How To Publish A Book For Free: 11 Best Platforms

So, you’ve finally finished writing your book. What now? You might be considering how to publish a book for free and also where you might publish your book. Keep reading for the best platforms to self-publish and key steps for getting your book published.

How to publish a book for free

The costs involved in publishing are a huge factor for most new and seasoned authors. But is it possible to publish a book for free?


Finding a traditional publisher to take you on is no longer the only way to get your book out there. You can also choose how much money you want to spend in your budget when self publishing a book.

That said, we are here to tell you exactly how to publish a book for free and also how to publish a book on Amazon for free!

Where can you publish your book for free?

There are a lot of choices when it comes to publishing platforms, especially as a first time author. They don’t all offer the same features or benefits, though, so it’s essential to know exactly how to publish a book for free and what to expect before deciding on the most suitable method for you.

Ready to find out how to publish a book for free? Grab a drink, get comfy, and let’s begin.

1. StreetLib

If you want to market your book worldwide, then StreetLib’s self publishing technology can help you achieve this.

Not only is it free, but you’ll also have access to a comprehensive dashboard that will allow you to monitor your book sales anytime, anywhere.

Benefits of StreetLib

  • Publish your ebook in any language with ease.
  • StreetLib has an app that allows you to manage the publication of your book on the go.
  • No upfront costs.
  • SteetLib will distribute your book to all the leading players, including Amazon, Google Play, Apple Books, and more.
  • It’s an excellent option for international distribution.

Things to consider with StreetLib

  • StreetLib charges a 10% commission for ebooks.
  • Complicated platform to navigate compared to other sites.
  • It doesn’t have its own online store.

2. Draft2Digital

There are two routes to take when it comes to finding out how to self publish a book for free.

You can publish your ebook on each of the main platforms (unless you agree to exclusivity terms), or you can use an aggregator platform. Once you upload your book, an aggregator site automatically lists it on multiple stores.

Draft2Digital is one of the best aggregator platforms out there. It was founded in 2012 and has become an established and also trusted platform for thousands of authors.

Benefits of Draft2Digital

  • You are only charged a fee when you sell a copy of your book. You won’t have to pay anything if you don’t make any sales.
  • Save time by publishing your book on numerous platforms with a click of a button.
  • Efficient and friendly customer service if you have a technical problem with the site.
  • The process for creating an account, uploading your book, and also publishing it is extremely simple.
  • Draft2Digital provides its authors with free book formatting software.

Things to consider with Draft2Digital

  • Its customization options are limited compared to some of the other platforms.
  • Some retailers are not supported by Draft2Digital, including Google Play.
  • This platform takes 10% of your book’s list price for each sale you make, not your profit, affecting your overall earnings.

3. Wattpad

Wattpad provides a great place to network with readers and authors, making it a great publishing option for new authors.

Additionally, you can even write and share stories on the mobile app if you prefer to work on the go.

So, should you publish your book on Wattpad? Let’s find out.

Benefits of Wattpad

  • Choose to either upload your book in one go or chapter by chapter.
  • Wattpad’s writing contests help to promote authors and get your work seen.
  • Use the dedicated writer section to learn tips and tricks on using the platform and making your book successful.
  • You have complete control over your book’s upload, editing, cover, and also publication.

Things to consider with Wattpad

  • Wattpad’s platform has the younger generation in mind, which might not be suitable for some writers or genres.
  • You need to put a lot of time and effort into marketing your book if you want to succeed.
  • Wattpad’s readers expect regular engagement from authors, which is essential to marketing your book.

4. Your own website

Knowing how to publish a book for free is invaluable for authors. Lots of people overlook their author website as a book publishing platform, but it’s actually really effective and won’t cost you a dollar!

Author sites are a great selling tool, but they are also fantastic for marketing your book and reader engagement.

Benefits of using your website

  • Receive 100% royalties.
  • Complete creative freedom.
  • Market your book how you want to.
  • Share extra information on your book with your readers.
  • Interact with your readers directly.

Things to consider with your website

  • Sales won’t contribute to a ranking (like they do on other platforms such as Amazon).
  • Setting up your webpage and using the right website plugins and software to enable you to host your book can be tricky.
  • It’s unlikely that you have millions of daily visitors to your site.

5. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Chances are you’ve already heard of or used KDP. Amazon launched its ebook publishing platform in 2007, allowing authors to publish their books for free on the Kindle Store. 487 million ebooks are sold via the Kindle platform each year, making it a popular choice for new and also experienced authors.

