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How To Publish An eBook Online

You’ve got a book in you. And you’re ready to get that book out of your head and onto the page; you want to ensure that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. If any of those things are true, publishing is the answer.  This post offers a detailed tutorial on how you can publish an eBook online.

Publishing is a big deal. It’s something that authors have been doing for centuries, and it’s something that we’re still figuring out how to do best in this day and age. We’ve made huge strides since the days of hand-copying manuscripts, but there are still plenty of ways for aspiring authors to get tripped up along the way, especially when it comes time to put their work out into the world and reach an audience.

But what about all the supplementary stages, like how long does it take to publish my eBook? Do I need to market my book after I publish it? And what do I need to know before publishing an eBook in the first place? We’ve put together our top tips for publishing eBooks online.

Publish An Ebook

Why should you publish an eBook?

eBooks are a great way to reach more people, whether you’re a new author or want to get your message out there.

  • eBooks are easy to read on mobile devices, so they’re perfect for the commuter and frequent traveler alike. 
  • Plus, with an eBook, you don’t need to carry heavy eBooks or even wait for them in the mail: download them when you need them.
  • You can share eBooks with others easily, email the file or post it on social media (you’ll probably find some eager readers). And if someone finds errors in your book? No worries, update the file online.
  • eBooks are perfect for authors who want to share their work with the world but need more time or money to print and distribute hard copies of their books. If you have a great idea for an eBook, consider self-publishing it.
  • You can make money selling eBooks.  Since they can be sold online, it’s almost like creating your own online business.  You can continue selling virtual copies of your book forever.

Where can you publish an eBook?

You can publish your eBook in one of the following places.

  • Gumroad
  • Amazon Publishing

There are other methods of publishing an eBook, too, but in this article, we will only focus on the above two.

How to publish an eBook on Gumroad?

The following sections have in-depth information on how you can publish your eBook.

Publish An Ebook

Why is Gumroad an excellent choice for selling eBooks? 

You may be wondering why you should use Gumroad to sell your eBook. After all, there are plenty of other options out there. Gumroad is one of many platforms that allow you to sell digital products—but it’s also the best choice for independent authors because the following reasons:

  • It’s easy to set up and use. Getting started on Gumroad takes less than a minute. Once ready, upload your book and share it with others via social media or email.
  • It’s secure and affordable. When you sell eBooks through Gumroad, customers can download them directly from our servers without any extra steps required from either party involved in selling/buying; this means no third parties storing customer information (including credit cards) and no risk attached if something goes wrong during payment processing (like identity theft).
  • Additionally, they keep their prices low, so everyone can afford their favorite titles no matter where they live – they handle VAT (European tax), so don’t worry about dealing with taxes at home, either.

Gumroad fees 

Publishing an eBook on Gumroad is a great way to make money without dealing with the hassle of selling your book. However, many writers need to be more careful about using Gumroad because they need to know their fees or how much they can expect to make.

Here are the key points you need to know:

At the time of writing, you have two main fee options:

  • There is no monthly fee, and you pay 8.5% + 30 cents per sale.
  • Initially, you’ll pay $10 for the service and 3.5% + 30 cents per sale. Furthermore, you get additional benefits, such as removing Gumroad branding from sales emails and customizing product delivery options (so you can handle fulfillment yourself).

Starting Out on Gumroad?

If you’ve been thinking about publishing an eBook, but haven’t gotten around to it because you were intimidated by the thought of having to deal with all the technical details involved in making it a reality, then here’s some good news: publishing an eBook on Gumroad is effortless. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  • Create an account (or log in if you already have one).
  • Pay their fee.
  • Add your Product using our easy form; add your title, description, and cover image (if applicable). 

Sign up on Gumroad

To publish an eBook on Gumroad, you’ll need to sign up and verify your account. If you’re new to Gumroad, here’s how:

  • Sign up for a new account. Go to 
  • Verify your email address when prompted by the system.
  • Now that you’ve signed up and verified your account, it’s time to add payment information so that customers can purchase your ebooks using their credit card or PayPal accounts (or bank accounts). 

Here is how:

  • Add payment information in the Payments tab of your Dashboard. You can add either credit card details or bank account details.

Add your Product

To add your first Product, Gumroad walks you through the process. You will be selling an eBook, so click on the Digital product button:

Click the Digital product button on the “Add your first product” page.

Click one of three buttons to select how you want your eBook to be sold:

  • Product: Using the Product, you can start selling your eBook immediately.
  • Subscription: Your Product can be billed via recurring subscription. For example, this would be useful if you were selling membership access.
  • Presale: Your Product can be pre-ordered before it goes on sale.

