How to Make Passive Income Through E-Books

Passive income is a term used for income that results from the cash flow received on a regular basis, such that it requires little or no effort to be maintained.

Now if you are confused as to how you can create a passive income with e-Books then you have landed on the right page to help you get started! The basic idea is you invest in the writing and development of the ebook and then continue to get income on an ongoing basis from royalty sales.  Here we will give you some tips and ideas for how to get started.

Getting the Topic Right!

The first thing most people ask is how to market their ebook and get sales.  Yes, that’s important but really the first and most important step is picking the right topic.  You will need a niche you can target that will allow you to get your ebook noticed.

What to Look for in a Topic

So basically, what you need to do for starters is to find a topic such that your readers absolutely ‘want’ it. There are a few ways in which you can get to know what your readers actually want and that is through existing communication channels you have with your target audience.  Perhaps that is customers you’re already working with, a blog you have, podcast or other interactions. You need to listen to your potential audience and hear what their interests are and develop topics based on that.

If you don’t have a blog or other avenue of communicating directly with your potential target audience, then you will need to get busy on google and start researching your areas of expertise and see where the opportunities might be to develop a book that will be of interest to your audience.  Find where your audience gathers online, possible competitor ebooks, etc. to determine the current status of your niche.

Putting Out a Survey

If you do have a forum to interact with your audience, you can always put out a survey for your followers to fill out. Be sure to not be too obvious and have your survey ask questions like “What do you think I should write to boost my passive income?” directly! Neither should you go for questions like “What do you want me to write about?”.   Ask your audience about their areas of interest, what they would like to know more about, their concerns and needs. This may help to give you clues on what might be popular in an ebook format.

Without the right topic its going to be difficult to find success.  Your topic also needs to have some longevity and ideally will be evergreen in nature, so sales can continue for an extended period of time.  

Scout the Competition

Once you have developed a few ideas that you feel can work then you need to research your potential competition.  If you find you have some direct competitors try and find an angle or a niche that they don’t cover that you can focus on to help differentiate your e-book and stand out to your target audience.  

Get Published!

There is no shortage of platforms that allow you to publish ebooks and make money out of them. However, choosing the right platform is very important as you’d want your ebook to be available on a platform that is widely used.

The first name that comes to our mind is obviously Amazon store, which accounts to roughly 80% of the total e-book sales (in English-language countries). Publishers get a 70% royalty on their Kindle titles (for ebooks priced between $2.99-$9.99), while anything priced below $2.99 and above $9.99 would get you 35% on the gross sales price. Publishing ebooks on Amazon in pretty straight forward and plenty of information is available from Amazon.

Some of the other prominent platforms include Apple iBooks Author (70% flat royalty, requires iTunes Producer, Mac-only), Kobo Writing Life (190 countries), Smashwords, Digital2Draft, Inkshares (US), Unbound (UK) and Gumroad.

Get Noticed!

Most ebook publishers don’t have the kind of budget required to advertise their ebooks using traditional advertising channels. You don’t have to be an expert in online marketing either as you can do a lot using the existing channels, mostly for free! You might not have a blog of your own, but if you do, there is simply no excuse not to use it to market your ebooks. There are a ton of ebook plugins available that make it super easy to integrate ebook sales with your blog. If you don’t already have a blog, it doesn’t take much effort and money to start one.

Social Media is another powerful channel that allows you to reach masses. Those of you lucky enough to have a strong following on the social media should definitely take advantage of what platforms like Facebook and twitter have to offer. If the target audience of your eBooks is business people or students, Linkedin can be particularly useful in spreading the word out. If you don’t already have social media accounts at least on the most popular sites, where have you been? Getting started is just a matter of a few clicks and it doesn’t hurt to reach out people you already know.

In addition to the ebook publishing platforms discussed before, there are also a ton of helpful sites that help you promote and distribute your ebooks. While many of such services are available for free, you’d want to go the paid route if you are really serious about generating a steady passive income by selling ebooks.


It may take you longer than you expect to develop the right plan and implement it.  Finding a topic might take some trial and error to figure out the right angle and niche to focus on to generate sales.  You also may have to try different publishers and methods for getting noticed. Once you do though, you can then have a great opportunity to generate passive income while you move onto your next endeavor.