I have a book I want to publish. The book is in PDF format. I want to sell it on Amazon or somewhere similar for 5 $ each in electronic format (downloadable to Kindle or the Kindle app for smartphones), or $12 in which case $7 could go to Amazon for printing the book for me, the buyer would then pay for the shipping. Is there a better way to index my book for sale with given keywords and sell it online. How do I proceed? I am looking at minimizing my profits as I am just starting out.

  • 1
    Mimizing your profits or maximizing? – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Jun 18 '16 at 17:43
  • I meant minimizing the service subscription and publishing and search result ranking costs. Thanks. – Jack Maddington Jun 18 '16 at 20:24

Print Edition

If you want to publish a paperback edition, you can use CreateSpace or other print-on-demand (POD) service. CreateSpace (and maybe the others) take no money up front. They take a cut of each sale. And the retailer takes a cut of each sale. You set the retail price, and your royalty is whatever is left over after CreateSpace and the retailer take their cut.

For CreateSpace, their cut depends on the page count and on whether you want color or black and white. See CreateSpace’s royalty calculator here: https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/

Ebook Edition

For ebooks, you have a few options:

Option 1. CreateSpace can make an Kindle book from your PDF. That’s an epub or mobi file with the PDF inside. I have never tried that, because it creates a fixed-format ebook, which prevents users from being able to adjust the font or the type size. So there’s a good chance that the book will be challenging to read on a small screen.

Option 2. Make your own epub files. There are several tools available for this, some free and some not. Each tool involves a bit of a learning curve. Perhaps others can recommend tools for this. (I created my own, and I can't recommend that one for anybody other than me.)

Option 3. Use an “aggregator” such as Smashwords or Draft2Digital. These aggregators can typically convert your Word file into epub format. And they can submit your book to a variety of retailers. For their contribution, they each take a cut of the purchase price.

Option 4. Use an ebook formatter service. This involves an upfront fee. I have never looked into this, so cannot offer pointers here.

Perhaps there are other options that I'm neglecting.


You will need to create or purchase a cover for your book. To create the cover yourself, you will need:

  • Licenses for the art you use in the cover. There are many sources of stock photos. You may be able to find suitable art that is freely-usable without a license fee.
  • Image editing tools to create the book cover. Some are free. Some are very expensive. Each involves a learning curve.

Or you can hire a cover designer. Naturally, this will involve a fee.

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