Now add the product details, and follow the following steps:

  • Name: Give your Product a name that reflects what it is and why readers would want it. If you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for an art book about dogs, “Book About Dogs” probably isn’t cut it; try something like “The Dog Lover’s Guide.”
  •  Set the price. The Product’s price should be entered in the box next to the Product’s Name. There is no limit to the price you can enter. It can be anything from $0.99 up to $5,000. To switch currencies, click the currency symbol.
  • Image File: Upload your cover image file here (if applicable).

Add a cover image and description.

To add a cover image, click “upload” and choose your file. If you still need a cover, hire a graphic designer to make a relevant cover for your ebook, or make one yourself. However you like.

After you’ve uploaded your cover image, this will appear on product pages and be visible to visitors when they land on your page from Google search results. A small message can be stamped onto the first page of your PDF as an additional anti-piracy measure by Gumroad.

Fine-tune and publish your eBook

Once you’ve created your eBook and finished editing it, it’s time to publish it on Gumroad.

 Your buyers will be able to see how it looks before you publish it. You can switch from Edit to Preview mode by clicking on the Edit/Preview button at the top of the page. You can see how your product appears when a visitor clicks the “buy” button. 


When someone buys something from your site, they’ll be redirected through an email confirmation process that lets them know precisely when their purchase will be delivered. If they’re having trouble with this process due to spam filters or other browser issues (which sometimes happens), there may be an issue with their internet service provider (ISP). Try contacting them directly if this happens so they can help resolve any issues between themselves and their ISP provider.

Add the product to your website

Once you are ready, it’s time to add your eBook to your website.

Follow these steps:

  • Add a description and price. You will have to choose a product name and add a short description of your eBook and its price.
  • Add an image. Please choose an image for your eBook’s cover and upload it on Gumroad. It should be a square file no larger than 1024 pixels wide and 1024 pixels high (ideally 1000 x 1000).
  • Adding tags to your book will allow you to categorize it.
  • Publish it. Once you’ve done all that, click the “Publish” button in the top right corner of the page, and voilà, you’ve just published an eBook.

Marketing the eBook through linking

With a publishing platform like Gumroad, you have access to a range of tools that can help you market your eBook. An important one is an ability to create links that direct customers straight to their purchase page. You can sell Gumroad products on your website in three ways:

  • Providing a link: A product page for your eBook is automatically created on Gumroad’s website. This page can be linked to your website.
  • Overlay Widget: Your site will display a “Buy Now” button when you use the Overlay widget. Your page will appear with a pop-up overlay when the button is clicked. The shopper purchases your eBook by clicking the button, entering their card details, and paying online.
  • Embed widget: Overlay and Embed widgets work similarly, except Embed embed content from the overlay – such as a cover image, product details, and the “I want this” button on your page.

How To Self Publish an eBook On Amazon?

If Amazon is your choice, this section has all the information you need.

Why is Amazon an excellent choice for selling eBooks?

  • Amazon is the largest e-commerce site in the world, with over 200 million customers worldwide. It also has a vast following of loyal readers willing to pay for eBooks, making it an excellent choice for self-publishing and selling your book.
  • There’s no upfront cost to set up shop on amazon; only a tiny percentage of each sale goes to the company.
  • Amazon’s easy-to-use platform allows you to list your book on Amazon without creating a website or signing up for any paid membership sites. You can start selling books immediately after uploading them to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program.

Create an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Account

You’ll need to create an account to self-publish an eBook on Amazon. You can do this by going to and clicking Create Account.

Once in the registration form, provide your name and email address, and choose a password that’s easy for you to remember but difficult for others (or else your book may be stolen). 

Finally, enter your credit card details so that Amazon can charge money whenever somebody buys one of your eBooks. They will only charge something once you successfully upload it and make it available for sale in their store.

Set Your Primary Language

The first thing you need to do is set your primary language. You can choose either English or whatever language you plan on writing in. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book on building houses out of mud bricks and twine or one on the history of knitting patterns using amigurumi techniques—you can still write it in English and sell it as an eBook in any country.

But if your goal is to publish multiple versions of your book in different languages (for example, a Spanish version and an English version), then make sure that the other versions are set up separately with their KDP accounts before proceeding.

Enter your book title and subtitle

 Enter your book title and subtitle. The title of your book is what readers will see first when they search for it on Amazon, so it’s essential to make sure that it’s unique and relevant to your subject matter. A good rule of thumb is to keep the title short (around 7 words) and easy to remember.

Enter the Author’s name

After you’ve chosen a title, the next step is to enter your name as the Author. If you are writing under a pen name, enter that name here. And if you’re writing under your real name, enter it as well.

Also, if this book is part of a series and has been published previously (i.e., it’s already been out there in some form), please check that box before proceeding to the next section.

Enter your book description

Your book description is one of the essential parts of your product page, and visitors will see it before they click to buy your book. This is where you should include a short bio about yourself and go over any relevant credentials or accolades that make you an authority on the topic. This section should also include keywords your potential readers might be searching for to find information about your subject matter online.

