How to become a self-publisher and sell your ebook online

How to become a self-publisher and sell your ebook online

So you’ve written an ebook about drop shipping/being a female digital nomad in Chiang Mai/rom com - what’s next?


It’s not easy to find a major publisher who is willing to feature your book, but thankfully you don’t need them when you can get your own ebook out there yourself.

If you are planning on selling more than just one ebook, you might want to consider creating a Wordpress website and add on a WooCommerce store. WordPress has lots of really nifty and helpful plugins to help you, many of which cost money, but none of them are absolutely essential.

Here are a few sites where you can sign up to sell your books, and most of the sites have zero sign up fees and a majority of the sale (if not all of it) will go to you. Not sure on how to convert your ‘great idea’ into an ebook format? Some of these services will even handle that for you.


To start selling on Payhip, simply upload your product file and add a name, description, price and a thumbnail image.
You can setup your product page and start earning in a matter of seconds. Thereafter, tweet out your digital product page, share it on your facebook page, blog or website. Free to sign up, 95% royalty per sale.


The world’s largest ebook distributor for self-published authors and small independent presses. Upload your book once to Smashwords and reach multiple global retailers such as the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, the Diesel eBook Store, Baker & Taylor’s Blio and Axis360 and more. Free to sign up, 60 - 80% royalty per sale.

Lulu makes your books available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, the bookstore and many other retailers. All for free.

There are also free tools such as author spotlight, how-to guides and other tutorials as well as a range of paid services to help ensure your book gets the exposure it deserves.

Free to sign up, 80% royalty per sale.


Booktango is a free service that helps you design a cover for your eBook and then helps you publish and market it. You can sell your eBook through their connection of major retailers which includes Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Sony, Amazon, Google and Scribd. When you publish with Booktango, you’ll receive 100 percent of every dollar sold through the Booktango bookstore and 100 percent of net royalties when you make a sale through any of our online retail partners. You pay nothing and keep everything.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Publishing here would mean your books are on the Amazon Kindle Store and at the fingertips of many eBook users. It can take from 24 to 48 hours for your book to be available for purchase in the Kindle Store. Free to sign up, 35 - 70% royalty per sale.


Create an ebook from scratch with any of our tools, or upload from a PDF. Once you’ve finished editing the content and design, your eBook will be ready to be sold on Blurb or the Apple iBookstore. Free to sign up, 80% royalty per sale.

Deciding between selling on your website or sites like Amazon

Before you decide whether to sell your ebook on your own website or use on of the above services, note that if you sell on Amazon, you’re expected to price ebooks like everyone else does, generally between $2.99 – $9.99. If you are a fiction writer, you are locked into the less than $9.99 pricing, because that is what readers expect to pay. However if you are a non-fiction writer, such as how-to guides or technical books, people are willing to pay more for those books.

Of course, one of the biggest pros of publishing on Amazon is leveraging the millions of people who shop there every month. Of course, Amazon has a number of factors to determine whether to show your book to those potential buyers, but if you learn how to optimize for the Amazon search engine and get good reviews, you’ll likely be able to reach readers outside of your friends and family. If you sell more than one book on the platform, Amazon will then recommend your subsequent books to buyers who already purchased an item with your byline. This referral system is one of the biggest appeals of selling on Amazon.

On the flip side, selling your ebook on your own website would require you to market your book. However, a tip would be to sell your first ebook on Amazon and set up an email marketing list. Once you’ve build up a loyal following, you can then begin to market your subsequent ebooks without the need of going through Amazon.

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