Practical Ecommerce

25 Tools to Publish an eBook

Many tools exist to help create, publish, and sell an ebook — from producing the text to managing the sale.

Here is a list of tools to publish an ebook. There are tools to create and format ebooks, platforms to publish and distribute ebooks, and online retailers to sell ebooks. There are a variety of do-it-yourself tools, as well as customized services to develop your ebook quickly and professionally.

Getting Started

ePub Wiki. ePub is the official standard format by the International Digital Publish Forum. The format is used by publishers to use in-house, as well as for distribution and sale. In general, publishers will convert a Microsoft Word document in ePub for you. Price: Free.

Smashwords Style Guide. The Smashwords Style Guide has helped thousands of authors produce and publish high-quality ebooks. This free guide offers simple step-by-step instructions to create, format and publish an ebook. It’s required reading for any author who wants to distribute his or her book via Smashwords to major ebook retailers such as the Apple iBook store, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel. Price: Free.

Smashwords Style Guide website

Smashwords Style Guide.

Bowker ISBNs. An International Standard Book Number is a unique code assigned to every printed book published. The numbers are issued and managed by Bowker, though they are commonly provided by digital self-publishing platforms like Smashwords. ISBNs are not mandatory for ebooks. Price: 10 ISBNs for $350.

Kindle Direct Publishing Community Forum. This is the community forum for publishing your book on Kindle Direct Publishing. The Kindle forum is one of the most active with experienced authors and publishers. Price: Free.

Tools for Creating eBooks

Scrivener. Scrivener is a writing studio for structuring, writing, and formatting long documents. Scrivener provides all the tools you need to prepare your manuscript for submission or self-publishing. Price: $45.

Scrivener website


Calibre. Calibre is a free and open source ebook library management application. It can convert to and from all the major ebook formats. Price: Free.

Sigil. Sigil is a free, open source WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format. Price: Free.

iBooks Author. iBook Author is a free application that allows you to create ebooks for iPad. You can add galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, interactive widgets and more to bring your ebook to life. Choose from a variety of templates and layouts, or create one of your own. iBooks will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you submit it to Apple’s iBook store. Price: Free.

iBooks Author website

iBooks Author.

PressBooks. PressBooks is an easy-to-use service to create and format an ebook. It features book design templates and customizable themes. PressBooks exports to PDF, ePub, and Mobi. PressBooks also has distribution partners to get your book sold through the major retailers. Price: Free to use with PressBooks watermark. $10 to remove watermark in ePub and Mobi exports. $200 for eBook full-service conversion.

Creatavist. Creatavist lets anyone seamlessly integrate text, audio, video, and interactive elements into ebooks, and then publish into an iPad or iPhone app, for Kindle and Nook readers, and for Web browsers (in HTML5). Its flagship publishing arm, The Atavist, features original pieces of long-form, nonfiction and journalism created on Creatavist. Price: Create, publish and export one project for free. Output unlimited ebook files for $10 per month.

Moglue. Moglue enables you to create an interactive book and publish it as an app. It features interactive actions for your readers such as drawing, magnetic puzzle action, user voice record, and actions triggered by a users specific coordinates. Price: License is $99/year for each user. Single app publishing is $199 for iOS and Android.

Moglue website


99Designs. Even if you format your book on your own, you’ll need to hire a professional to design your cover. 99designs is the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace and the pioneer of the design contest. Create a book cover content, receive dozens of designs, then pick your favorite. Price: Book covers start at $299.

eBook Publishers and Distributors

BookBaby. BookBaby is a publishing platform that can convert your files, provides custom book cover design, and submit your book to the major retailers. Supply a publish-ready ePub file, and BookBaby will distribute it to selected digital retailers. Get full access to the accounting dashboard reports and timely payments. Price: Plans start at $99, plus $19/year after first year.

Folium Book Studio. Folium Book Studio is a platform to take your manuscript to an ebook. Choose its DIY service for complete control over projects with tools, add-on services, and free training. Define the formatting of your text, create a cover or upload one from your computer, share a preview online, and export for ebook devices whenever you want. Get full concierge service to define the services you need and want, including unlimited edits. Price: Branded generic ePub is free. Standard plan for retail ePub & Mobi export is $40.

Folium Book Studio website

Folium Book Studio.

