Anyone can sign up with the site and publish an ebook for free, allowing the public to buy the ebook directly through the Smashwords site.
Ebooks for Sale
When publishing ebooks through the site, writers can set their own price and can choose to show prospective buyers as much of the work as they like. They can also publish any type of book of their choosing. Publishing poetry, reports, personal essays, shorts stories and more are all allowed, along with novels, novellas and full-length non-fiction works.
Writers receive 85 percent of the book price when a book sells through Smashwords without the aid of affiliate marketing. If the book is sold through the ebook affiliate program, the writers earn 70.5 percent of the price. Writers who don’t want to share their revenue with affiliate marketers can opt out of the program within the first 30 days of publishing an ebook. Writers can also choose to increase an affiliate’s percentage of the sale price by lowering their own percentage in order to encourage more affiliate marketing of the book.
The electronic books are also placed for sale on the Barnes and Noble website, in the Diesel Ebooks Store and there are plans to make the books available on Amazon. When the books are sold through a third-party website, the writer receives 60 percent of the sale price.
Creating an Ebook Business
Writers, and those who like ebooks, can create an ebook business by either writing and publishing ebooks on the site or by promoting ebooks as an affiliate. The ebook affiliate program is open to anyone and pays 11 percent of the book sales made by those who click on the affiliate link. The affiliate cookie lasts for 48 hours. The minimum payment is $25, and payments are made through PayPal. The affiliate must pay the PayPal fee for the payment.
Writers who link to their own books as affiliates are not paid an additional affiliate fee on top of the sales percentage, but they will earn a percentage if anything else is purchased during that 48-hour period. With this system in place, if a customer decides not to buy the book promoted and chooses something else, the writer still profits from the transaction.