How to sell E-books and PDFs online?

If you are a content creator with some awesome E-books and PDFs, or perhaps a software developer with an innovative software that solves people’s problems, you have already done 90% of the work. Congratulations!

The next step is to sell your digital product and earn revenues for the time and effort you invested in making it.

In this article, we will learn just that – the various platforms and methods at our disposal that allow us to sell our digital products online. Though you may utilize this information to sell a variety of digital products, but our main focus will be on online sell of E-books and PDFs.

Table of Contents
  • Make your own Online Store
  • Sell your E-book on other platforms

There are basically two broad types of ways to go about it.

Make your own Online Store

You may create an online store on your own website, or create such a store on a third-party website and link it to your own website or social media platform.

Embedding Online Store in own Website

Well, if you have a website in WordPress, then you may create an online store in your website itself by using plugins such as WooCommerce and Shopify.

However, if you have coded your own website, or if you are using Static Site Generators (like HUGO, Gatsby, etc.) to create your website, then you will have to manually code the online store and integrate a payment gateway with it. It’s a bit challenging, but you will learn a lot through it.

If you do not want to mess up the code of your website, or do not want to use a big plugin like Shopify to sell just a bunch of e-books, there’s one another option available to us. As I make most of my sites using Static Site Generator HUGO, I often use this option only.

We can make use of third-party websites and create our online store there. Thereafter, we just need to provide the link of that online store on our website.

But which third-party website should we choose?

I always prefer the online store feature provided by many leading payment gateways, such as:

If our online store is provided by our payment gateway service, chances of glitches in transactions are minimal. Also, most of them also provide us extra features like sending an email to customer after sales, invoice generation, storing email of customer for future e-mail marketing purposes, etc.

There are also some other types of third-party options available to us, if you do not like the idea of people leaving your website to make purchases:

  • Sellfy - If you already have a website, then you may embed individual PDF files, your whole store or just a “buy” button for your products that you want to sell. A pop up with a checkout will appear and your customers will be able to buy your PDFs without leaving your site.

Sell your E-book on other platforms

Now, instead of creating our own store, we may also opt to sell our digital products on other well-established platforms, such as Instamojo, Amazon Kindle, eBay, Etsy, Nook, etc.

One big pitfall of creating our own online store and selling e-books through our own website is that we are solely responsible for all the marketing. If the number of visitors on our website are less, our sales will be low too.

But platforms like Instamojo, Amazon Kindle, eBay, Etsy, Nook are well-known platforms that sell e-books and have a huge footfall. Though we will have to share our profits with these platforms, but they will take care of most of our marketing headaches.

Another vital point to keep in mind is that, people often feel more comfortable in making purchases from these well-known platforms, then from unknown websites. Also, placing our e-books on these platforms (and hopefully high sale numbers) enhances our brand awareness and credibility – it matters a lot if you are in this business with long-term vision.

Pro Tip

Once a visitor on your website or social platform makes a purchase, you must follow up on it.

  • Do send him a thank you note via email. If you are selling a PDF online, you will most probably email him the link to that PDF and an invoice anyways.

  • Do add him into your email list for email-marketing purposes. A person who has already made a purchase on your website is more likely to return and make further purchases in future. Well, given that he or she was satisfied with the product he purchased earlier. So, make sure you have an awesome product at hand, before you put it out for sale.


PDFs, E-books and other digital products can serve multiple purposes:

  • Profits: Of course, the main aim of most of the creators and writer is to sell their digital products and earn money.

  • Digital Marketing: We can also give away some of our digital products for free, just to enhance our brand awareness.

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