Lulu. Lulu is a publishing and distribution platform with DIY tools and add-on services. Convert to ePub and get a free ISBN. Upload a cover or choose the cover design add-on. Choose your own pricing. Lulu provides free distribution to the Apple iBook store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Bookstore, and the Lulu Marketplace. Price: Lulu takes 10 percent of sales. Add-on services start at $99.

CreateSpace. CreateSpace, a division of Amazon, provides the tools and services that help you complete you book and make it available to millions of potential readers. Access do-it-yourself tools like Interior Reviewer, Cover Creator, and Image Gallery. Get the help you need with design, editing, and marketing services. Price: Start a title for free. Kindle conversion is $79. Editorial evaluation is $199.

Smashwords. Smashwords offers a fast and easy option for distributing an ebook to the world’s largest ebook retailers. Access free tools for marketing, distribution, metadata management, and sales reporting. Authors and publishers have complete control over the sampling, pricing, and marketing of their written works. Smashwords distributes books to most of the major retailers, including Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store. Price: Sales originated by retailers earn authors 60 percent of the list price.

Smashwords website


Additional Distribution Tools

EZBuyButton. The EZBuyButton widget gives your visitor the opportunity to purchase your book by first selecting the type of device they wish to read your book on. Once the widget has determined the type of device your visitor wishes to use, it gives them the choice of selecting an online retailer that supports that particular device that they’ve chosen. Price: Free.

Gumroad. Gumroad is a payment and delivery system that allows authors to sell ebooks (or any digital products) directly on their site. Upload the product and determine the price. Gumroad also provides conversion rates and analytics. Price: 5 percent + 25¢ per transaction.

SendOwl. SendOwl is a tool that allows you to sell your digital goods from your own website, blog, or social media pages. It features analytics and sales management tools. Price: Plans start at $9 per month.

SendOwl website


FetchApp. FetchApp is an easy way to sell eBooks or other digital goods. It seamlessly integrates with popular shopping carts and payment systems like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Goodsie, Google Checkout, and PayPal. There is no commission on sales; plans are priced by monthly storage. Price: 1 MB per month is free. Premium plans start at $5 per month for 25 MB.

eBook Retailers

Apple iBook store. The Apple iBook store lists over 2 million books. Apple does not pay publishers until they meet payment requirements and earning thresholds, which vary by territory. Small publishers may get paid faster using an ebook aggregator. Price: Royalty rate is 70 percent.

Kindle Direct Publishing. Publish your books independently with Kindle Direct Publishing on the Amazon Kindle Store. Access a wide range of resources to prepare your ebook, such as formatting, conversion, and translation resources. Price: Royalty rates are 70 percent for titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99. For other prices, the royalty rate is 35 percent.

Kindle Direct Publishing website

Kindle Direct Publishing.

NOOK Press. NOOK Press is an online, self-publishing portal where independent publishers and authors can find everything they need to publish their ebooks directly to Barnes & Noble’s NOOK books. Price: Royalty rates are 65 percent for titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99. For other prices, the royalty rate is 40 percent.

Kobo. Kobo has over 3.5 million ebooks. Upload your book, and choose where you’re going to sell it. Set your price and hit publish. If you don’t have an ePub file, Kobo will automatically reformat your document for free. Price: Contact for pricing.

Sig Ueland

Sig Ueland

Bio   •   RSS Feed


Sign up for our email newsletter

  1. Jesper October 8, 2013 Reply

    Thanks you for this list.

    I would also add Telling Books.
    Its a service where you can convert your document into fully validated epubs ready for distribution. You can paste your text into Telling, choose between different styles and then download a high-quality epub.

  2. Photo master February 16, 2014 Reply

    Great job on this! You made something that is usually pretty confusing very simple and easy to understand. I LOVE your tutorials!

  3. Harold May 2, 2014 Reply

    Protect EPUB file by converting to a Mac or Windows application with built in reader that can be licensed to a specific computer using DocProtect. See details at

  4. Dave Bricker June 13, 2014 Reply

    Ah, how things change! PubML is a plugin that transforms WordPress into the ultimate eBook publishing system. Make beautiful ePub books and also export enhanced eBooks that can be read in a web browser. Include web fonts, video, photo galleries, maps, and photo footnotes. Intuitive, visual tools make it easy.

