3 Great Ways to Publish Your Book Online

After days, weeks, months, or maybe years of toiling, you’ve finally done it. You’ve finished your novel! Not only that, but you have polished it up enough that you are ready to share it with the world. You’ve weighed the options between traditional and self-publishing, and (wisely, in my personal opinion) decided to cut out the middleman and put the book out yourself.

But while it is fun and creatively stimulating, self-publishing can also be an overwhelming process. There are so many decisions to be made—the biggest of all being where exactly you choose to publish your book. Once upon a time, you could mainly self-publish through “vanity” self-publishing houses that almost always charged you a hefty fee for the privilege. But now the internet is overflowing with websites that will publish your novel without charging you a dime.

Here are a few of those websites, as well as breakdowns of each with steps you can follow. This will hopefully help you to figure out which site will be best for you and guide you on your way to learning how to publish your book online.

Amazon KDP

Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is a very popular avenue for self-publishing, and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s easy to get set up as an author on this service and you can publish your book within just five minutes. After that, your book will be available in Kindle stores worldwide within a day or two. You can also set your own book prices and earn up to 70% of the royalties (as opposed to the 10-20% you would get from traditional publishers).

Here’s what you will need before you publish:

  • A book cover image
  • A formatted version of your manuscript

If you plan to publish a paperback copy of your book as well as an ebook, you will need both paperback and ebook formatted files. Amazon KDP has helpful guides regarding paperback and ebook formatting.

While you can attempt formatting your book yourself, I would recommend getting outside help. A site like Ebook Launch is great since they will handle formatting and cover design for you. It will set you back a few hundred dollars, though.

Once you have your formatted files and book cover, here’s what you do:

1) Log in to KDP with your Amazon account

2) Go to your Bookshelf

3) Click the + under “Create a New Title” (you have the option to create a Kindle ebook or paperback)

4) Enter book information like title, subtitle, author name, book description, keywords, etc.

5) Upload and preview your book

6) Set your book’s price and royalty rate

7) If you’re publishing a paperback, it might be a good idea to order a proof copy so you can make sure everything looks good

8) Press “Publish”

Not so hard, right? KDP also has a handy “Create a Book” guide to help you out. If you can afford a bit of expense and want to be able to hold an actual physical copy of your book in your hand, Amazon KDP might be a good option for you.


While they are both self-publishing platforms, Fictionate.Me is quite different from Amazon KDP. With Fictionate.Me, you get to skip those potentially stressful formatting woes—the site does all that for you. You also don’t have to worry about being completely done with your book. Instead, you can start posting your work in progress and make royalties instantly. And all those royalties go directly to the author.

Here’s what you will need before you publish:

  • An account on Fictionate.Me
  • A book cover image

I would again recommend seeking professional help when it comes to designing your cover image—it is the first thing people will see when deciding what to read, after all. But if you can’t afford the expense, there are some great options for designing your own for free like Canva’s free book cover maker.

Once you’ve created your profile, here’s what you do:

1) Go to the upper right corner, click the account icon, and select “My Books” from the dropdown menu

2) Click “Add Book” on the upper right

3) Enter book information like title, synopsis, genre/tags, etc.

4) Set your price tier

5) Upload your book cover

While you aren’t going to get a physical copy of your book, you will have the chance to get feedback from readers and other writers as you write. If you’re looking for a sense of community and to do things cheaply, Fictionate.Me could be the right fit for you.


Like Fictionate.Me, Wattpad is a site where you can post your stories in progress and receive feedback. Unlike Amazon KDP or Fictionate.Me, writers on this site are not paid for their work. However, the popularity of Wattpad can provide great exposure for writers and has helped quite a few of them land book and film deals.

Here’s what you will need before you publish:

  • An account on Wattpad
  • That’s it!

You can upload a custom cover image, but also have the option to create one on the site.

Once you’ve created your profile, here’s what you do:

1) Click “Write” on the upper right and select “Create a new story” from the dropdown menu

2) Enter story details like title, description, tags, target audience, etc.

3) Add or create a cover

4) Enter in the text of the first part or chapter of your story (I would recommend copying and pasting from Microsoft Word or Google Docs to keep formatting like italics, etc.)

5) Click “Preview” on the upper right to preview your work

6) Click “Publish”

This option isn’t ideal for someone who’s looking to make money right away with their writing. But if you’re more interested in pursuing traditional publishing down the line, Wattpad could be the ideal way to go. You can get some feedback and support as you write, and maybe even catch the attention of a major publisher while you’re at it.

Author’s Bio: Jillian Karger was born in Ohio but has lived in and around New York City for over a decade. Since graduating from NYU in 2009, Jill has had a long string of jobs doing things like scouting books to be adapted for film and researching trivia questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.

She has done freelance writing as well for sites like, and had her Twitter jokes featured on BuzzFeed and Jill has also self-published two novels on Amazon (

Follow her blog posts about books and writing advice, read books and publish them for free at:

Nate Becker
the authorNate Becker