Gone are the days when you have to struggle to convince traditional publishing companies to accept your book and publish it. Technological advancements have made it easy to easily publish books online directly to your targeted reader base. The best thing is that you can now self-publish eBooks for FREE.
There are dozens of websites that allow you to easily publish books on their sites and reach out to your targeted reader base right away. That’s exactly what we will learn in today’s article. So, stick around to learn how to self-publish an eBook for free using the five best websites in 2024.
- Important Factors to Consider Before You Self-Publish Your First eBook
- 5 Top Websites to Self-Publish eBooks for Free
- How to Self-Publish an eBook for Free: Step-by-Step Guide
- How Much Can You Earn from a Self-published eBook?
- Wrapping Up
Important Factors to Consider Before You Self-Publish Your First eBook
It is possible to self-publish your eBook for free, but it does involve some financial budget. You will have to design the book cover and do marketing to promote your eBook.
Mostly, authors who self-publish eBooks pay designers a few bucks to design their book covers. Moreover, they may also get assistance in formatting, proofreading, or marketing the books.
Although this article presents the best sites to self-publish eBooks for free, you still have to spend a few bucks to fulfill other publication requirements. However, you can eradicate those costs if you follow the DIY approach, i.e., design the cover and format/proofread the book yourself. This is only recommended if you have expertise in these elements.
Talking about distributing eBooks to a broad audience, there are two main options:
- Book Distributors: You can sell the book using different online stores that have publishing platforms, such as Amazon. All you have to do is upload the book and start selling.
- Aggregators: There are many aggregator services that can distribute the book to a wide range of retailers simultaneously. You can choose Smashwords or any other aggregator service of your choice to save your time in distributing the book to a broad audience. However, you will have to bear the additional service fee.
No matter which approach you choose, you can generate profits from your books. However, it is crucial to consider fine print when using Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or any other self-publishing platforms. In addition, pay deeper attention to the whole process, including the expected book exposure and royalties that you will get. We will discuss these aspects in detail in the next section.
5 Top Websites to Self-Publish eBooks for Free
There are dozens of publishing platforms now that you can use to self-publish eBooks for free. So, we have below shortlisted the five top websites to consider:
1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
The first and the most popular website to use is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It has a large user base, which means your book will get higher exposure. In fact, Amazon alone controls at least 40% of print book sales in the US. Moreover, it has a very easy approach to self-publishing the eBook. You can learn the steps to publish with Amazon KDP in the next section.
- Easy and free book publishing
- Higher exposure
- Free cover creator
- Royalty plan
- You have to wait for 90 days before publishing the eBook to any other platform
- You have to market the book yourself
- 60-day payment term
2. Barnes & Noble Press
After Amazon KDP, the second best platform to self-publish eBooks for free is Barnes & Noble. It offers an intuitive and fast way to self-publish eBooks. Like Amazon KDP, it also offers tools to design book covers.
- Easy-to-use and free books publishing platform
- Royalty plan
- Free book cover creator
- Less reach compared to Amazon
- Ineffective customer support
3. Google Play Books
Google is also offering a free platform for self-publishing books called Google Play Books. It is available on both the Play Store and App Store. In fact, it has over 1 billion downloads on the Play Store.
You can easily self-publish your eBook for free in Google Play Books and get it accessed by millions of readers. Moreover, it will help you rank better on Google’s search engine.
- Easy self-publishing
- Global reach
- Improved Google search visibility
- Royalty plan
- No exclusivity (free to publish book on other platforms)
- Self-marketing required
- Competitive market
- Make at least 20% of the book content previewable
4. Apple Books
Apple Books, previously called iBooks, is another recommended platform to self-publish eBooks for free. Its application is available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac and helps you reach a wider reader base due to its global reach. However, the major downside of self-publishing with Apple Books is that you need a Mac computer to publish the book.
- Large audience with global reach
- Sale book at a higher price
- Royalty plan
- Widely accessible affiliate codes
- It’s only an eBooks platform
- It requires a Mac computer
- Not all books are published
- Need an iTunes Connect account
Kobo is a Canadian-based company and a subsidiary of the Japanese e-commerce brand Rakuten. It is used in 190 counties by over 12 million readers. Moreover, its app and device support 68 languages. This makes it another effective platform to reach a global audience.
- Easy to publish books
- Reach readers in 190 countries
- Higher royalties on box sets than Amazon
- CAD $50 minimum earnings to get monthly payments
- eBooks are only accessible through the Kobo app and device
- Fewer book sales in the US due to the dominance of Amazon
How to Self-Publish an eBook for Free: Step-by-Step Guide
Now that we know the best websites to self-publish eBooks for free, the next question is: what are the steps to follow to publish eBooks seamlessly?
Let’s consider Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) as an example and list the steps to learn how to self-publish an eBook for free.
Step 1. Complete the Book Writing Part
The first and the most obvious step is to complete the writing part of the book. It is not necessary that you write a lengthy novel of hundreds of pages; you can write a short yet compelling one. However, make sure that the content is acceptable under Amazon’s Content Guidelines.
Step 2. Design the Cover and Other Graphical Elements
Once the writing part is completed, the next step is to complete the graphic design part. For that, you have two options. You can hire a designer to design a cover for your book, or you can do it yourself through the Amazon KDP Cover Creator. Here again, make sure you adhere to the KDP’s cover specifications and also ensure that the book follows the KDP format.
Step 3. Upload the Book
Now, you have to upload the book to KDP. For that, go to the Amazon KDP website and create an account. Afterward, click the “+ Create” button.
Select the type of book to publish.
Fill in the details as required, such as book title, publishing rights, keywords, category, pricing, etc. In addition, you also have to upload your manuscript and book cover. Make sure to double-check the information, as you may not be able to change some of the information later on.
Once you are done with this step, your book is published. This way, you can easily use Amazon KDP or any other online publisher to self-publish eBooks for free.
How Much Can You Earn from a Self-published eBook?
When self-publishing an eBook, you have to consider the upfront costs related to book editing, cover, and marketing. However, self-publishing platforms still give you the complete right of the book, which means you can earn significant money from royalties.
On average, self-publishing authors can earn around 50-70% of the royalties. Let’s take a closer look at the estimated royalties of the above five platforms to self-publish eBooks for free:
70% and 35%, depending on the book pricing and the countries where the book is sold.
Kindle Package Format, HTML, PDF, DOC, EPUB, and OBI
Barnes & Noble Press
70% for all books
TXT, DOC, DOCX, HTML, or EPUB
Google Play Books
70% for all books
PDF and EPUB
70% for all books
PDF and EPUB
70% and 45%, depending on the book pricing and the countries where the book is sold.
PDF, EPUB, EPUB3, and MOBI
Looking at the above table, it is evident that you can earn different amounts of royalties from different platforms. Simply put, if your book is selling well, you should easily make significant money from it.
Self-publishing eBooks for free is an excellent way for new authors to reach out to potential readers and earn money without hassling with publishers. In this guide, we have covered the 5 top platforms to self-publish eBooks for free. Each of them has its pros and cons. So, we will wrap up by recommending you evaluate the offerings of each of them in detail and choose the one that best aligns with your publishing goals.