Benefits of Kindle Direct Publishing

Things to consider with Kindle Direct Publishing

  • You can’t publish your book on any other platform for 90 days with KDP Select.
  • There is a 60-day payment window, so if your book makes $200 in April, you won’t receive payment until June.
  • There’s a vast amount of competition in each book category.

6. Google Play Books

We can’t talk about how to get published for free without mentioning the power of Google Play Books.

It has some unique features and a straightforward process to convince authors to self publish via the platform.

Benefits of Google Play Books

  • Google Play has more than 3 billion users in 75 countries, all of who are potential readers of your book!
  • Its affiliate program will pay you a 7% commission for book sales if purchased within a day.
  • Publishing with Google Play means that the Google search engine automatically adds a preview of your book.
  • Easily run promotions and discounts on your book.
  • Leverage Google Play promo codes to offer your readers exclusive deals, which include money off and even free access to the book.

Things to consider with Google Play Books

  • You must have a Google or Gmail account (it’s simple to create one).
  • 20% of your book must be previewable
  • PDF and EPUB are the only available formats

7. Apple Books

Apple Books makes it easy to publish your book for free!

It empowers authors to get their books out there by providing all of the resources they need to design and also format a text to a professional standard.

Benefits of Apple Books

  • The platform supports various file options to upload.
  • Authors can give away books for free.
  • Readers can download books to their iPhone or iPad easily, making it a popular choice of platform for consumers.
  • Easily track sales and receive daily reports.

Things to consider with Apple Books

  • You’ll need an iTunes account.
  • Apple Books does not automatically accept all books.
  • The uploading system is quite tricky to navigate.

8. PublishDrive

Another way how to publish a book for free is via PublishDrive, a marketing and distribution service for books.

It was launched in 2015 by Kinga Jentetics, who wanted to create a simple platform to allow authors to self-publish internationally.

Benefits of PublishDrive

  • You will receive 100% commission! PublishDrive takes 0% of the sales.
  • There are lots of articles and guides available to help first-time authors through the publishing process.
  • The platform has a global reach of over 30 million readers.
  • Publish your book in just a few easy-to-follow steps.
  • Run promotions and optimize Amazon ads.

Things to consider with PublishDrive


Digital publishing platforms are designed to help authors through the publishing process, and KITABOO doesn’t disappoint.

There are lots of interactive features that you can use to create your ebook, such as animations, interactive charts, audio, and video clips. Keep in mind that this platform is for educational books.

Benefits of KITABOO

  • KITABOO supports multiple operating systems (Android, IOS, and Windows).
  • Evaluate how well your book is doing through the platform’s advanced analytical features.
  • Ability to create your own web store.
  • Easily convert your books to different formats.
  • The KITABOO ebook reader app is a popular choice for readers.

Things to consider with KITABOO

  • Does not clearly state royalty rates on its website.
  • You can sign up for a free trial, but to use all of KITABOO’s features, you need to contact them for a customized quote.
  • Its interface isn’t as easy to use as some of the other publishing platforms.

10. Barnes & Noble Press

If you want to save money and avoid going down the traditional publishing route, using Barnes & Noble Press is a highly credible alternative.

In addition, it’s one of the largest booksellers in the US and helps authors to market their books well.

But there are a few things you need to know first.

Benefits of Barnes & Noble Press

  • Publish and sell an ebook within 72 hours!
  • If you decide to print your book, Barnes & Noble runs a print-on-demand service.
  • Receive 70% royalties (ebooks) regardless of the number of books you sell.
  • There are no exclusivity rules, so you are free to publish elsewhere.

Things to consider with Barnes & Noble Press

  • Your book will need to be professionally formatted and edited to meet the high standards of Barnes & Noble Press.
  • You won’t see your ebook in any other online stores, just the Barnes & Noble electronic shop. Limited distribution compared to some of the other platforms.
  • There are limited formatting options, which can be frustrating if you want more creative freedom.

11. Kobo Writing Life

Kobo is one of the world’s biggest e-bookstores, hosting a library of over 4 million books. It also has a user-friendly digital publishing platform, allowing authors to publish their books for free.

It’s quick and easy to get set up on the platform with clear step-by-step instructions.

Benefits of Kobo Writing Life

  • Publish your book in up to 190 countries across the world.
  • You’ll get up to 70% royalty.
  • Give your readers exclusive promotions.
  • Set up a pre-order for your book to build anticipation for publication day.
  • Kobo has an audience of avid fiction readers, so it’s a great place to publish your book if it falls into this genre.