  5. Jaya Jha August 26, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the detailed list. Do check out the new kid on the blog InstaScribe ( that helps authors create e-books easily.

    Disclaimer: I am the co-founder :)

  6. Marilynn Dawson December 8, 2014 Reply

    Great compilation here! For those wanting to learn how to do things for themselves, may I recommend two e-courses I wrote, sharing what I’ve learned as a self-published author? The link to both courses is here: I’ll be offering them soon to affiliate marketers. Both courses can be found on for immediate purchase. Email delivery begins within 24hrs of sign-up.

  7. marilyn February 27, 2015 Reply

    I’ve used pressbooks before it’s okay.

  8. dennis March 9, 2015 Reply

    If you know git and markdown you can have version control over your book using this will publish epub and mobi files from a git repo.

  9. YogiZoli March 14, 2015 Reply

    thanks Sig, great list!

  10. Elmar April 17, 2015 Reply

    If you like markdown you could try

  11. EMRE Publishing LLC June 8, 2015 Reply

    It’s looking informative post and would like to suggest one more tool, where you can publish your books for free to world wide.
    Start your free book publishing, today at here

  12. Sophie July 23, 2015 Reply

    HI there,
    I used Mogul before but now it’s dead. I started using PubCoder and loved it straight away.
    It is so easy to use and can actually make incredible interactive ebooks and apps.
    They have just released the html5 format and windows version, I am looking forward to trying it.
    It is free for 30 days

  13. Bettybits August 15, 2015 Reply

    So helpful! Much appreciated. I use lulu now, but need some help with formatting and improving images so I’ll try out some of these other sites. I sort of gave up looking until I found your site. You’ve inspired me to get back on the authoring road to awesomeness!

  14. Harold August 25, 2015 Reply

    DocProtect allows eBook publishers to generate a Mac, Windows or Android app from their EPUB file with a few button clicks. That combines the EPUB document and reader into a standalone app that can optionally include device specific protection and licensing features. See

  15. Amit Srivastava September 22, 2015 Reply

    PDF to Epub (Fixed Layout) Conversion Web Service

    Here is the Our Web Service for PDF to Epub (Fixed Layout) Conversion. It’s good for complex fixed layout. It’s really a different from other conversion services. Conversion is 100% error free and compatible with Ipad, Google Play Book.

  16. LauraT December 1, 2015 Reply

    Hi Sig! Nice post, thanks for sharing.
    I would also add
    Have you heard of it before? You can create not only ebooks but also magazines from scratch, and you won’t need to have another tool for editing the images because it can be done with Genially too.

  17. Elise Wilding December 2, 2015 Reply

    Very helpful and comprehensive list of resources. From your experience, which options are the most efficient? And would you recommend finding an editor for eBooks as well? I’ve noticed in my reading of eBooks that there are often many spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

  18. dani January 12, 2016 Reply

    Great list, thanks!
    I’d add a new service to create and publish vBOOKS – interactive multimedia ebooks with audio, video, etc. –

  19. ebooks2go February 3, 2016 Reply

    Nice and informative!! I would also include eBooks2go, It helps authors and publishers with eBook Conversion, eBook publishing, and eBook Distributions services. Self publish your eBook today throughout the world!

  20. Emmanuel February 16, 2016 Reply

    What about the Reedsy Book Editor? It creates professionally designed books in seconds!

  21. Tracy February 21, 2016 Reply

    Great list. is another great place to sell eBooks.

  22. Ana November 28, 2016 Reply

    You’re the best! Thank you!

  23. Sarah November 30, 2016 Reply

    Dear Sig,
    Thank you for this great article about ebook publishing tools.
    After years of self-publishing ebooks for Apple iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, Sony, Nook Press, etc. I decided to create the simplest online tool to create beautiful ebooks. We have just launched ebook leap – we would love for you to give it a try (it’s free to try) and share any feedback you have with us.
    We are looking forward to hearing from you!

  24. James December 14, 2016 Reply

    I’d be interested in hearing how you can mange version control for books being published in the various platforms, Kindle, iBook, etc… is there any particular tools one would use to keep track of changes, drafts, published versions, etc.

  25. Yue March 1, 2017 Reply

    Nice list. I think it is really helpful.

    You can also go through this :

    You might have a glimpse of how to make good use of images when designing your e-book :)