Self-Publishing: Should You Sell Your Ebook on Amazon or Your Own Website?

April 22, 2015 · 53 comments

Most of the self-publishing success stories we hear revolve around selling books on Amazon, and for good reason: authors like Steve Scott and Mark Dawson have used the platform to bring home six-figure salaries.

But if you’re considering self-publishing, you should know there is another option: selling ebooks on your own site. If you’re able to carve out your own little corner of the Internet, this route, too, can be incredibly lucrative.

Each method has its pros and cons, and that’s what I’d like to cover in today’s post. When does it make sense to sell your self-published book on Amazon, and when should you forego the giant and sell on your own website?

Here’s what to consider when making this decision.

Self-publishing: Selling your books online

Sell on Amazon? Or on your own site?

Your pricing strategy, and the type of books you write

If you sell on Amazon, you’re expected to price ebooks like everyone else does, generally between $2.99 – $9.99. But if you sell on your own website, you can set your price however you like, from $2.99 all the way up to $59 or more, which can mean earning a lot more per ebook.

Of course, you only want to sell at a high price point if potential buyers see that much value in your ebook. Often this depends on the type of ebook you write. If you’re writing novels, as a lot of self-published authors do, you’re kind of cornered into that less-than-$9.99 window, because that’s what people expect to pay for fiction. But if you write non-fiction, especially how-to or advice-heavy guides (also known as informational ebooks) readers will typically pay a much higher price.

Why? Because they’re accessing your brain, your experience and your guidance, all of which is worth more than a story. And while the help-you-make-money niche has earned a scammy reputation, if your ebook helps people make money, they’ll be even more willing to open their wallets to read it.

My ebooks are a good example. How to Build a Part-Time Social Media Business, the first ebook I ever wrote, sells for $24. How to Create a Freakin’ Fabulous Social Media Strategy sells for $59. And my other two informational ebooks are priced somewhere in between.

I could never get away with pricing those ebooks beyond $10 if I sold on Amazon, because everyone prices their ebooks low on the platform. But readers get tremendous value from these resources, value that helps them quickly earn back what they spent on the guides. Because of that, it’s easy to justify the price when I sell them on my own website.

In addition to being able to charge more when I sell on my own site, I also profit more on each sale. When I sell an ebook on, I keep almost 100 percent. My expenses are minimal: I pay $5 to e-junkie each month to deliver my ebooks — and yes, that’s a static fee no matter how many ebooks I sell — and 2.9 percent plus 30 cents for each transaction to PayPal for collecting the funds (and slightly more for international purchases), which works out to about $1 for each $24 ebook.

I also pay one of my team members to answer emails from potential buyers and anyone who has questions after reading the guides, which counts as another expense. Still, earnings from my ebook sales have an amazingly high margin because they require so little maintenance after I publish.

Now look at how much you profit if you sell on Amazon — I do have one ebook on the platform, so I’m speaking from first-hand experience. If you price your ebook between $2.99- $9.99, you earn 70 percent royalties. If you price below $2.99, you earn only 35 percent royalties.

If I were to sell even my lowest-price informational guide on Amazon, I’d probably need to price it at $9.99 to get any traction, and then I’d take home about $7 for each sale. Compare that to the $23 I earn on my own site for the same ebook!

It sounds like a no-brainer, right? Except… there are other factors at hand too, and some of them favor Amazon.

Your reach online

If you’re going to make money from your self-published books, someone has to buy them. This is the tough part for a lot of new authors; they simply don’t know how to get the word out about their book.

That’s where Amazon comes in. If you self-publish on the platform, you can leverage the millions of people who shop there every month. You have a world of potential buyers at your fingertips! A number of factors go into whether Amazon actually shows your book to those potential buyers, but if you learn how to optimize for the Amazon search engine and get good reviews, you’ll likely be able to reach readers outside of your friends and family.

If you sell on your own website, however, it’s entirely up to you to drum up buys. If no one reads your blog or visits your website, you’ll never sell a single book.

