How to publish an eBook for free

Things You'll Need

  • Manuscript
  • Microsoft Word
  • Cover art (optional)

E-readers allow consumers to download their favorite novels in minutes. But, e-readers may provide the greatest opportunities for writers. Where once writers haggled with agents, editors and publishing companies to get their works into the public eye, now they can publish their own books, set their own royalties and prices, and control the look and content of their books, all for free.

Formatting the Manuscript

Make sure the manuscript is saved in the .doc format of Microsoft Word. Different sites may vary in this requirement and most sites convert this to their preferred eBook format, but generally this is the most accepted format.

Put a page break after the last line of each chapter. Remove headers, footers, bullet points and any special fonts from the manuscript as on most sites, these will not transfer. Single space the manuscript.

Add a title page and the copyright information, all on separate pages at the beginning of the book.

Add in any back matter, such as a glossary, epilogue or index.

Spell check the document.

Save a version of the document as "Web Page, Filtered (HTM & HTML)" in Word. Some sites may require this format.

Uploading the Book

Check the FAQs or other information for each targeted site. Requirements and file versions may vary. For instance, with Amazon Kindle, files upload better if saved in the "Web Page, Filtered (HTM & HTML)" format. Barnes and Noble's PubIt! site uploads files in the .doc format.

Fill out the required information as the site asks for it. Most sites will ask for author's name, distribution, verification of rights and the price of the book, along with other information.

Upload the manuscript file. Take advantage of the Preview option after the file downloads. Previewing the manuscript to see how the file has uploaded at this point will save wasted time later in case there are problems with the manuscript.

Upload the cover file. Most sites require graphics to be a minimum of 500 pixels wide by 2,000 pixels high. And, you're published!


Before you start to publish the book, do some homework and read the requirements of each site before starting the publishing process as they do change from place to place. Decide how much you want to charge for your book and how much royalty you want ahead of time.

If you are e-publishing books that once appeared in print, make sure you have the rights to electronically publish your book. Most publishers state this in contracts and the reversion of rights at the end of the copyright period can be obtained by writing the legal department with this request.