3 min read

How you can self-publish a book for free

How you can self-publish a book for free

I wanted to explain how you can write and publish an ebook for free. I've made $275 from my Imposter Syndrome ebook on Gumroad. Here's how to self-publish a book of your own for free!

Google Docs is your friend

  • Get a gmail account if you don't have one already. Open your drive and make a new file in Google Docs
  • Add your super amazing content - this is your time to shine!

Get it proof-read

  • Save your book in Google Docs and invite people to comment on it.
  • This is also good marketing as it creates awareness of your book
  • Most people will love the idea of being able to edit a book!

There were a fine minor edits of my conclusion after people commented wih suggestions. Pieter Levels was very effective in getting people to edit his book for him - he has since made over $200,000 from his Make book now.

Make a cool cover

  • Make a book cover image using Canva (it's free)
  • If you have more technical chops you can use Photoshop
  • Add it to the first page of your Google Doc

For my cover I asked people on Twitter for feedback on my designs. People suggested I used images of developers on the cover to give it more of a human feel. I would definitely advise showing your cover art to people before you hit publish!

  • I used a free web programme called Photo Joiner to make a collage of images. There are various design but one has space for 8 photos. You then drag and drop your images into the slots. Easy You now have a collage. I have a thin white border between my images but you can remove that or change it's color etc.


Finish up

  • Go to File in Google Docs and save as a PDF .
  • Great! You know have a book. Better start selling it now...

Sell your book

I chose to sell on Gumroad for it's simplicity.

  • Go to www.gumroad.com , make a profile and set up your payout settings
  • Upload your pdf to Gumroad
  • Write some sales copy - describe what your book is about and why people should buy it!

Make a chapter free and give it away as a sample

This will hopefully get some people in the door. For example, you can read a sample of my Imposter Syndrome book when you sign up for the No CS Degree newsletter. Don't forget to have a call to action at the end of the sample book for the reader to buy the whole book. So you want to add a payment link.

  • In Mailchimp follow this guide for sending a file to confirmed subscribers.
  • If your email provider doesn't let you send files ask people to reply to you if they want a free sample. Then send them the PDF directly.
  • Add a Gumroad link to your website. The user clicks and a window opens up on your website page. Like so 👇
Buy the Imposter Syndrome book


I hope that's been helpful!

My ebook is a collection of over 30 developers' views on imposter syndrome and how they manage it. Everyone takes a different approach. What is clear though is that loads of people have imposter syndrome! They just don't let it stop them achieving their goals.

p.s. I have to say I wouldn't have made an ebook if it wasn't for Pieter Levels writing Make a few years ago.