How to Publish An Ebook for Free

A few weeks ago, I put a free ebook up on my blog and online. Not wanting to control everyone who downloads it, all I did was simply ask for a tweet for each download.

While I was putting the Ebook(let) together, I looked for resources around the web that could help me. The truth is, I found very few. Few that didn’t want me to buy something or sign up for something that was a ‘free trial.’

So, I had to kinda feel my way through the process of publishing an Ebook without wanting to make money or spam email accounts. Here’s what I did….

  1. Write. I actually wrote the material. All the way. Straight through. Right off of the outline I had before-hand. I made very few corrections and no revisions during this time.
  2. Edit. I went back (once the rough draft was done) and edited and made corrections. Typos, misspellings, and revisions were all open for debate during this time. I even sent it to a couple of trusted people for their opinion.
  3. Name. After I had it in a pretty much finished form, I thought of a name for the Ebook. The name wasn’t extremely catchy, but introduced the topic.
  4. Design. I designed the cover and the feel of the book. I went bold and with 2 colors. No real reason for it… I just found a couple of fonts that I liked (that were readable) and went with it. Remember: Keep it simple.
  5. Table of Contents. After hitting the ‘add page number’ button, I then put in a table of contents. I thought this would be helpful even though it was really short so that people could skip right to a section that caught their eye.
  6. Write Bio. I had a bio already ready to go, but made a couple of revisions on it too. I then added my web digits (twitter, facebook, google plus, email, etc) to the bottom of the Bio page… just for the pub. :)
  7. Export. Export to PDF. A PDF file is more image(ish) and won’t change during upload. Words and pictures are set into place in a PDF and won’t jump around or change looks.
  8. Upload. I uploaded my Ebook to Scribd.com. There are other options out there, but this one was free and seemed easy for the reader to navigate to and download from. Scribd has a free account that you can log into with your Facebook credentials.
  9. Publicize. Lastly, I wrote a blog post about it, twittered it, put it on Facebook, and told friends about it. Anything I could do to get the word out.

That’s what it looked like for me. Again, I was just looking to put something that I was passionate about out into the world for anyone to get ahold of. If you want to make money or have other ideas, this may not be the best method.

Once again, This post isn’t for everyone, but I hope it helps someone out.

OK, what’s the best book you’ve read in the last year? Do you have an Ebook or blog you could link to in the comments? (here’s mine)

20 Comments

  1. Evry year, I put out both an Advent ebook and a Lent ebook. This upcoming Lent, I’m looking into the process of making an actual Kindle/Nook version for people to be able to get it straight on their e-readers.

    Reply
  2. Love this dude… I’ve recently discovered how easy it is to publish an e-book. I also like Scribd… I have a sample chapter of my recent book posted there, and have a full version on Amazon (for Kindle), B+N (for Nook), and e-Junkie (for PDF). You can also post on Google Docs and share it with people who have the link (it’s not public to people who don’t have the link) if you want to control who gets it for free.

    Getting it uploaded to Amazon and B+N is really easy too. You can basically use that same document with some basic format tips that they provide.

    My book is called “The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty-Fighter”, and details can be found here…
    http://theunlikelymissionary.com

    Thanks dude! Good stuff!

    Reply
  3. Jonathon – interesting that you didn’t find many resources! I haven’t published anything, but have followed this person (actually people, I think) who post regularly about publishing and e-publishing.

    Check out @generousmind

    Reply
    1. There are resources, just not quite like this (at least that I could find). Most offered tips on just publishing, just writing, or making money or requiring something for download. I couldn’t find much for what I wanted. Glad you found some though. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. I wrote a parenting discussion group curriculum a few years ago based on the ABC Supernanny series. I have it up on my blog, but it may be a great eBook someday. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  5. I plan on writing some eBooks down the road (The next couple years). I have the outline done on one of them. I honest have not yet read an eBook. But just read Linchpin by Seth Godin and its a must read.

    Reply
  6. Thank you for the straight-forward and simple guide. I’ve got a few ebooks in me and was curious how to go about the FREE option most easily.

    I’ve got your ebook downloaded to read this week. Hope you’ve gotten great feedback so far.

    Reply
  7. I am a big ebook fan. I use a Nook, and most of my library are in a ebook format. My library goes with me. As I am preparing for seminary in the Fall of 21012, I am hoping to add more, so that I do not have to lug books around. I have never understood how to make ebooks, nor do I understand how current books get made into ebooks. I say that because sometimes the quality of an ebook is not too good. I bought on theology ebook, that is actually missing a page! It makes me wonder if ebooks are still not in their infancy?

    Thanks,
    Matt Mercer

    Reply
  8. For the past year I’ve been writing a book for new Christians. I’ve finally got it to a finished form (still one or two things I want to change but they’re minor), and I’ve seriously started to think and explore what I want to do with it.

    What you’ve done is an interesting idea. Thanks!

    Reply

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