19 Tools to Write, Publish, Sell Ebooks
Publishing an ebook can demonstrate expertise and contribute to a community. Plenty of tools help with the publishing process, from writing the draft to tracking sales.
Here is a list of tools to publish an ebook. There are options to create and format ebooks, and platforms to publish and distribute them. Most are do-it-yourself tools, though some offer professional services for advanced support.
Tools to Publish an Ebook
Scrivener is an app for uniting everything you need to write, research, and arrange long documents, including ebooks. Break your manuscript into manageable sections, and use integrated outline tools to plan and restructure. Use the corkboard and outliner to arrange your draft. Simplify your process with templates and copy and style tools. Price: $59.99.
Ulysses is a writing app for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Easily organize your sections, chapters, and scenes. Follow the overview as you write — in over 20 languages. Use the grammar and style check to fix mistakes and set the right tone. Schedule deadlines and daily goals and monitor your writing behavior. Price: $39.99 per year.
Reedsy is a platform of publishing tools for writers. Use the Book Editor to format as you write, with a toolbar to apply styles. Access Reedsy’s marketplace of editors, designers, ghostwriters, marketers, and publicists. Price: Book Editor is free. Reedsy charges a 10% fee to hire a freelancer from its marketplace.
Canva is a design platform with hundreds of free ebook and cover templates. Upload photos and images, add personal branding elements, or mix and match elements from various templates. Price: Basic is free. Pro is $119.99 per year.
Visme is an online design tool for creating, editing, and sharing visual materials. Visme contains approximately 70 ebook templates. Add photos and icons, customizable charts and data tools, flowcharts and diagrams, and more. Price: Basic is free. Premium plans start at $12.25 per month.
Ebook Launch offers professional services to produce an ebook, including editing, cover design, and formatting (even for print). Then upload completed ebooks to Smashwords, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, IngramSpark, and more. Contact for pricing.
Booktelligence is a tool to monitor and analyze your book’s online presence once published. See which websites and podcasts link to or mention your book. Monitor how your book performs against comparable titles on Amazon. View the top keywords people use to search for the best sellers in your category. Get the name and location of every library that carries your printed version. Price: Free for one book. Premium is $99 per year for up to five books.
InDesign is Adobe’s desktop publishing and page layout application. Design printed books, ebooks, digital magazines, posters, and interactive PDFs. InDesign can quickly resize ebook designs with intuitive and adaptive layout suggestions. Create page layouts with InDesign’s adjustable spacing and custom styles. Add fonts, artwork, and custom images from Adobe’s other Creative Cloud applications. Price: Plans start at $20.99 per month.
Kindle Create is Amazon’s free formatting tool to prepare your book for publication. Use it to turn your manuscript into an electronic or printed book. Use its themes to style the layout. Kindle Create finds and designs your chapter titles automatically while simultaneously building the table of contents. Quickly review your book with the built-in Kindle Previewer and see how it appears to customers using phones, tablets, and e-readers. Price: Free.
Kotobee is an application to create, edit, and publish interactive ebooks from PDFs or Microsoft Word docs. Instantly host your book online, or export it as a desktop or mobile app. Export to Epub and Kindle formats. Monetize by selling online access. Price: Basic is $150. Premium is $300. Hosting is $10 per month for one book.
Sigil is a free, open-source application to create ebooks using the Epub format. Built in 2009, Sigil is free to download and use. It features multi-platform compatibility, table of contents generator, metadata editor, and more. Price: Free.
Kindle Direct Publishing, a free platform for publishing to Kindle apps, offers resources to help prepare an ebook — including guides and tools for formatting the manuscript and creating the cover. The platform also includes promotional tools once published. Receive up to a 70% royalty, and enroll in KDP Select to earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund when customers read your books from the Kindle Unlimited subscription program.
Draft2Digital is a platform for self-publishing — including tools and services for layout, publishing, distribution, and more. Automated conversion and layout templates provide a professional appearance that fits your style. Draft2Digital distributes ebooks and paperback books to all major online retailers worldwide. Select the stores you want and hit publish. Set your price — even free. Promotional and analytic tools help funnel more readers to your books and track the results. Draft2Digital collects 10% of the retail price for each sale.
Lulu is a platform to create, publish, and sell your ebook or printed version globally, with a print-on-demand network to reduce risk. Make an Epub or PDF ebook for free with options to convert to print. Self-publish your ebook and sell it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu’s Bookstore, your own website, and more. Lulu offers professional support to help with cover and layout design and formatting. Earn up to 80% royalty.
Kobo Writing Life is an online bookstore with over 5 million titles. It’s part of Rakuten, the Japan-based ecommerce conglomerate. Publish your ebook by creating a Kobo Writing Life account and uploading your manuscript. Set the price, and run your own promotions. Kobo adds your title to the catalog within 72 hours, making it available worldwide in online bookstores in over 190 countries. See your updates in real-time on the dashboard. Track sales by country or by date. Earn royalties up to 70%.
Barnes & Noble Press is a free self-publishing service to publish and sell print or ebooks directly to Barnes & Noble customers. Become a vendor and see your book for sale within 72 hours of publishing. Barnes & Noble customers will find your book on BN.com and their Nook devices. Publish directly with Barnes & Noble Press for a greater royalty rate and access to online promotional opportunities. Access third-party vendors for help with publicity, editorial, marketing, design, and more. Earn up to 70% royalty.
E-junkie is a platform for selling digital content — ebooks, files, codes, software, and more. Sell from your own site, blog, or a shop in E-junkie’s marketplace. Use E-junkie’s purchase links to sell from social media, email, and chat apps. Get a product landing page integrated with Google and Facebook analytics. Create shop-wide or product-specific promotions, discount codes, and gift cards. E-junkie can stamp the buyer’s name, email, and transaction ID on PDF downloads, which deters unlawful distribution. Price: Plans start at $5 per month, with no transaction fees.
Payhip is an ecommerce platform to sell digital products, such as ebooks. Embed Payhip directly into your website, or sell directly on social media or anywhere. Consumers can instantly download files after purchase. Offer coupons, pay-what-you-want pricing, and social discounts. Sync your customers to your mailing lists on Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, and more. Price: Free plan has a 5% transaction fee. Premium plans start at $29 per month with a 2% transaction fee.
Shopify offers 70 responsive themes to sell ebooks and digital goods. Simplify digital downloads and gain traction with reader reviews — all through apps designed for Shopify stores. Use Shopify’s dashboard to review order history and marketing campaigns. Track sales, traffic, and referrals via Google Analytics. Price: Plans start at $39 per month.