How to Sell an Ebook from Your Website

This post was originally published on Lisa’s blog Health Practices Online.

Do you have your ebook written and you’re now ready to make it available for purchase on your website? If so, here are your next steps:

1. Save your ebook as a pdf with an appropriate title.

Let’s pretend the title of this blog post was actually an ebook. When I save this word document I save it with the title of “How to Sell an Ebook from Your Website”. Works find in a file folder on my computer, not so great once uploaded online. If my intention was to upload this for use online, I’d save it as “how-to-sell-an-ebook” or something like that. All lowercase with words separated by dashes – no blank spaces.

2. Upload the ebook to your webhost.

You have two options here. The first is to upload directly to your webhost via your control panel. This means your ebook will be located at a URL somewhat like If you have a WordPress based website, the second choice is to upload the pdf as a media file. In this case the URL will be something like

Once you have your ebook uploaded note the URL. You’ll need it later.

Aside: With the above methods your ebook pdf is not private. I don’t typically worry about this. The likelihood someone is going to directly enter the long URL to access your ebook is slim and it’s also very slim anyone would find it via a Google search. However, if you are concerned about privacy here are a couple of options. 1. Password protect the pdf and provide the password to those who purchase on the thank you page or in the thank you email. 2. Use a service like Amazon S3 to protect your document privacy.

3. Create a buy button.

PayPal is an easy option that is widely used for collecting payment, so I’m going to use that service as my example for how to create a buy button.

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click on Merchant Services.
  3. Select “Create a new button”.
  4. Choose button type. In this instance, it’ll be a “buy now” button.
  5. Enter your product name.
  6. Enter the price.
  7. Scroll down and click on the blue “Step 3” menu bar.
  8. Mark the checkbox next to “Take customers to this URL when they finish checkout” and enter your product pdf URL created above.
  9. Click orange “Create Button” at the bottom.

Copy and paste the buy button “website” code into a program like Notepad for use on your sales page.

Aside: After purchase you may choose to redirect customers to a thank you page that then has a link to download your ebook instead of automatically redirecting them to the pdf.

4. Create a sales page.

Where are you going to have the buy link for this ebook located? On a dedicated sales page of your website? As an option on your products page? Set up or update the appropriate web page and insert the buy button code provided by PayPal for your buy button.

Aside: It’s great to have an ebook cover image created to visually represent your ebook on the sales page.

5. Follow up.

I recommend you follow up with everyone who purchases via email as well to ensure they we able to access the ebook. You can set this up automatically by setting up an autoresponder in your list management system and connecting PayPal with your list management system. In this case, when someone purchases they would automatically be added to the appropriate autoresponder and receive a thank you email after purchase is complete. This is an option if you use Aweber and PayPal. For other list management services you may not be able to connect the two. In that case, I recommend manual follow up. This can still be quick and easy if you keep an email template ready for cut/paste purposes.


I have a couple ebooks for sell using the above method. You can see how the sales pages are set up with a PayPal buy button:

All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD

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About Lisa Nelson

Lisa Nelson helps busy professionals to build (and grow) their online presence. Be it project, virtual summit, launch, team management, content marketing or website improvements - she makes it happen. As entrepreneurs try to keep up with their growing businesses and online trends, implementation can be a struggle. Lisa helps by managing workflow, directing how their support team operates, making sure everything gets done, and staying up-to-date on how their platforms and software work (so they don't have to). And her clients love that she comes armed with many examples of other successful projects (so they have something to look at while brainstorming). Visit to find out more about Lisa's services or how to contact her.
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