Interestingly, most of the successful self-published authors we hear about use the same tactic to rally their reader base, regardless of whether they sell on Amazon or their own site: an email list. Email marketing is the best way to grow a loyal following that will buy your books.

Amazon also gives you an advantage if you sell more than one book on the platform, as it recommends your subsequent books to buyers who already purchased an item with your byline. This referral engine is gold for cultivating a community of repeat buyers, and it’s one of the big appeals of selling on Amazon.

You can replicate this in some ways on your own site, but likely not at the same scale. For example, readers who purchase my guide on how to build a social media business get funneled onto an email list, where they receive several helpful follow-up emails via a MailChimp autoresponder. In one of those emails, I also let them know about another ebook they might be interested in, one that’s directly related to the guide they already bought: my ebook on how to create a social media strategy. I purposely created the second guide as a spin-off of the first, and beefed the strategy guide up to 90 pages so I could sell it for a higher price than the business guide. This allows readers to buy the $24 guide, see that I offer awesome information and gain trust in what I deliver… before purchasing the higher-priced ebook.

It took me a while to get that funnel in place; it’s not something I implemented right when the first guide launched. It was only when the first guide did well that I realized there was a need for more information, so I wrote the second, related ebook and set up the funnel to send buyers to it. Now that I have this system in place — it’s all automatic! — most of the people who buy my social media business guide later purchase my strategy guide, too.

(Another interesting note that might be helpful if you’re looking to sell via your own website: many of my sales come directly from search, from people who find my ebooks through Google. This is the power of solid SEO, back-links and offering tons of free information through blog posts that show my expertise.)

The bottom line: Even if you grow your email list to thousands of people, you’ll still have the potential to reach more people on Amazon. But if you have an engaged and loyal email list (my list for, for example, is only 6,000 strong), and you sell your ebook on your own site at a higher price point, you can sell far fewer books and still make an awesome profit.

Your technical know-how

Some writers tell me they sell their ebooks on Amazon because it’s too complicated to sell them on their own site.

This might be true if you’ve never blogged before. But if you know how to blog in WordPress, you can easily set up your own shop on your website. Use a combination of e-junkie and PayPal like I do, or check out another platform that sells and delivers ebooks like Gumroad. (I’ve heard excellent things about Gumroad, but the downside is they take 5 percent plus 25 cents per transaction, in addition to PayPal’s fees.)

Because I have experience selling digital products, I find it’s much easier to get that set up than to figure out how to format my ebook for Kindle (though to be honest, this is something I’d outsource). On my own site, I typically only sell PDF versions, though I’ll probably introduce Kindle versions in the near future because so many people prefer to read ebooks that way.

Whether you crave autonomy

How important is it to you to have complete control over what you sell?

Amazon offers a lot of options for customizing not only your book itself, but the book’s sales page, too. But you still have far more control over the sales process if you sell on your own site.

On your own site, you can see who’s buying, information that might help you make decisions on what to create and how to sell in the future. On Amazon, you have to make do with their limited metrics.

On your own site, you can collect buyer’s email addresses and funnel them directly onto your newsletter list, then use those emails to offer another related product or other information that might turn that reader into a loyal fan. With Amazon, you don’t get access to any buyer information, so you have to hope readers will notice a call-to-action for your newsletter inside your ebook and take the time to sign up for your list.

I love being able to get my hands dirty in buyer details and metrics and use that information to improve my business. But if you’re not that kind of geek and would prefer to spend your time writing, Amazon might be a better choice for you. (Although I’ll caution that as we discussed above, you’ll need to learn how to market your work to succeed on Amazon.)

Questions to help you decide

In summary, if you’re trying to choose where to sell your ebooks, here’s what you should think about:

1. What type of ebooks do you write?

  • Fiction or memoir: Amazon might be the better choice for you, though it depends on other answers below
  • How-to, informational guides: Sell ’em on your own site, and set the price high!

