How to sell ebooks on your own website in 5 easy steps

By Susanna read
30 May, 2024
How to sell ebooks on your own website in 5 easy steps

Discover the potential of selling ebooks like top self-published authors such as Amanda Hocking. Digital book publishing is booming, with a projected user penetration of 15.9% by 2024. So, now’s the perfect time to dive in and make money as a content creator!

You don’t need to be a techie to start selling ebooks online—all you need is a computer, a topic, and the right tools. That’s where Sellfy comes in. 

With Sellfy, you can easily add a “buy” button to any site with just a line of code, and enjoy features like PDF stamping, upsells, and built-in email marketing. Stay tuned as we guide you through the process of how to sell ebooks on your website in five simple steps!

1. Prepare your ebook for selling

How do you write and sell ebooks online? The very first step is to pick a topic of interest. Ideally, you should choose something that you’re very knowledgeable or passionate about so that you can establish yourself as an authority in a niche market. For example, you can write a step-by-step graphic design tutorial for beginners or a guidebook for digital nomads. Whatever topic you select, make sure there’s an actual market demand for it.

Write your ebook & proofread the content

sellfy store efikzara
Sellfy store EfikZara sells haircare ebooks.

To give you some ideas, here’s a list of the most popular eBook niches:

  • Dating and relationships
  • Pets and animal welfare
  • Self-care and self-improvement
  • Wealth building and finance
  • Beauty and fashion
  • Parenthood
  • Beliefs or spirituality
  • Art and design (e.g. creating Lightroom presets)
sellfy store excel dictionary
Sellfy store Excel Dictionary sells Excel guides.

Aside from a niche, you can also write fiction if writing and imagination are your strongest suits. Wondering about the best genre to break into? 

List of the most popular fictional ebook genres:

  • Contemporary romance
  • New adult and college
  • Coming of age
  • Mystery, thriller, and suspense
  • Paranormal and urban
  • Epic fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Action and adventure
sellfy store chaos studio 7
Sellfy store Chaos Studio 7 sells sci-fi stories.

To get a more specific idea of what people look for, type in your niche in the Google Search bar and pay special attention to Google’s long-tail keyword suggestions.

Another option is to transform a PLR book into an ebook and sell it under your name. Essentially, PLR content, which includes ebooks, music, videos, articles, reports, and more, allows you to use the material as though you were its original creator. This means that acquiring Private Label Rights to a product grants you the rights and privileges of the original creator, without the need for copyright acknowledgment or attribution.

Here’s an example of how it works:

  1. Someone writes an ebook.
  2. Then they put it up for sale on one of the PLR websites.
  3. You buy the ebook and then resell it as your own.

Once you’ve decided on a topic, it’s time to start writing with a word processing software of your choice, such as Microsoft Word (paid) or LibreOffice Writer (free). If you have a Gmail account, you can also use the free Google Docs for writing. Google Docs will also let you download and convert your document into a PDF file or EPUB format. Another great thing about Microsoft Word and Google Docs is that they both have in-built grammar checkers.

When you begin writing, it is advisable to create a clear structure for your ebook. Most ebook selling platforms will let customers preview the first pages before buying a book, so it’s important to maximize the content on the first pages.

google search ebook
In this example, Google’s suggestion reveals that people search for photography ebooks.

A few ways to maximize the content for potential readers:

For tips on how to encourage people to download your eBook, I recommend these 7 lesser-known ways to generate leads using content.

And last, but not least, it’s important to proofread the content before you format and publish it. To see if your text is grammatically correct, download Grammarly’s extension (a free writing assistant) for your web browser.

cite it in tool
Pay attention to citing! If you use any sources, Cite It In will show you how to add references.

Other useful proofreading tools (free and paid):

Professional proofreading services (from cheapest to most expensive):

languagetool website
LanguageTool is one of the best free proofreading tools that can be added to Chrome.

You can also browse Upwork’s best freelance proofreaders or Fiverr’s top freelance editing experts.

Design a kickass ebook cover

To make sure your ebook sells well, you should create an awesome front cover and include images. People don’t just love compelling stories—they also love visual content.

List of top free photo sites and graphic resources:

pixabay stock images
A great selection of stock photos and images on Pixabay.

