Have you ever considered writing a book? You don’t have to be a novelist to make money writing e-books.

Writing a book — especially an informative volume of nonfiction — can be an excellent way to bring in a little extra income, boost your reputation as an expert, or bolster your résumé.

Skills pay. You know things, whether those things are your profession or your passion; and you can, with a little investment of time and energy, write an e-book that shares your insights and experience.

Even aside from massive success stories like Amanda Hocking, publishing e-books can net you a few hundred a month in passive income.

Determine your topic

Jot down a list of your hobbies, passions, and interests. Perhaps you’re an amazing cook, or maybe you know the ins and outs of knitting.

If you know something about the topic, write it down. Then do a bit of research, which in this case can be as simple as searching online bookstores such as Amazon.

Run a few searches for each of your topics. For example, if you love creating or performing with puppets, you might enter words such as puppeteering, making puppets, or ventriloquism.

Record how many results come up for each search, how popular those books are, and how much they sell for. You might even peek into a few: How long are they? How detailed? Do they include illustrations or diagrams? How readable are they?

You’re looking for that sweet spot where there aren’t so many books on the topic that yours will get lost, but where there are enough books that you know people are interested in reading about the subject.

Sit down and write

Now that you’ve chosen your topic, your next task is to actually write the book. Don’t worry about word count. Today, books easily range from a few thousand words to hundreds of thousands.

Your goal is to creatively share what you know in an enjoyable and informative way. So scribble a quick outline and then fill it in. Since you’re writing about something you already know a good deal about, this should be relatively simple.

Polish your manuscript

Don’t turn potential readers off by not giving them a quality product. Once you’ve written your first draft, consider a little upfront investment in your soon-to-be-published e-book.

Hire an editor

All writers — no matter how experienced — benefit from working with editors. Freelance editors charge less but tend to come with less experience than those employed by companies. Both types of editors will edit a few pages for free as a sample of their work. Then you can choose the best fit for you.

Research cover designs and formatting

People really do judge books by their covers. Luckily, covers do not have to come with high price tags. You can search online for predesigned covers or join an authors’ group on social media and ask for book designer recommendations.

Publish your book

Amazon sells up to 80 percent of all e-books, but it is not the only outlet. Author, blogger, and editor Jane Friedman has collated some very helpful lists of where you can publish your book.

At this point, since you’re not trying to trade your day job for the writing life, you’re done. Your book is written and available online.

Market your book

Most e-book marketing will happen on social media. By maintaining your profiles and posting regularly, you can create a ready audience.

If you start this in the early stages of the book-writing process, it will be easier to promote your finished book later. In addition, you should solicit reviews!

The more reviews your book gets, the easier it is for readers to find it. You can send advance copies to friends, acquaintances, and online connections interested in the topic.

The bottom line

And that’s all there is to creating a passive income stream with an e-book. You can make money writing e-books. It’s the “write” way to generate a little extra money.

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