2. Can you build your own loyal community of readers and buyers?

  • Yes: Consider selling on your own site, though you’d likely find success on Amazon, too
  • No: Sell on Amazon. And start growing your community now, because you’ll still need it!

3. Do you understand the technical side of how to run a blog?

  • Yes: Consider selling on your own site, depending on your other answers here
  • No: Might be better off with Amazon (or hire someone to set up an online store for you)

4. Do you care about autonomy?

  • Yes: Sell from your own real estate, where you have complete control
  • No: Don’t worry about handing everything over to the giant!

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m a fan of selling on my own site because it’s more lucrative for my advice-heavy ebooks and I appreciate the autonomy. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t wade deeper into Amazon waters for other types of ebooks or to gain access to a wider audience.

There’s one other option here: You could sell both on your own site and Amazon.

Amazon has some rules about when you can sell your work elsewhere, but so long as you adhere to those, you could give your community several options for getting their hands on your books.

The pro here is you’ll earn more money for any books you sell from your own site, because you get to keep all the profits. The con is that Amazon’s referral engine works best when you send as much traffic and buys to it as possible, so encouraging some readers to buy from your site might hurt your book’s Amazon rankings in the long run, which means less reach on that channel.

Self-publishing success stories

So you can see these points in action, here are a few self-published authors who are doing well selling books, either on their own site or via Amazon. You’ll notice that in every case, the author has made an effort to market their work via a blog and online community.

Steve Scott: I mention him first because not only has he been successful selling ebooks on Amazon, he shares lessons for doing so on his blog, as well as insightful income reports. His advice is highly valuable.

Ali Luke: She sells high-quality informational ebooks on her own site, including a guide to creating irresistible ebooks. Her ebooks usually sell for $29 each, but it looks like they’re on sale while she’s on maternity leave.

Chris Guillebeau: He offers a number of guides on his own site, including the Unconventional Guide to Publishing. His guides typically come with additional resources as well, which allows him to use a tiered pricing structure — a smart move for the reasons Derek Happern describes here.

James Chartrand: This writer offers a number of ebooks through her own site, including one called Write for the Web.

Joanna Penn: She used to rely on a hybrid model, selling some ebooks through her website and others on Amazon. Now it looks like she’s leaning heavily on Amazon as she transitions to writing fiction. Joanna’s site is a wealth of information on how to market your work and grow an online community.

Update: Joanna got in touch to say she’s multi-platform (also sells on other platforms besides Amazon), but is no longer selling direct in part because of the new digital EU VAT tax, which affects online entrepreneurs.

Kim Dinan: I haven’t read her ebook on living your dreams, but I thought it was cool that this travel writer makes it available both on her own website and on Amazon.

My ebooks: You can browse the full list here. You’ll notice that while most of my ebooks are available only through my website, You Deserve to Love Your Job is exclusively on Amazon.

Hungry for more information? If you want to create and sell your first ebook through your own website, I offer a free webinar on that topic. You can access it here.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Norton Tyler April 22, 2015 at 7:16 pm

It does seem that EVERYONE automatically assumes that Amazon is the only way to go, but selling on your own site makes sense- for some authors. I feel that readers are more likely to find my book of fiction, “Queen Mother,” on Amazon. However, I am now considering selling my non-fiction on my own site.

Very helpful article!


Alexis Grant April 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Smart, Angela! If you’re working with fiction, I do think Amazon is generally the right choice… but not always. Keep rockin’ it!


J.P. Choquette April 22, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Great post, Alexis. I chose to self-publish my novels via Amazon (and Smashwords) and sell my nonfiction writing book via both Amazon AND my own website. I’m hopeful that, as you said, the more my website is visited the more sales I will make via the site itself. I use Gumroad and LOVE it, despite the higher fees.

Formatting an ebook can be so easily outsourced to a responsible professional who knows what they are doing (and saves the author lots of nervously nibbled fingernails or pulled out hair) and book covers can be found for a good rate, too.

