It is estimated that ebooks may already account for about 20% of all books published – roughly a 10 billion dollar a year industry. And people are not only buying ebooks: they are also buying subscriptions to online magazines, newspapers, journals, or even just individual articles, because increasingly, that is the only place the content will be available. The best part is that anyone can claim a stake in this exploding new online publishing business opportunity.

It is estimated that perhaps 150 million people have made an online purchase in the US alone, and we are only at the beginning of this incredible, exciting new journey (just wait a few years when 1 billion new Chinese customers, 700 million new Indian customers, 500 billion new Latino customers, etc. come online and start buying. Then the fun will really begin).

For example, China now has over 250 Internet users, just surpassing the US. And that only represents 22% of all Chinese people. It is staggering to contemplate.

By selling your ebook on a website, your store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even while your sleeping. Talk about saving time and energy! And even better, you can enlist an army of affiliate marketers to sell your ebooks for you, so you can leverage your marketing efforts a hundred fold.

Fortunes are being made online every day through affiliate marketing. An affiliate is simply someone you pay a commission for selling your ebook. Since you didn’t have to do a thing for someone else to make a sale for you, this is just free money. Many affiliates are happy to pay a 50% and sometimes even a 75% commission to their affiliates.

The other beautiful thing about selling digital products online is that the process is completely automated. You can be out sunning at the beach or sailing in your yaht while sales are being generated for you automaticallly. Once the sales process is set up, you do nothing but collect your paychecks. That’s called passive income, and it’s a very nice thing to create for yourself. It frees you to live the life you have always wanted. It frees you to live your dreams.

So it’s about working smarter, not harder, and learning to utilize the new technologies of computers and the Internet to your benefit. Many people, especially the more elderly, have a certain phobia of all things electronic. It’s important to push ourselves beyond our self-doubt and put ourselves out there, take risks and attempt new ventures that may seem daunting at first.

But remember, a lot of the technical work of setting up and marketing a website can be farmed out to experts for amazingly reasonable sums of money. Websites like eLance, for instance, contain links to thousands of experts just waiting to bid on any project you have. Let the experts do what they do best, and you just concentrate on what you do best, which may be research and writing. That’s another way you can leverage your efforts.

Another way to leverage your efforts is to find and concentrate on markets that have large numbers of hungry buyers for products like the type you are selling. There are many Internet marketers and publishers who are struggling to succeed because they stubbornly insist on selling to certain niche markets that just may not be profitable. But instead of being willing to reassess their position and make changes, they just keep plodding ahead trying to crack a market that may not be the best one for them.

For example, most new Internet marketers focus on the Internet marketing niche, which is tempting because that’s where a lot of the money is made, and it is certainly where almost all the hype is generated. But in fact, this is where most Internet marketing experts concentrate their efforts, and the competition is cutthroat.

It is very difficult for a beginner to crack this market, and it is advisable that newbies find less competitive niches to begin. But this is the kind of thing you will learn when doing market research, and particularly, keyword research. You must know your market well.