While the cover of your ebook is definitely important, the rest of the design matters just as much. Writing an eBook can be a bit of a challenge, but designing one doesn’t have to be. 

While the cover of your ebook is definitely important, the rest of the design matters just as much. Writing an eBook can be a bit of a challenge, but designing one doesn’t have to be. 

Here’s how:

You can actually download an ebook template. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of free as well as paid pre-designed templates available on the internet.

List of platforms and marketplaces with ebook templates: 

ebook templates on Creative Market
A great selection of ebook templates on Creative Market.

To find out more about design, head over to our article on 8 free and paid ways to create a kickass ebook cover.

Sellfy Tip
If you decide to purchase from a marketplace, make sure you have a Canva account or the free trial version of Adobe InDesign. Pay close attention to the product descriptionmost templates are designed for either Canva or InDesign. For instance, InDesign only uses the INDD file format.

Format your ebook for publishing

After you’re done with the writing and the design, you’ll need to convert your document into a PDF or an ebook format

You can convert with Google Docs, a word processing software (Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer), design software (Adobe InDesign), or a free tool like SmallPDF. The last two are also secure and use SSL encryption, so you won’t have to worry about anybody stealing your document.

When it comes to formatting, readability is crucial—the text you’ve written and the color scheme should be easy on the eyes. Don’t use more than three headings (H1, H2, H3) and try to stick to short paragraphs.

trending Google Fonts
Use Google Fonts to download trending fonts for free.

Another factor that determines readability is the body font. Writers normally opt for Verdana or Ariel at size 11 or 12. But, if you’d rather have something else with more character, you can try Caslon, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, Baskerville, or Palatino. These are some of the best fonts for reading as evident by how frequently they’re used in publishing.

In addition to that, here’s a list of 9 essential steps you should take to protect your ebook before publishing.

2. Create a Sellfy store & upload your ebook

upload ebook sellfy store
Your ebook files can be as large as 10 GB on Sellfy!

So, you’re probably wondering:

Where can I sell ebooks?

The choice usually falls between an eCommerce platform and a marketplace. So, what’s the main difference between the two? A marketplace is good for exposure, but bad for a number of reasons like too many competitors, and not having control over the platform. 

An eCommerce store is a great choice for someone who wants to be their own boss and have complete control over their store (from product pricing to customization, and so much more) without unnecessary regulations or a transaction fee. 

The only downside is that search engine visibility can be a little tricky. But, in most cases, it isn’t much of an issue when you already have followers. Even if you don’t, you can always use SEO, content marketing tools, and a social media platform to spread the word.

Sellfy creator Ashley Renee sells keto cookbooks.

Now, let me ask you something:

Do you want to receive instant payments? And, use an all-in-one eCommerce solution that is fully customizable and mobile-ready? If the answer is yes, then you’ll love Sellfy. 

Sellfy creator Amel Aitouche sells ebooks about life in Dubai.

Steps to open a Sellfy store:

  1. Choose a subscription plan (Starter, Business, or Premium) and set up an account with a valid email address, or start a free trial. Keep in mind that you can always upgrade and get access to additional features.
  2. Customize the look with the Store Customizer tool, or use one of Sellfy’s premade themes to get a beautiful design.
  3. Optional bonus: download Sellfy’s mobile app in the App Store or Google Play to keep track of your performance and receive notifications of new orders.

3. Monetize your ebook with the right pricing

How much money can you make selling ebooks online? That depends on two things: your marketing strategy and product pricing.

One of the most common strategies is average market pricing. This will put you in the same category as your competitors. It’s a safe choice for targeting a large audience that buys at the average market value, but also tougher because it’ll set you up against competitors.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend average market pricing if you’re a beginner.

Here’s why:

When your product has the same price as your competitors, people will end up evaluating your product based on quality or popularity—they’ll draw comparisons and pick the more attractive ebook. This makes it harder to cut through the competition, especially when your competitors are popular, and have a solid reputation.

A far more effective strategy is to price your product above or below the market average:

  • Increase your product value, but keep the average price to set it above the market average. For example, you can add a bonus gift such as a freebie. This will make your ebook more enticing.
  • Decrease your product price, but keep the quality to set it below the market average. For example, let’s say the average ebook price is $10. You can decrease it to $8-9 to gain more customers. But, keep in mind that this strategy isn’t likely to be profitable in the long term. Our article on pricing strategies explains why.

