How To Self-Publish Your E-Book For Free {Detailed Guide}

I self-published my first Kindle e-book back in 2014 for less than $20. I was a beginner and I didn’t really know how to go about it. But I did it!

In this post, I want to show you how to publish your e-book and sell it online for free. I’ll take you through the full process I followed minus any mistakes I made along the way.

First, let’s briefly list why you should consider publishing an e-book.

Why You Should Self-Publish An E-book

Building Authority

If you have a business of any kind, publishing a book will help you gain more authority.

You can use your book to market and promote your business as well as a way to show your skills and what you have to offer through your book.

People can read your book and have a sense or a feel of your expertise through your writing. People, in general, always associate authors with more authority. They give it more weight.

If you don’t have a business, publishing an e-book is definitely something that will stand out in your resume.

You’ll Get An Author Page

When you publish your e-book, you can upload it to Amazon Kindle Publishing service for free, giving you the amazing opportunity to have a formal author page,

When I’m interested in someone’s service or product, and I discover they have a book, I immediately buy it to see what they have to offer in their book first.

It’s a great way for prospecting clients to ‘test’ your products. If they buy your book, they’re more likely to buy your product or service next.

Business Will Rank Better In The Search Engines

When you first publish an ebook, no one is going to know about it. However, publishing your e-book and listing it on Amazon and Goodreads, which are authoritative websites, will help you rank your business better, and here’s how…

Let’s just say someone who’s interested in doing business with you searches your name.

The first links that’ll show up are gonna be your author pages from Goodreads and Amazon Kindle (if you publish your e-books in those platforms…and you should because they’re free).

When I first started my online fitness business, I published an e-book on fat loss. And guess what? When you search my full name, I still show up as the author of an e-book on both Goodreads and Amazon.

Self publishing an ebook

Even though I don’t sell this e-book anymore because I don’t talk about fat loss on my first blog anymore.

So even if your website isn’t ranking on page 1 and your e-book isn’t ranking on page 1 either, well guess what…your name will be! And that alone is a big reason to work on publishing an e-book under your name.

Make Extra Income

Publishing an e-book is a great way to make extra passive income. Every month you can make between $50-$200 per e-book if you promote it well.

I’ve already talked about how to make extra income from home and this is another amazing way to do it. $50 may not look like a lot of money. But think about it…that’s $50 in your pocket and you only worked once to publish the e-book.

In addition, you can write more than one e-book!

What if you wrote one e-book per month and you find yourself with 12 e-books at the end of the year? You can be making up to $1000 per month from kindle e-books…all passive income!

How to Self-Publish Your E-book For Free

Let me be clear, publishing an e-book has some expenses. Yes, I’ll show you how to do it for free, but if you really find yourself struggling, I highly recommend you outsource a few tasks which won’t exceed $20-$50.

You’ll only pay for them once, remember. But again, I’ll show you how to do it all for free. I just wanted to get that out of the way because there are a few things that’ll require some basic skills not everyone is willing to spend time learning.

Write The Outline

The first step is to write the outline of the e-book. Don’t stress too much about this; you’ll keep refining this process.

Think of all the subtopics you’d like to cover in your e-book.

Whether it’s a DIY e-book, a fiction, or a non-fiction e-book. Just create the outline first.

Write Your ‘Shitty First Draft

Start writing your e-book, and don’t ever think of stopping to fix any typos or change anything. Let your mind flow, and just keep writing. You want to get all of your ideas out without stopping.

Get in the zone and just write. 

I used to get up at 5 a.m. each morning to write a portion of my e-book before work. I could complete it within a week. 

Copywriters call the first version of a copy the shitty first draft. It’ll be shitty and full of typos. But now you’ve got your whole book content. It’s a huge milestone.

The rest is smooth sailing. People often get stuck fixing typos and try to make things perfect on the first draft and that’s how they freeze and stay stuck in their first chapter.

Edit Your Draft

Now that you’ve completed the first draft of your manuscript, you can go back and check each chapter for any mistakes, any places where you need to add references and any sections you forgot to add.

The first review should be a way to check if you forgot to add anything. The great thing about e-books is that you can always go back to them, add or remove content, and republish!

Take A Break

By now, you’re probably burned out by writing. Take a break and step out of the process completely.

Believe me, when you’re looking at something for so long, you’ll start to overlook things as your eyes get tired from looking at the manuscript. Take at last a day break from your e-book writing.

Professionally Edit Your E-book

Now is the time to edit your e-book and get it ready for publishing. If you’re not a detailed person, I highly recommend you outsource an editor to go through your ebook and edit it. You can do that on Fiverr for cheap.

You can also get help from a friend or a family member willing to do it. Just make sure to do it multiple times because you’ll always miss something.

If you want to do it all for free, you can do this on your own, and after your e-book starts to generate revenue, you can re-invest that money into professional editing. 

The last thing you want is an e-book full of typos triggering negative reviews. It’s also unprofessional.

Design Your Cover

Your cover is extremely important. People do judge books by their cover. Make sure your cover has a captivating headline, branded colors, and is designed well.

If you want to do this for free, I highly recommend Canva. They have amazing premade e-book cover designs.

If you have design skills, you can certainly create your own in Photoshop.

Just look for e-book cover examples so you have an idea of how the best-selling e-books in your category are designed.

You can also search for a best-selling Kindle e-book and click on ‘preview’ to get the first pages and see how they designed the interiors. This is an amazing way to see what you can work from.  

How to Publish and Sell Your E-book

I will share how I personally sold (and still sell) my E-books.

I recommend you get your book published on Amazon Kindle, and also directly sell it. Being on Amazon will get your E-book exposed to a huge market and lots of eyes. So I always recommend that as well. I share the steps below for Amazon Kindle.

The second way is to host your PDF into a course platform simply. I use Thinkific to host my PDF E-book, and you can set the price and just deliver it that way.

Pro Tip: I’ve sold my E-books at a premium price by simply adding bonus PDFs! Hosting your E-book on a course platform lets you easily increase its value!

You can create an account, upload your PDF into the course platform, set up your checkout page, and link your checkout page to your E-book image whenever you share it.

Another amazing way to sell your E-book is by publishing it on Amazon.

Convert Your E-Book Into Kindle Format

Before you publish your e-book into Amazon Kindle, you need to convert it into a format that Kindle can read.

I personally hired someone to do this for me for less than $15, but I recently found free software called Caliber-E-book that does this for you for free.

It’s a complete e-book management software allowing you to convert between any format! So you can even convert from PDF to MOBI for Kindle readers or Epub for other readers.

You upload the e-book, and you choose which format you want to convert it to, and you’re done! 

Even if you decide not to sell on Amazon Kindle, you can also upload the Kindle format into your course platform. Your customers can download the E-book and upload it to their kindle reader.

Self-Publish Your E-book On Amazon Kindle Publishing

Now, you can upload your e-book to Kindle.

The great thing about kindle publishing is that their system will help you with every step. You’ll upload the cover and the e-book separately. 

They’ll even tell you if they detected any typos, and you can always upload a newer version. You’ll set your pricing, book details, and other author information, and you’ll be able to publish your e-book right away.

Self-Publish Your E-book On Your Website

You can also publish and sell your e-book on your website. You can convert your e-book into PDF format and sell it on your website using tools such as Gumroad or SendOwl to sell and deliver your e-book. 

Promote Your E-book On GoodReads

Goodreads is an authoritative website. Creating an author name and promoting your e-book there will help your name gain more authority as a result. This is an important step to help you gain more exposure for your business and e-book.

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