Woman eating popcorn with remote - Writing and selling an ebook

Writing and selling an ebook during COVID-19 lockdown

Coming up with the idea

Two years ago, I decided I wanted to write my first ebook and sell it to the public. That ebook was all about writing your first ebook (very meta).

I started writing and got so far, then suddenly stopped. I’m not sure what happened, it could have been a decline in confidence or an overwhelming sensation of anxiety and depression, but I didn’t go back to the idea until this year during the lockdown.


During the beginning of quarantine, I didn’t have any thought or motivation in writing a book. However, I did have a lot of inspiration for reading books, and this year is the most I’ve ever read.

It then got to a point where I felt motivated to work on personal projects again, and I started getting social on my Twitter, invited all my friends to my Facebook page, and, most importantly, began where I left off with my ebook.

I went from worrying about what people might think about my work, to not giving a flying f*ck what people might think.

It wasn’t exactly a straight and narrow road, some days, I would spend an hour or two writing and other days, it would be 5 or 10 minutes. I did whatever I could to muster up the motivation and courage to keep on writing. The most important thing that changed is my mindset. I went from worrying about what people might think about my work, to not giving a flying f*ck what people might think.

That change in mindset ultimately helped me get to the finish line and release my work to the public. Once it was complete, I uploaded a PDF version to PayHip and a docx version to Draft2Digital. So far, I have made four sales totaling £7.96, and my ebook is still being published to the Amazon marketplace. Once it hits the Amazon marketplace, I think I can make a couple more sales, but I won’t be taking much of an income from that, so I’ll try and persuade people to buy with PayHip instead.

Marketing my ebook

What did I do to market my book? Well, I’m glad you asked because I haven’t done anything special.

I went to Twitter, where I have ~3,000 followers. This is a handful, but nowhere near the amount of the greats. I started off writing a thread on how to make and sell an ebook, and then posted that thread to Hacker News for more exposure. Which I’m not sure even worked. I then waited until the evening and posted an update to that thread announcing the release of my book.

Also, posting to my Facebook business and personal pages but didn’t receive any sales from there. I had a few likes and comments, but nothing too exciting. The same also goes for LinkedIn; actually, many people have had quite a bit of luck with LinkedIn, but I’m yet to see any positives from there just yet.

Once I received my first sale, which I believe was sent from Twitter, I took a screenshot of the graph and posted it to Twitter underneath my sale announcement. This announcement prompted another sale from a close follower, which I was super happy about; she’s always been a very supportive Twitter follower and friend.

This all gave me even more confidence to post on Indie Hackers. Now, I’ve never been very active over there, and that’s definitely on me, but everyone there is super supportive. From now on, I will be far more active on IH and hope to build closer relationships over there. I say this because I had two more sales from posting updates to IH, and there have been so many great, supportive comments which make me want to push further.

Moral of the story

The moral of this story, you need to find your circle of online friends. Be supportive to those you are personally attracted to, and they will support you back. That support will then grow further to new people where the reach and positivity can grow. Nurture and love your followers, friends, and family, and you will reap the rewards.

Gain confidence early and gain confidence now, because the longer you wait, the worse your fears will grow. There are plenty of books to help with this, and I recommend “How to stop worrying and start living,” “Feel the Fear and do it anyway,” “The Chimp Paradox” and “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

My first ebook will be about creating your first ebook

UPDATE: The book is now on sale at PayHip

You heard right, the first ebook I will be creating will about how to write your first ebook. I’ve been thinking about how I would love to create an ebook, but I didn’t know what to write about. Researching how to create an ebook leads to people explaining you should use Canva, Google Docs or something completely different, but they don’t explain how or why.

Canva is an incredible design tool, but why would I use it for information? How would I add a table of contents to my Canva ebook? Google Docs is obviously an amazing document tool. However, the same questions can be asked here. You have to piece together each question to find the correct answers in order to get a definitive answer.

I thought I would save everyone the hassle of this and use the knowledge I gain to help others in creating their ebook(s). The ebook will cover getting started, from planning to the creation and then selling and marketing. Each chapter will be a complete step by step guide. By the end, you will have created your very own ebook to market and sell.

Creating an ebook (planning phase)

UPDATE: The book is now on sale at PayHip

I’ve got this thing in my mind where I want to build something that gives value but also makes me some income. Mainly so I can just get out of debt. Also so I can never figure out what it is I want to do and I always get so overwhelmed and stressed. I put this pressure on myself and think…

“I’m a developer, I can literally build websites, but what do I build?”

“Do I even want to build a product?”

“Can I make an ebook that gives great information?”

Podcast or YouTube?

I would love to create a podcast or a video channel. There’s just never enough time in the day or weekends for me to do this. The reason why I put this pressure on myself is that I want to work for myself. I want to give back to people and I want to do something amazing. And most importantly for me right now is get out of this horrible debt and live a comfortable life. Which will inevitably stop my wife from worrying so much. And also allow me to give back to her for everything she’s done for me.

And most importantly for me right now is get out of this horrible debt and live a comfortable life. Which will inevitably stop my wife from worrying so much and allow me to give back to her for everything she’s done for me.

Creating an ebook might be a good start

After a discussion with my wife, I think I know what I’m going to create. It will be a book discussing my life. This may not seem amazing, but I’ve experienced my mum going through cancer twice. My wife who at the time was my girlfriend would abuse me without realising. It took my mum to take her to one side for her to notice what was going on and she changed for the better.

There also my journey as a website developer. My first ever job lasted all of 3 weeks because they wanted a mid to senior-level developer, but paid a junior salary. 9 Years later, and I’m still doing website development, yet it had its fair share of issues.

I hope you’re as excited as I am in creating my first book, I dunno if it will make fruition, but I’m hopeful. If you’re interested, then you can sign up for updates right here. I’ll post snippets and things to keep you guys interested and informed.