Back in 1996, my family and I were evicted from our home… In 1997, I made so little money that we qualified well below the U.S. poverty line…
If you had told me back then that I’d be where I am today, I would have called you crazy. By tapping into the world’s booming e-book industry, I’ve been able to travel the world and enjoy a luxury lifestyle I could have only dreamed of before.
There have been times when I pulled in $5,000 a day—all with e-books.
And you don’t need to be a Hemingway or J.K. Rowling to earn this way. In my college days, I got an F in English. But today, I’ve authored 14 books, most of which have been Amazon bestsellers.
That’s not to say that my books are literary masterpieces. They’re not. They’re just good at doing what they were designed to do, providing information—what I call “how to” solutions—to people who have problems of one kind or another.
In fact, you don’t even have to write anything at all to make money in this business. In addition to my own books, I’ve published almost 50 books written by others.
License Existing Books
One of the fastest and easiest ways to start making money with e-books is to find a book that’s already been published as a print book and license it to publish online.
As the publisher, you get the lion’s share of the money, paying the author the standard 8% to 15% royalties based on your net sales. Or you can pay a one-time payment for the rights to publish online. I once bought the rights to a book for $200, simply because I liked the content. Over the years, I’ve made over $50,000 selling it as an e-book.
Today there are over 44 million hardback and paperback books on Amazon but only 2.6 million Kindle books. So that means there are more than 40 million books that still haven’t been converted to e-books.
Of course, some of those print books are published by major publishers, and they’re not likely to license their books to you. But many older books were published before e-books even existed so the publisher never purchased the “e-rights” from the author.
Those authors are prime candidates for licensing, as are the authors who self-published their print books and don’t yet have an e-book version. It’s usually because they don’t understand how simple it is to convert a print book to e-book (or they’ve got bigger priorities in their lives).
The first book I licensed in this way, Attitude is Everything, had sold more than 75,000 print copies—so there was no question that there was a demand for the information.
The author, Jeff Keller, who later became a good friend of mine, was happy for me to do the book conversion and send him a royalty check every month. And I got a pretty good deal out of it too. Attitude is Everything turned out to be my number-one-earning e-book for several years.
The actual book-conversion process is not only easy, it’s so inexpensive to outsource that you needn’t do it yourself. There are freelance websites, such as Fiverr.com where you can have your book converted for as little as $5. Then I create a new cover for the online version of the book, which can also be outsourced for as little as $5.