December 16, 2015

You want to write an ebook, but don’t have your own blog or website? If you are thinking about selling your ebook on someone else’s website, then this is for you. I will talk about why this is a bad idea, and what you can do to sell your ebook instead.

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Kristin’s Dilemma

This post is actually in response to a question I got from a follower named Kristin. She asked:

“I currently don’t have a blog or a website, but I have a few ebook ideas. What are your thoughts and tips on writing an ebook and selling it on someone else's website? I'm an NTP and working with a naturopath to create some meal plans and guides. She has a website built already but not a great following, although she does have a great client base. I plan to start writing blog posts for her and thought selling my ebooks on her site would be a good idea but I'm not sure how to handle the money. Do I give her a cut of the profits? Do I split it with her? What percentage is reasonable to share, if any?”


Drawbacks of Selling Your Ebook At Someone Else’s Website

The first thing I want to point out is that collaborations can get a bit sticky. If you are selling your ebook on someone else’s website, then you could end up working for someone. Because that’s what partnerships can start resembling.   You lose control over what you can and can’t write and what you can and can't do.

The next issue is that you aren’t going to be building your own following. You will be dependent on the website owner for sales.

What if you want to partner up with other bloggers in the future? You won’t be able to do that if you’ve agreed to just sell your ebook on that one website!


Setting Up Your Own Website is Simple

It is actually pretty easy and inexpensive to set up a website where you can put your ebook for sale. This is what I would suggest.

Start your own website. Start writing blog posts on that website. And sell your ebook or products on that website.

You can still take advantage of your relationship with the naturapath friend to sell your ebook. You just ask her to be an affiliate.


What Is an Affiliate Program?

Here is how an affiliate program typically works for an ebook. You put your ebook for sale on your website. Your friend (who is now an affiliate) links to the sales page with a unique link that you give her. Each time she refers someone to the ebook who buys it, she gets a commission. The standard commission for information ebooks is usually 50%. Once a month, you pay out her commission.

Affiliate programs will benefit you in a few ways. First of all, you're going to be able to sell those eBooks directly, start building your own following, and earn 100% on those sales. Also, you'll be able to approach other people, like other naturopaths perhaps, to also be affiliates. That will expand your reach quite a bit and it won't limit you to just one person's audience.

Now, obviously if she is creating the ebook along with you, then that would be a different story. You guys would have to work out what your percentages will be or maybe you will just pay her. You would have to just work it out and decide what is fair for the amount of time and effort and expertise that you're both bringing to the project.

If you want to ask a question for me to answer in a future video please comment below.

In the meantime, I'd also love to hear from you in the comments below.  Have you used an affiliate program before?  Do you have any additional tips for Kristin?

Selling Your Ebook On Someone Else’s Website

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8 thoughts on “Selling Your Ebook On Someone Else’s Website

  1. Probably a silly question, but I will ask it anyways. I am starting a for-profit, and one of the items we want to sell is a certain type of children’s book. As we are small now, we (a few of us) would probably write the first books and later maybe recruit more authors. We are not planning to be a publishing house, and will work to have other products too. Most of my experience has been in authors seeking literary agents and publication, but the goal here is that the company be the main profiter, and hopefully we eventually build to have our books in venues like Scholastic. Forgive my ignorance, but how should we proceed? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Heather, if you’re just getting started I would make sure you have your business model and strategy really clear before you deploy several books. It’s not a silly question but one that requires a deep dive into your business in order to answer correctly and in a way that will be valuable to you. I’m currently not accepting new one on one clients (If you’d like to check back later in the year to see if I’ve got any openings, please visit this page: but if you’re eager to get started asap email me and I’ll ask you a couple of Qs to see who I can recommend:

  2. As i get closer to launching my new website and offering my first ebook for sAle i think of more questions. If i sell my ebook on my own website, do i have to email it to each person who purchases? That seems A little cumbers since i’m planning on making a lot of sales!

    1. Hi Christine,
      Not at all! You need a service like Ejunkie or Gumroad which will automate that for you for a small fee. There are several others but those 2 are a great place for you to start.
      Hope that helps!

  3. Sylvie, Thank you so much for responding to my question! I was pleasantly surprised to see the e-mail in my inbox 🙂 I have decided to go ahead and start my own blog and publish my ebooks there. You are so right about the partnerships being sticky…the other projects I work on with the naturopath are more cut and dry, but the ebook thing won’t be.

    Again, thanks for answering my question! I appreciate all of the advice and suggestions you offer on your site. You’re awesome!

  4. If you don’t have a website to sell your ebooks, obviously, it behooves you to start a site ASAP. Until then, I think it’s ok to offer it to sell on other people’s site as an affiliate. You can easily sign up for an affiliate program on sites like eJunkie or commission junction and ask people to sign up as affiliate. They do all the financials for you and all you have to do is pay them when they sell. But like you said, Sylvie, she should set up a site ASAP. Great question!

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