Did you find with nonfiction books that when you hit a certain number sales tended to go up more quickly? I know with fiction the magic number seems to be five (according to Joanna Penn and others). I wonder if it’s the same with nonfiction–having that magic number.


Alexis Grant April 24, 2015 at 9:35 am

Hi JP! I don’t know the answer to your question — selling nonfiction on my own site relies more on spreading the word to my community and cranking up my SEO efforts for specific posts, and I’m not sure where that breaking point is. But it’s great to hear you like Gumroad! Sounds like a good option for folks.


Vishnu April 23, 2015 at 12:30 am

HI Alexis – As I’m getting ready to publish a couple ebooks, I found this write up useful. Do you know anyone who has sold their books on their site and Amazon (like Joanna and Kim) – any idea on the results of selling the same book on both platforms?


Alexis Grant April 24, 2015 at 9:35 am

I don’t know the answer to that, Vishnu! I wonder if we could get either of them to weigh in here…


Jenn Mattern April 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

Great post Alexis. I’m actually scheduled to cover this topic in next week’s podcast at All Indie Writers, where I’ll be joined by Princess Jones. I’ll be sure to link people here for further information in the show notes. 🙂
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Alexis Grant April 23, 2015 at 10:36 am

Very cool — feel free to share the link to the show in the comments once it airs, too! Sounds like a great resource.


Jenn Mattern April 30, 2015 at 4:09 am

The podcast episode just went up. I linked here in the show notes, and this post was mentioned at 29:39.
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Ashley Brooks April 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

You brought up some fantastic points in this post, and they all explain why I plan to sell my info book through my site instead of the almighty Amazon. But as much as I love your ideas here, there’s one thing I just can’t let go: You said that our “brain, experience, and guidance” are all “worth more than a story.” No offense, but I think you’re wrong.

Fiction authors are trapped in a lower-priced selling model, I’ll give you that, but it doesn’t mean that the stories they create are worth less than an info product. In many cases they’re even worth more. A fiction writer DOES put their brain, experience, and guidance into their work—they just do so in a different format. A good story is a vehicle for delivering truth and practical life lessons in a way that’s much more fun and easily digestible than just another “self-help how-to” guide. The power of a story extends far beyond that of an info book.

And—dare I say it—I’m willing to bet most fiction authors put twice as many hours into their books as info book authors, especially when you consider that many fiction authors also have education and experiences that informs their writing.

From a purely numbers-based standpoint, you’re right: info books can sell at a much higher price point than a novel. But to say that an info book is worth more than a story is dead wrong. *Steps off soap box.* Anyway, this WAS a great post overall . . . I just couldn’t let that comment slide. 🙂
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Brittany May 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Totally agree! I have always found that fiction writing is a million times harder than non-fiction for me. When I need to convey information I have no trouble, but creating an entire world with its own population….hats off to anyone who can succesfully do that. I’m close to giving up on it.
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Colette March 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm

I don’t think she was saying the info writer has more worth. I read it that the audience is “hungrier” for “how to” than fiction.
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Edwina Gustafson June 2, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Hi Ashley

I’m just about to hit publish on my first book and I’m having one last trawl through some blogs as I scratch my head and ponder the big question – what price my fiction? I so enjoyed your comments on fiction and where it comes froom and I thank you for stepping onto your soap box.


deborah brown April 24, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Hi , Thanks for the great posts it is a source of encouragement. I however have the problem that the book is written but find it hard to know who to trust with it now to take to the next level to publish the Ebook. I want to go down the path of selling on my own site and am also establishing other information webistes (same theme) to all cross refrence oneanother. How can you find an experienced Ebook formatter who is also not going to break the bank? Thanks


Amanda Shofner April 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

I don’t think self-publishing should be a question of either on your site or Amazon; the two can co-exist. Most people are successful on Amazon because they have a funnel, whether that’s a fiction series or a non-fiction book that leads readers to your site for other services.