4. Embed the ebook on your website

sellfy embed options
Sell ebooks with Sellfy’s embed feature.

Do you already have your own landing page or website, e.g. WordPress? Then you can use Sellfy’s embed feature to sell ebooks on your blog!

Here are all the embed options Sellfy offers:

  • Buy now—a button that can be added to your site to sell ebooks. You can pair it with your own site design, product images, and description. 
  • Single product—this will feature the whole ebook on your site along with the description, a Buy Now button, and uploaded images. You can customize it on Sellfy and embed the code on your site.
  • All products—this will add the entire Sellfy store page to your site and is a great option for selling more than one eBook.

5. Drive sales with Sellfy’s marketing tools

Sellfy marketing tools
An overview of Sellfy’s marketing tools.

And last, but not least, you’ll need to promote your product!

If you’ve signed up with Sellfy, you’re in luck because we have the best marketing tool stack for you. With the help of our in-built features, you can come up with a great marketing plan.

Email marketing

send emails with Sellfy
You can send emails to fans with Sellfy’s email marketing tool!

This is a very powerful tool for targeting specific audiences. You can choose between four customizable email campaign templates: product launch, product discount, product update, and custom message. Use these templates to inform your followers about new product launches, discounts, or updates.

When you head to your Email Marketing section, you’ll find statistics about each campaign that you send out, such as open rate, click rate, and so much more. It’s also possible to set up an integration with other email marketing services like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, etc.

Email marketing tactics that you can use:

  • Create a flash sale that’ll grab customers’ attention and then release it when the timing is right. Don’t forget to stress the hard deadline so that it won’t be missed!
  • Send premium content to your email list to increase engagement. Make it informative (eBook sneak peeks, a blog post), interactive (online quizzes, games, apps), or visual (infographics, product videos, live streams).
  • Send out a “coming soon” email to your customers to get them excited about an upcoming product launch. Make sure you also announce it on a social media platform (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get maximum engagement. 
  • Announce a viral giveaway or social media contest to create hype around your ebook. 

Need more ideas on how to launch your product and keep your followers in the loop? Head over to our article on 10 effective product launch ideas that work.

Analytics & discounts

Sellfy coupons and discounts tool
Run sales with Sellfy’s coupons & discounts tool.

We recommend using the Sellfy Analytics tool to understand how your small business is performing and what really drives your sales. 

To view the statistics, log into your account, and navigate to Overview > Analytics. You’ll be able to see the data for the last 30 days (store visits, purchases, conversions, and overall revenue) and keep track of your sales, best-performing products, etc.

Other marketing tactics that you can use:

  • A sale or a discount for a certain product or service
  • Running Facebook ads or an email marketing campaign
  • Sharing your product or store page link on a social media platform
  • Changing or updating your product description
  • Launching a new product or service

Aside from analytics, we also offer the Discount Manager tool for Sellfy users who want to create promotional campaigns, sales, and coupon codes.

FAQ: how to sell ebooks

How to sell ebooks on your website?

Selling ebooks on your website is a great way to have full control over your sales and branding. You can set up an online store using platforms like Sellfy that provide secure payment processing and file delivery. But most importantly, it allows you to integrate a checkout page into an existing website. Simply upload your ebook, set a price, and start selling directly to your target audience through your website.

How to create & sell my ebooks online?

Selling ebooks online is easier than ever. First, create a high-quality ebook on Canva. Then, choose a publishing platform like Sellfy that offers an easy-to-use interface for uploading and selling ebooks online. Customize your online store, set a price, and promote it through your social media and email marketing. Sellfy handles the payment processing, securely delivers the ebook to your reader, and provides all the built-in marketing features you’ll ever need.

How to promote ebooks on your website?

Promoting your ebooks with a platform like Sellfy is effortless thanks to its integrated marketing tools. You can use email campaigns, social media integration, and promotional discounts to engage your audience and drive sales. With Sellfy, reaching potential buyers and maximizing your ebook sales has never been easier.

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Susanna is Sellfy's Content Guru with a genuine passion for copywriting, storytelling, and eCommerce. With years of content marketing experience behind her, she helps to create the best possible landing pages, blog posts, emails, and other types of copy. She also keeps close tabs on social media trends and enjoys digging deep into marketing psychology.