Things to consider with Kobo Writing Life

  • You’re likely to sell more ebooks on Amazon or Apple Books because the market share is small in comparison to the more prominent platforms.
  • Nonfiction books tend not to sell as well on Kobo Writing Life.
  • You’ll need to make a $50 minimum to receive a royalty payment each month.

6 Steps to publish your book for free

Once you’ve decided on the right platform for you and your book, it’s time to look more closely at exactly how to publish a book for free.

The high-level guide below explains exactly what you need to do and in which order.

1. Finalize the title of your book

The title of your book is incredibly important, as it allows readers to understand what your book is about.

Deciding on the title is something you can do after writing and editing, and it should reflect the overall theme of your book. It should also be intriguing and help readers want to know more. The best titles are both easy to remember and make the reader question what is going to happen in the story.

2. Convert your book files to the right format

There are multiple book formats to choose from, and the one that you pick will depend on the publisher you choose and also your personal preference.

Since there is more than one file type, here is a guide explaining more about the various formats including EPUB and PDF.

3. Choose a book cover

When it comes to the cover of your book, having a distinct and memorable style will work best. It should be clear from your design what the genre is and also set the right tone for your book.

Consider what you want the focal point of your cover to be and either design it yourself or take your ideas to a designer.

4. Consider your book’s metadata

To ensure that as many readers as possible find your book, you need to carefully consider the title, subtitle, keywords, description, author bio, and any other relevant information, such as the ISBN, price, and publication date.

Additionally, keep your text short and to the point. Make it engaging for people to read, and also try not to overuse keywords.

5. Choose the right platform

With so many of the best self publishing companies to choose from, it can feel like too much. Remember to consider how and where you want to distribute your book, what profit you want to make, and also how you will promote it.

Use the advice in this article to create a shortlist of the most suitable platforms and do some more research on each one before making a decision.

6. Market your book

You don’t have to spend mega bucks on marketing to get your book out there.

In fact, one of the best things about self publishing platforms is that they put your book in front of a huge audience with a single click. To help boost marketing efforts, get reviews from readers, use book promotion ideas, increase your presence on social media, and also provide additional content.

Expert tip

Choosing the right platform is fundamental to the success of your book. To help you decide the best place for it, think about what goals you want to achieve from publishing your book and also what royalties you are comfortable with.

For example, Amazon is excellent for reaching a large, global audience, Kobo Writing Life is good for niche topics.

Is there a way to publish a book for free?

Yes! With the right choice of platform and hard work, publishing a book for $0 is possible. In addition, the best reasons to publish for free are:

Higher profit

One of the top reasons that authors decide to learn how to self publish a book for free is because they don’t have to hand over as much money for each book sale made. You’ll earn about 70% royalties with most of the self publishing platforms, compared to as low as 10% for traditional publishing.

More creative freedom

Most writers have a clear vision of how they want their book to look, especially when it comes to the formatting and cover. Self publishing allows you to make it a reality because you won’t need to gain approval for anyone but yourself.

Ability to have financial control

The traditional book publishing route determines how much your book should be priced for.

However, with self publishing, you set the price of your book at whatever rate you are comfortable with.

How much does it usually cost to publish a book?

The average cost to publish a book range between $100 and $5000, depending on whether you choose to self publish or use a publisher.

The main difference between traditional publishing and self publishing is that the author owns the rights and also 100% of the royalties if the book is self published.

However, publishers will own both of these when a book is traditionally published. Authors will then get paid an agreed percentage of book sales.

Does it cost money to publish a book on Amazon?

Most authors want to find out how to publish a book on Amazon for free, and the good news is it’s free to self publish a book on Amazon, but you still need to factor in editing, designing, and marketing costs in your budget.

You need to do this to ensure your book is up to publishing standards.

Suppose you decide that you want to publish hard copies of your book in addition to an ebook.

In that case, this will have an additional printing cost of approximately $2.86 for a paperback (depending on the number of pages).  

If you enjoyed reading about how to publish a book, you’ll love these articles!

Leverage these key tips to publish your book for free!

So now you know how to publish a book for free and how to publish a book on Amazon for free. But whilst you can publish a book for free, you want it to be of the highest quality possible to stand out amongst the millions of books already out there.

Which platform is best for you? The tips in this article will help you publish via the right route for your book and also use any budget you have wisely for designing and marketing. Clever Girl Author has an extensive library of tools for writers and authors to help you establish yourself as a successful writer.

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