How to sell ebooks online — 3 easy steps

Content Marketer and Writer
Updated 17 May, 2024
Julia Moore
Content Marketer and Writer
You can make a lot of money if you share your sound knowledge or a great story. Read how to sell your ebooks online in this guide. Step-by-step instructions will make your launch easy.
Reading time — 8 minutes

Is selling ebooks profitable?

Sure, selling ebooks is profitable. This is due to:

  • Quick launch. Self-publishing online means you don't have to wait for your book to be printed. You only need to upload a file.
  • More customers. Everyone who has access to the internet can get your book right away, and this is roughly everyone on Earth.
  • Fewer expenses. You don't pay bills for renting a storage unit, delivery, etc.

And there is no limit to how much money you can make by selling your ebooks!

How to sell ebooks online — step-by-step guide

Here are 3 steps to start selling ebooks online and keep the sales high.

1. Choose a platform for selling your ebooks

When you decide to sell ebooks, you have three places where to put your ebooks on sale:

  • Self-publishing platforms. There you can create and sell a book as a digital product and also print-on-demand copies, the platforms do all the printing and delivering work for you. Unfortunately, your selling page is usually standardized, besides, you have to pay a comparatively high commission. Amazon Kindle is one of the self-publishing platforms, see the first screenshot.
  • Marketplaces. There you can upload ready ebooks and sell them. The selling pages are standardized, and the commission is generally lower than on self-publishing platforms. Etsy is one of such marketplaces, see the second screenshot.
  • Your website. There you can upload your ready ebooks and sell them. Some website-building platforms allow you to customize your selling pages and take no commission. The Taplink site builder is one of them, see an example in the third screenshot.
Page on the Amazon Kindle self-publishing platform where an ebook is soldPage on the Amazon Kindle self-publishing platform where an ebook is sold Page on the Etsy marketplace where an ebook is soldPage made on Taplink for selling an ebook

Below we explain how to sell ebooks on your own website. We have chosen this option because website builders can have advantages over self-publishing platforms and marketplaces. On Taplink, for example, you have:

  • No transaction fee.
  • No restrictions on the books you sell.
  • Your full control over prices, selling policy, etc.
  • Custom selling page design.

2. Create your Taplink site for selling ebooks online

Below you can read step-by-step instructions for creating your website on Taplink. We are going to create a site like the one below which includes a page for selling an ebook:

Taplink page for selling a nutritionist’s ebookAmazon links on a Taplink of a nutritionistVideo recipe on a Taplink page made for selling an ebook

See the full site here.

1. Choose your site template

First of all, sign up on Taplink to get access to its templates for quick site-building. There are 20 template categories in the library, so you will find the one relevant to the topic of the ebooks you sell.

Then, choose a template from the library. If you want to use the same template that we show in this guide follow the link and tap Add to my templates.

Tapping Add the template to my library on a Taplink template page

Here is how to choose a template:

  1. Tap a template in the library.
  2. Tap Choose.
  3. Tap Yes.
Choosing a template in the Taplink template libraryTapping Choose in the preview modeTapping Yes in the pop-up window

Now, customize the site for selling your ebooks, the instructions are below.

2. Upload your ebooks for sale

You need the Business plan to be able to sell ebooks online. When you've upgraded your plan, you need to upload your ebooks to the Digital products block.

If you use a template different from the one we use, you need to add a Digital products block to your site first:

  1. Tap Add block.
  2. Choose Digital products.
Tapping Add block in the Taplink editorChoosing Digital product on the list of Taplink blocks

If you use the same template that we show in these instructions, you already have a Digital products block on your site, tap it.

Tapping a Digital products block on a selling site

Now, upload an ebook to the Digital products block:

01. Tap New product.

02. Upload an image. This can be a book cover for example.

03. Add your ebook name.

04. Set the ebook price.

05. Optionally, add the compare-at price.

Tapping New product in the Digital products settingsUploading an ebook cover in the digital product settingsAdding the ebook name and prices in the settings

06. Tap + Add file.

07. Choose Upload file.

08. Tap the upload button and choose a file on your device.

Tapping + Add file in the product settingsChoosing Upload file in the digital product settingsTapping the upload button when adding the ebook file

09. Tap Add file.

10. Add the ebook description.

11. Optionally choose a button text from the list or type your custom one.

12. Optionally, adjust the design of the product page. If you need instructions for this, here they are.

13. Tap Save changes.

Tapping Add file in the ebook uploading windowHighlighted description and button text fields, and the Customize design buttonSaving the digital product changes

You can add more ebooks for sale, tap New product again, and repeat the steps to add information about the new ebook.