(And I think “ebooks” sold on sites tend to hold way more multimedia and interactive activities than ebooks you download to your ereader. So a book on Amazon could easily be a pared down version of the ebook on your site, and a good CTA in the back of your ebook could lead your Amazon readers to your site for more info.)

And as long as you don’t go KDP Select, you can (and probably should) put your book in other stores, like Kobo (for international readers, since Amazon really only dominates the US/UK market) or Apple (who, I’ve heard, also has a great search engine). Amazon does have the majority of the market, but they’re not the only players.

If you use Scrivener to write your ebook, you shouldn’t have to outsource formatting for Kindle. With the compile option, it’s super easy.


Javier Quinones April 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Extremely refreshing to read such a cogent how-to. Cool to read someone who knows what they are writing about…


Ronald Joseph Kule May 5, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Helpful and well-written, easy to follow and understand article, Alexis. I had been wondering how to set up for downloads of ebooks from my own site, and one of your two recommendations will be the answer to my quest! Very timely.


Alexis Grant May 6, 2015 at 8:06 am

That’s great, Ronald. Thanks for letting me know! Good luck with your ebook =)


Craige May 5, 2015 at 5:38 pm

I think you’re a great example of someone who makes selling on her own site work. Your site is very appealing and chock full of very useful info. I happened upon your site a few weeks ago when looking for the type of info you offer in one of your books. I read a couple of your blog posts and was convinced right then and there that your book would be worth my money. And it was! I think one has to assume that on a personal site the testimonials displayed aren’t going to include any lukewarm ones, which is an area where Amazon wins. But honestly, it was the rest of your site that convinced me. I don’t know if reviews would have made a difference when really all I care about is that the info you offer will be relevant to ME.


Alexis Grant May 6, 2015 at 8:05 am

Thanks for leaving this thoughtful note, Craige! Not only was it nice, but it helps to prove a point that’s not easy to make: that it’s worth giving away a lot of free information to build your platform and gain credibility… especially if you can find a way to funnel those interested readers into a product that will help you make a living.


Brittany May 10, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Thanks for this! I just started working on my first how-to guide, but am a little discouraged. My blog’s main audience is book bloggers, and I sent out a survey to my subscriber list gauging interest. Almost everyone said they’d be interested in buying but wouldn’t pay more than $5. I feel like this is because they’re used to buying inexpensive fiction novels on amazon. Wondering…do you think I could overcome this, or try to make up for the price point in sales volume?


Randolph Hoover June 23, 2015 at 3:51 am

Great post Alexis! I have been making plans of publishing my writing and a friend of mine suggested the exact idea of your whole article. I am now considering the idea of doing so. Thanks for this



Thomas James July 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

For your own benefit, it is better to sell it all by yourself. Post it to your social networks or make a portfolio of those and post it in your personal website. The credits will be all yours, I guarantee.


Timothy Bell August 5, 2015 at 9:19 am

Your post ensured me I made the right decision to have my own website. My website is not yet operational but in the works in sandbox environment. I just found out I couldn’t get a PayPal Payments Standard account. That means I can’t offer my buyers of my ebook (geared toward Chinese buyers) the choice of paying by credit card through PayPal if they did not want to pay with a PayPal account. My ebook’s price is $49. I thought of perhaps re-directing buyers using credit cards to Gumroad but they probably don’t have their website available in Chinese. Maybe I can still do well enough with just Chinese using their PayPal account and later qualify to have PayPal Standard.


Andrew Drury September 3, 2015 at 11:58 am

Very useful article – many thanks.

My main concern is that once sold, the ebook can be copied to others. I assume that your books are sold as pdfs. How vulnerable are they to their encryption being cracked by commercial pdf programmes? How do you satisfy yourself that your books aren’t being pirated?

