Self-Publishing E-Books

When you are self-publishing books, you don’t always have to print them on paper and produce a physical product. Nowadays it is common — and even beneficial — to move toward self-publishing e-books.

E-books, short for “electronic books,” are digital files that can be downloaded to a computer, Kindle, iPad, Nook or even a mobile device. These PDFs are typically formatted on pages like books but appear as one document.

Advantages of Self-Publishing E-Books

Self-publishing e-books has several advantages over traditional publishing.

1. Cost Saving: Self-publishing e-books costs less than traditional publishing, because no paper, ink or printing press is required. E-books have no such costs. Rather than incurring the costs of printing and distribution, an e-book is available to anyone on the Internet. However, you will need to invest in software to convert your book to a PDF if you do not already own it.

2. Speed: A second advantage is time. Printing books using a traditional printer requires weeks or even months. An e-book can be posted and ready for reading in less than a minute!

3. Flexibility: With e-books, you don’t have to worry about number of copies. Readers download only what they want to read. In contrast, traditional publishers have to determine in advance how many copies to print. Books can be sitting in storehouses (or your garage) for months, waiting to be distributed and sold.

4. Easy Updates: E-books can be updated easily, without having to throw away an entire print run.

5. Longevity: E-books last forever. They never go out of print, and they cannot be destroyed by weather, moths or dogs.

6. Copyrights: When self-publishing books, self-publishing e-books is the easiest way to retain your rights to the work, as the file is never shared with another company.

How to Sell It

You can choose to sell your e-book through your existing channels, such as your website or email newsletter. You can also offer it through online booksellers, such as

Either way, it is advantageous to offer free excerpts to readers. They can sample the contents before buying the entire e-book.

This may seem obvious, but people buy based on the quality of content. While self-publishing books is easy to do, you want to make sure you have the best editorial content. We do recommend you hire an editor to help polish or even write your book.

To learn more about self-publishing books, see our self-publishing guide. Or, hear from an accomplished author about how she became a best-selling author without a publisher.

Related Resources 

Read more about E-Books vs. Printed Books

Read more about Free E-Books

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