You can delete ebooks from the list of displayed digital products. For example, we delete the book that was pre-added in the template:

  1. Tap the three-dot menu near the ebook you want to delete.
  2. Choose Delete.
Tapping the three-dot menu near an ebookChoose Delete on the list of options

You can read about other settings in the Digital products block in the guide.

Once you upload all the ebooks you want to sell, tap Save changes.

Saving changes in the Digital product block

Now there is an ebook catalog on your website:

Ebook catalog added to a Taplink page as a Digital product blockEbook’s page on a Taplink site of a nutritionist

3. Connect to a payment provider

You need to connect to a payment provider to accept payments for the ebooks you sell on your own website. You can do this in the Taplink account settings:

  1. Tap Add payment provider.
  2. Choose a provider.
  3. Follow the instructions. The next steps depend on the provider you choose, Taplink describes them.
  4. When everything's ready, tap Save changes.
Tapping Add payment provider in the Taplink account settingsChoosing a provider in the payment settingsInstructions for connecting the Stripe payment provider and highlighted Save changes button

Now, your site can accept payments and give users access to your book in return.

4. Edit your site for selling ebooks

Next, customize the content on your site. The template has demo content, which was automatically added to your site. Make it relevant to you and the ebooks you sell. You can upload photos, edit texts, add links, etc. Here are guides in case you need help.

5. Publish your selling site

The next step is publishing your site so that users come to it and buy your ebooks:

  1. Tap the forward arrow.
  2. Write the unique part of your site URL.
  3. Tap Connect.
  4. Tap Copy link.
Tapping the forward arrow in the Taplink editorAdding the unique part of the URL and tapping the Connect buttonTapping Copy link in the Taplink publishing menu

At this point, you have a website for selling your ebooks. After a user taps the buy button, the user must enter the email and then pay. Then, the user gets access to the ebook file.

Tapping the buy button on a page for selling an ebookFilling the name and email fields in a pop-up window

The user can also access your ebook on my.taplink at any time, the account is created on it automatically.

Read more on how a store on Taplink works here.

3. Promote your ebooks on social media

Social media is where you should look for customers if you sell ebooks. There are a lot of people interested in your ebook topic who are easy to reach out to.

First of all, add your site link to your bio. The link in your bio is easy to find. So, users can easily get to the selling page and buy an ebook.

Then, promote your ebooks on social media, here is what exactly you should do:

  • Post about your ebooks. Give users reasons to buy them — say what an ebook is about and what it can give a user, whether it's joyful leisure or practical help. Also, give users your selling site link — in posts, direct users to follow the link in your bio, in Stories, add the Link sticker.
  • Ask for reviews and testimonials. You can give your ebook for free or sell it with a big discount to several users in exchange for their feedback. Ask them to post the feedback on their profiles.
  • Collaborate with Instagram influencers. Ask an influencer to post about you in their profile. In exchange, you post about the influencer in your profile.

FAQ

If you still have questions about selling ebooks online, you may find answers in this section.

Do I need ISBN to sell my ebooks?

No. ISBN is not obligatory. You can sell books online without it.

How much should I sell my ebook for?

You should consider several factors when pricing your ebooks:

  • Rivals' prices. Find accounts of the authors in the same niches and with the same follower count as yours. Find the average price of their ebooks — this is the figure to start with.
  • The book value. The more unique and helpful your book is, the higher price you can set.

How to sell ebooks on Instagram?

Use Taplink to sell your ebooks on Instagram. On Taplink, you create a selling site and upload your ebook to it. Then, on Instagram, you add the site link to your bio. Then, you regularly post about your book. In post captions, invite users to follow the link in your bio to buy the book.

How to sell an ebook on Facebook?

Create a selling site on Taplink and upload your ebook to it. Then, post about your ebook on Facebook. Add your site link to the posts so that users can follow it and buy the book.

How to sell an ebook on Gumroad?

Selling an ebook on Gumroad is a lot like on Taplink, which we describe above. You need to create your selling page and promote it on social media.

Note! Gumroad takes a 10% transaction fee while Taplink takes 0%. Also, Gumroad doesn't allow a custom selling page design, unlike Taplink.

The bottom line

Now you know everything about selling your ebooks online, so you can make your first step right now — tap to start creating your site on Taplink. Then, you can add the site link to your bio in social profiles and post about your books. There are no doubts, you are bound to succeed!