Also, I wondered if you have looked the WordPress plugin “Ebook Store”? It looks good at first sight. Of course, if you don’t use WordPress for your site, it’s an irrelevant question!



jj350 October 6, 2015 at 1:02 am

I was wondering if I could put a permanently FREE Kindle short sample “book” or a few page summary of my book on Amazon that would have links and information to my REAL book on my website and sell the $20 book on my site?



Gregory October 14, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Could you sell your e-book on both your own website and amazon?


Alexis Grant October 16, 2015 at 7:58 am

You could, certainly. But you’d want to make sure the price point was the same in both spots.


jj350 November 15, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Could I sell on my website and Amazon?
“you’d want to make sure the price point was the same in both spots.”
What would happen if I sell for $1 or $2 less on My website vs Amazon?
I am offering them a deal to buy direct from me and I take more profit than Amazon gives me assuming they take 30%. What’s wrong with putting a banner “Buy for less Here on my website”


Debbie November 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Hi there, I am just getting into writing and selling my ebooks and am wondering how you protect your pdf ebooks from being purchased and then sent to all of that person’s friends without their purchasing. Would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks. Great information here! 🙂


Lara December 15, 2015 at 8:12 am

Dear Alexis, thanks for this insightful article! I would like to sell my pdf guides on my own site and I still have 2 doubts: do you protect your pdf ebooks? How do you comply to EU VAT regulation when selling to EU based customers?I think these are common questions to many readers and I hope you can answer them.


kitcat December 31, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Hi, there. I was wondering if I would be able to sell short stories on Amazon, not just books? Thank you for all your information, I don’t feel as overwhelmed.


Steve February 5, 2016 at 7:22 pm

Hey Alexis,
Great info and just what I was looking for.

My only question is – did you get ISBN’s for your books?
I am just at the beginning process of self-publishing and have a couple photo books on Kindle, where they handle that part of the process.

I would like this to be as simple as possible and connect with potential customers personally quite often.



Ashley February 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Hey Alexis,

Great article! I cannot seem to find this answer anywhere. Can I publish my e-book on Amazon AND sell it on my website? Does Amazon have exclusivity on my content and if so, for how long?



Ryan LeBlanc March 5, 2016 at 11:13 am

I have a graduate thesis (educational research) I want to put out there. I don’t want to spend time dressing it up for popular consumption yet. I’m only begin to grow an audience, still way less than 1000.

I’m thinking Amazon to increase reach. Thoughts?



Chris Bryant March 8, 2016 at 10:15 am

Hi Alexis!

I really enjoyed your post, as I’m fairly successful with my ebooks on Amazon but am also looking at selling the same books in PDF format on my own site starting next month.

Are you selling non-protected, easily-sharable PDFs, or locking them down in some fashion?

Thanks again!

Chris B.


Alexis Grant March 10, 2016 at 10:50 pm

Hi Chris — Glad it’s helpful. I don’t protect them. Anyone can share them if they’d like… but I think that’s a low risk to take for high gain!
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Misty March 17, 2016 at 4:12 am

Is it possible to sell your first eBook on Amazon and then sell any follow ups on your own website? – I am writing a series of how to books on all my crafts, I am also writing a series of Adventure stories for children, working on a five year plan.

I need all the help and advice I can get as I am completely self taught in all I do, I never even attended regular school. I am taking a mentor ship course at the moment with a leading publisher to help with my spelling and grammar.

Hopefully next year I will be Ready to release something, I do not have a lot of money, So I am soaking up all the free help I can get. Thank you for that which has been given here.


Ryan April 22, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Hi Misty

I’m just starting out. It seems to me that to sell from your own site you need to steer your own traffic to that site. So if you had a link at the end of your how to books (sold on Amazon) to point readers to your site then those who liked your book would follow that link. But then you’re only getting a percentage of your Amazon readers finding your site. Maybe sell your series of how to books on Amazon but link to your site for the ‘plus’ projects that are fun and appealing – these would be thin books with a big margin of profit. As for the series of adventures, I hate reading one book then finding out the sequel is five times the price. But if the sequels were on your site, a little thinner but same price, you would still take the higher profit. Same thing put your site at the end of your ebook.

