5 Awesome Sites where you can Publish your eBook for Free

eBook self-publishing websites

One of the technological revolutions of the 21st century is most definitely the eBooks. Isn’t it?

Well, technically the story of eBooks started in the previous century in 1971 when Michael Hart of the University of Illinois started Project Guttenberg. However, it has gained worldwide appeal only recently with the proliferation of enabled mobile devices.

The growth trend within the eBook category is only growing upward. According to a report published by Mordor Intelligence, the global eBook market valued at $18.13 billion at the end of 2019 and is on its way to reaching $23.12 billion by the year 2025.

This has been especially more apparent during 2020 when people turned to books and eBooks to escape the cabin fever that ensued post lockdown and stay-at-home orders. In fact, an article published in The Guardian mentioned that eBook and audiobook sales for UK publishers were at an all-time high during the pandemic.

The eBook market is growing at a rapid pace as eBook publishers have lowered the barriers to entry for all budding writers. Whether you want to promote your business, or become the next millionaire author, writing an eBook is the perfect medium to realize your goal.

You no longer have to be at the mercy of the publishers to gain entry in the literary field by becoming an author. All you need to do is to create an eBook and know how to publish your eBook for free online.

‘What! I can be an author without paying any penny?’ you ask?

While it’s is a fact that anything that sounds too good to be true is probably not true, but there is an exception when it comes to publishing your eBook.

The reality is that you can become the next best-selling author without spending any money. A number of online publishing companies allow you to self-publish your eBook at no cost at all. You should consider publishing your eBook on every free self-publishing online site to give maximum exposure to your eBook.

So, whether you are thinking about writing an eBook, are more than halfway there or have already written an eBook, you will save a lot of your time and hassles by reading our list of 5 great sites where you can publish your eBook for free.

1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Platform

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a free e-publishing site that allows you to publish your eBook without paying a single penny to the publisher.

To upload the eBook to the site, you may have to convert it to Amazon’s proprietary format. The website automatically converts word (Doc), Pdf, Html, and ePub format to Kindle’s proprietary format.

However, you can also use Calibre or Mobipocket eBook Creator to easily convert the eBook to the required format without paying any additional amount. Using the free software you can convert from a large number of formats. What’s more, the conversion software can rescale the font size of the eBook to ensure that it complies with Amazon’s specifications.

When you publish the eBook, you have the option of making it exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle for a limited time period. In this way, your eBook will be included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library allowing you to earn a certain percentage on sales. You can read more about the KDP Select program here.

2. Barnes & Noble Press™

Barnes & Noble Press, Self-Publishing Platform

Known previously as Nook Press, Barnes & Noble Press™ became a part of the bookseller company’s offering in 2018. The relaunch rebranded the press, making it more approachable for self-publishing authors.

Providing much easier, fluid, and simplified user experiences, the B&N Press website has gained popularity quite rapidly. In fact, the company covered 3% of eBook sales in the U.S.

If you have a complete manuscript, edited and ready for the world, it will take you less than 72 hours to set up an account and have your book show up in B&N’s online bookstore for readers to see.

The platform is fast and free to use, competing with KDP. If you want to take your self-publishing venture to the next level, the website also offers printing services where customers can order hardcover or paperback versions of your eBook.

3. Smashwords

Smashwords™ Self-Publishing Platform

Smashwords is one of the pioneers of eBook publishing. It boasts off a large selection of published books containing works of more than 40,000 authors. You can also publish your eBook on the site without paying any money.

Using the online resource, you will be able to quickly publish your eBook to a wide variety of online stores in no time.

Publishing your eBook at Smashwords is more of a DIY task. You have to first upload your eBook and a cover image using the ‘Metagrinder’ tool on the site. The online tool will create an eBook in the required format within just a few minutes. And that’s it.

You can sell and promote the eBook directly on the self-publishing platform. Additionally, you have the option of selling the eBook to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore, Baker & Taylor’s Bilo, Kobo, and many other major online publishing platforms. The online publisher also has made deals with third-party companies such as Axis360 owned by Baker & Taylors for having the eBooks distributed to public libraries.

At the moment, Smashwords does not support publishing the eBook to Amazon’s KDP. And it’s likely that this is not going to change anytime soon. Amazon does not allow automatic upload of Smashwords titles. So, it’s best you either upload the eBook directly to KDP or use another third-party publishing platform.

4. Apple eBook Store

Apple’ iBook & iTunes U Platforms enable eBook Self-Publishing

Apple’s iBook store and iTunes U are two free self-publishing platforms that allow you to maximize exposure of your eBook. You can find out more about the self-publishing online platforms by clicking here. Both the online stores have different requirements for uploading digital books.

In order to publish your eBook to iBooks Store or iTunes U, you have to convert the file to either ePub or iBooks format. You can use the free conversion tools mentioned previously to convert the books. For publishing in iTunes U, the file must be saved as either an.ePub file or as an .ibook.

If you want to publish your work as a subscription product through the iBook Store, you should use the iBook format. For maximum exposure of the eBook, however, you should consider uploading the eBook as an ePub, PDF, or text file to have you digital work available for free on other platforms.

You can publish your eBook to the iBook Store for free through iTunes Connect. This requires you to complete an online application. Once you have successfully registered to the site, you can download iTunes producer to sell the eBook on the iBook store. You can make your digital work available at the store for free or set a specific price for the eBook.

In order to publish your eBook on iTunes U, you should create an iTunes U site. Don’t worry; it’s easy to create the site by following a few simple steps. To create the website you should just visit this site here and then follow the onscreen instructions.

Once you have published the eBook on Apple’s store, you will retain complete rights to the eBook content. However, if you distribute the eBook in the iBooks format, the digital work will be subject to certain restrictions that are mentioned in the terms of the agreement.

The royalty payment offered by Apple to eBook authors is similar to one that is offered to iPad and iPhone app developers. Publisher, author, or the eBook right holder will receive 35 to 70% of the sales proceeds. To receive the royalty payment, the price of the eBook must satisfy list price requirements. One of the pricing conditions includes that the list is about 20% below the lowest price set for a physical book. Moreover, the eBook title should be made available for all places where the publisher or the author has rights.

5. Rakuten Kobo Writing Life

Reach millions of kobo readers

Lastly, Rakuten Kobo’s Writing Life is another perfect website for shelving your eBook for prospective readers to find. Competing with Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo has its own e-reader tablet and its own library.

You have access to millions of readers. All you have to do is set up your account, describe your eBook, upload the content, choose relevant publishing rights, and choose a price.

If your book is professionally proofread, the platform will do the rest for you and will come out in the right (ePub) format in a matter of seconds. And there you have your eBook for everyone to read.

One of the most unique things Kobo offers in the land of eBooks is exposure to Canadian readers. Surprisingly, the platform accounts for 25% of eBook sales up north in Canada.

On a final note, the effort taken to get the eBooks published is well worth it in the end. For individuals, it can serve as an additional source of income. Businesses can benefit by publishing the eBook by not only boosting their income but also promote their products and services online. But most promising of all these websites offer is the realization and materialization of aspiring writers’ authorial dreams.

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