Verify your publishing rights

The first thing you have to do is verify that you have the right to publish your book. It will be a very short road from here if you don’t.

Three things must be in place for this verification process: You must be the Author of the book; you must be the book owner; and lastly, all other content in your eBook (such as photos or illustrations) must not belong to someone besides yourself. This means that if any third-party contributions are included in your work (like quotes or references), that too should be credited.

Choose your keywords

Choosing keywords is like putting together an outfit, but with more thought. You want your keywords to fit with the book they represent while not being too casual or formal. If you’re writing about how to build a rocket ship from mud, that probably won’t be relevant if you were going for something like “space travel” or “astronaut training.”

Keywords that accurately describe what your book covers without including superfluous information will help buyers find it more quickly online and increase its visibility on Amazon’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

Choose two categories/tags for your book

Here’s the thing: you can’t fool Amazon by saying your book is about “self-help” and then writing a novel about teenagers stranded on a deserted island. On the other hand, if your book is more of an anthology featuring short stories and poems by different authors, then it may make sense to choose that category instead of “fiction.” 

Choose a suitable age range

For a children’s book, you should choose a suitable age range. If your book is meant for kids and teenagers, select ages 4-8 or 9-12. And if your book isn’t meant for kids but can be enjoyed by them (like Harry Potter), choose “any age.”

Just remember that if you make the right choice here, Amazon will automatically assign an age range based on their internal algorithm, which will only sometimes be accurate.

Choose your book release option

You have two options for releasing your book: choose to publish immediately or schedule a future date. If you choose to publish immediately, your book will be available for purchase within 24 hours. If you choose to schedule a future date, it will become available on that date.

How do I know which option is best for me? 

That’s up to you. For example, if you want people in other countries or those who live in remote areas where internet access isn’t great, like Alaska, to be able to find and purchase your work easily and quickly, then go ahead and publish right away. But if there are no such obstacles preventing anyone from accessing your work online or through apps like Kindle Unlimited (which provides unlimited access), then hold off publishing.

Select DRM rights

You’ve decided to self-publish a book on Amazon. Wonderful. But before you get started, you must understand the difference between DRM rights and regular ol’ rights.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, protecting your book from piracy by preventing people from downloading and sharing it with others. You can choose to allow or disallow downloads on the Amazon publishing platform. 

Upload your book

You’re almost done. Now that you’ve got your files, it’s time to upload them. To do this, log into Amazon KDP and select “Upload Book Now” from the top menu. You will then be prompted with a conducive screen:

  • Click on “Start Uploading Files” at the bottom and select your content from their respective folders (book file, metadata, and manuscript). 
  • Then click “Next Step >.”
  • After a few more clicks and screens, you should be able to submit your book for publishing. Congratulations—you’ll now see how many pages are in your book when it gets listed on Amazon’s website (a handy trick for checking if you forgot anything).

Upload your book cover

Do you want to stand out in the sea of books that Amazon offers? Then make sure your cover is professional and appealing.

You can also use a book cover that is relevant to the genre of your book. For example, if you’re writing a romance novel, it makes sense to use an image with two people embracing each other. If it’s a mystery/thriller, something dark and mysterious might be better suited for a good book cover design.

Preview your book

This is one of the most important steps; ensure you preview your book before publishing it. You can do this by going to “Manage Your Kindle” on Amazon and then clicking on Preview Your Book. You’ll get a sense of what it looks like from the buyer’s point of view and see if any design or formatting errors need correcting.

Choose your preferred areas

As an author, there are some things that you have to do. For example, writing a book is one of them. But once it’s done and ready to be published, you need to decide where it will be sold. Who will buy your book? Where will they buy it from? Where do they live? What languages do they speak? Are these people tech-savvy, or will they prefer paperbacks in the bookstore over eBooks on their tablet or smartphone? These are questions that only you can answer, so choose carefully because once chosen, this information cannot be changed after publishing.

Choose your royalty and pricing

Your royalty can range from 35% to 70%. Most authors will earn more money from the 70% royalty. Adding such limitations and differing the royalty calculation seems obvious, but it does have some limitations.

Your primary marketplace should be, then set the price on If you want, you can manually set each price in other marketplaces based on exchange rates.


Publishing a book on Amazon is the last step in the self-publishing process. Once your book is published, it will be available on the Kindle store. However, before you can publish your eBook on Amazon as an author, some things need to be taken care of first:

  • You must be an author or author-publisher (someone who is both writing and publishing their own books) with KDP Select program.
  • You must have agreed to all terms & conditions of the KDP Select program.
  • Ensure that 10% royalties are earned from each sale of your eBook.