That’s your free advice From someone with no credentials!



Gene J. Horton May 23, 2016 at 3:52 am

Great article.
Here’s another tip from someone who has been an online marketer from 2 years now 🙂

When you want your business to be profitable, there are some things that you need to do right. The most important of which is getting to know and to understand your audience. When you have that understanding, you can cater better to their needs and give them the thing s they want most.


Rita Malhotra June 7, 2016 at 10:25 am

Hi Alexis,

Thanks for this useful post. I have just written my first eBook on GDM (form of diabetes, which affect women in their pregnancy). I am still not very sure how to sell it. I have set my funnel on ClickBank but have not launched it yet. Any advice will be very welcoming.



Jamie Hill August 1, 2016 at 6:40 am

I joined a publishing start up in China by the name of Fiberead.

They handle everything including translation, promotion, listing on all the various sites, keep check of of sales and for free ( the royalty split heavily in their favour )

It can be a bit of a slow burner from uploading your original manuscript through to the final translation being completed but you will get there in the end, it was an overall quicker process on my 2nd book that I uploaded compared to the 1st attempt.

The royalty split is normally 70/30 in their favour, but I think I would have never sold any books in China without their help so in my humble opinion , 30% is better than zero”¦


Shane August 3, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Thanks, very insightful post. I plan on creating my own ebook and this was very insightful.
My site:


Ahmed Syed August 14, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Hi Alexis,

Great article, but I had a question about something you wrote:

“…When I sell an ebook on, I keep almost 100 percent. My expenses are minimal: I pay $5 to e-junkie each month to deliver my ebooks “” and yes, that’s a static fee no matter how many ebooks I sell “” and 2.9 percent plus 30 cents for each transaction to PayPal for collecting the funds…”

Why do you use e-junkie as well as Paypal? I have very limited exposure to either so please correct me if I’m wrong or missing something, but having both seems redundant. Don’t they both provide shopping cart services? so you would need one or other other, not both?

Also there are other fees as well beyond what you mentioned like bank transaction fees?


Alexis Grant November 30, 2016 at 10:27 pm

Hi there — Ejunkie is the delivery method, PayPal is the payment method. You need both!
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Florencia October 4, 2016 at 8:22 am

Great post Alexis. I am standing right at this point where I need to decide if I publish by my own or through the big one. Your questions are an interesting way to clear my mind, thanks 🙂


George December 6, 2016 at 11:53 pm

Gumroad now takes a monthly minimum fee of $10 in addition to their other fees. That’s a deal breaker!


Louise van Hine January 13, 2017 at 12:14 pm

hi Alexis,

I put my Kindle-formatted ebooks (which I produced on Lulu and prepared myself) back in the day (2010) and I just happened to look and found my ebooks are gone from Amazon. Only my paperback version of one of my books remains. Not only do I not remember how I got it listed on Amazon, I also don’t know how/why they ditched my ebooks. Do you have any comments about fiction writers preparing/publishing on and also selling on Amazon as independent publishers? is that even allowed anymore?


Mandy Collins January 19, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Where would you suggest outsourcing the Kindle formatting to?


Alexis Grant January 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Did you try Fiverr?
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Aryan January 23, 2017 at 7:31 am

You have clearly differentiated where to sell you book depending on what type of books you are selling and whether you are lil techie or not. I am trying to publish my own book on amazon first and then I will try to sell on my blog.
Thank you.


Dibakar Bala February 18, 2017 at 9:21 am

Thank You so much for mentioning Lulu. I was really trying so hard to find something similar. Thanks a lot. I’ll let you know if I succeed in future. Bookmarked this article 🙂


Pete February 26, 2017 at 3:42 am

Another point maybe worth noting is that if you go the Amazon route, you could find yourself waiting 2 months at a time to receive your payments, so obviously, if you need the money now, your own site would make sense.


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