Publish An eBook: FAQS

What are the 7 steps to writing an eBook?

The best way to write an eBook is by following the 7 steps below. 

  • Brainstorming
  • Outlining
  • Researching
  • Writing
  • Editing/Proofreading 
  • Publishing
  • Marketing

How long does it take to publish an eBook?

Now that you’ve written your book and are ready to self-publish, the next question is, “How long does it take to publish an eBook?”

It depends on a few factors:

  • How big is your book? If it’s short, say around 10,000 words or less, it should be relatively quick (a few hours). But the process will take longer if you’re writing something much larger than that, like a 100+ page eBook or nonfiction guidebook.
  • Do you have other things going on in your life right now? For example, if you’re about to go on vacation for a week and need some downtime, it’s best not to start publishing immediately after finishing writing. Set aside some time later when nothing else is going on so that everything goes smoothly without too much stress and feeling overwhelmed by all these new responsibilities.

What do I need to know before publishing an eBook?

Before you publish an eBook, you’ll want to consider the following questions:

  • Do I have the right to publish my eBook online?
  • What is the difference between publishing and distributing an eBook?
  • What is the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing?
  • How long will it take for me to publish my eBook online?

Do I have to market my book after I publish it?

Marketing is a continuous process, and it’s not just about selling. It will help if you build relationships with your readers. Promoting your book on social media, in emails, and at events and conventions allows you to reach many people through these channels. You can be consistent in your efforts so your message doesn’t get stale or repetitive over time.

Are there any legal implications for publishing my book?

First, you should be careful about what you say. You don’t want to say anything that could be considered defamatory or slanderous towards another person or entity. And if they’re famous enough, they might sue you.

How can I ensure I’m not committing a crime when I publish my book online? 

We’ve all heard of the FBI watching everything we do online. Well, they’re only watching if something bad happens, like terrorism or child pornography. So don’t worry too much about being put on a list just for being yourself and sharing your thoughts; worst case scenario, if someone sees your content as threatening, they’ll probably tell their friends about it instead of calling 911 immediately.

Do I have the right to publish my eBook online?

You do have the right to publish your eBook online. However, you need to be aware of some laws regarding copyright, plagiarism, and patents. Copyright protects original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which they can be perceived visually, aurally, or otherwise. 

The U.S. Copyright Act prevents anyone from reproducing, distributing, or creating derivative works from your work without your permission (and sometimes even if you give them permission).

How can I avoid violating copyright laws?

To avoid violating copyright laws, make sure that any photos used in the book are owned by you or licensed for use under Creative Commons; don’t include text copied verbatim without credit, and make sure that songs used as part of an audio book are properly licensed as well (there’s a difference between playing music for background noise versus using it for demonstration purposes). It’s also important not to infringe on another author’s ideas; this includes being certain how much material is drawn from other sources before publishing something new, a process known as fair use analysis.

When publishing, what factors do you need to consider?

Now that you’ve decided to publish an eBook online, it’s time to start thinking about what factors will affect its success. Will the length of your book matter? What about pricing? How much do you want to spend marketing it?

While there’s no surefire recipe for success in publishing, some guidelines can help you make smart decisions early on. Here are some things to keep in mind as you navigate this new world:

  • Who is going to buy this book? Who will read this book, and why would they be interested? Whatever subject area(s) you write about must resonate with the needs and interests of those who will purchase. Your writing should also have universal appeal so everyone can relate regardless of age or location.
  • Is there enough material available about this topic already out there? If yes, consider how else I could offer something different (i.e., shorter ebooks tend to sell less well). Consider partnering up with someone who has already established themselves within their niche industry; it could save both parties time while gaining exposure through each other’s connections.

How long does it take to copyright an eBook?

In the United States, an eBook is protected by copyright as soon as it’s written and saved to your computer. However, there are some other countries where you need to register your work before you can claim copyright.

If you want to use a copyright symbol or any other form of legal notice on your eBook’s cover or inside pages, check with an attorney or someone familiar with intellectual property law before proceeding.

You can register your book with the U.S. Copyright Office if you want—it costs $35 per title and takes about six months from start to finish (though there’s no guarantee they’ll accept it). The main benefit of registering is that if someone infringes on those rights later on down the line, you have grounds for legal action against them sooner than if they had not been registered.


The world of publishing has changed. When the first eBooks were introduced, they were used primarily for research and reference. It was the equivalent of carrying an encyclopedia in your pocket but with a better interface.

Nowadays, people are reading more than ever before, and eBooks are a big part of that. You know how to publish an eBook online by now. It’s a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with the world, and it can also be a fun way to make money. 

Photo of author

Atif Munawar

Atif is a tireless knowledge seeker who often finds himself on the last page of Google. He's also one of those rare people who is a graphic enthusiast with a background in accounting.
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