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Sell Ebooks with Paypal

Updated on May 21, 2012

How to Sell Ebooks with Paypal and Accept Credit Cards without Paying a Monthly Fee

If you are interested in selling ebooks and want to accept either credit card payments or Paypal payments, then this page is for you.

Here is how to accept credit card payments, paypal payments and sell ebooks EASILY without paying ANY monthly processing fee.

I wish I'd known this before I started selling my very first ebook on self-publishing children's books, I could have saved, no exaggeration, over $1000 (I hate to add up exactly how much I've spent/lost on a more expensive solution).

Sell Ebooks with Paypal - Step 1

Setup a Basic Business Paypal Account

To be able to sell ebooks with Paypal and accept credit card payments for your ebook, you need to setup a basic business Paypal account. If you already have a personal Paypal account (like I did), then you'll be given the option of converting/upgrading your personal account to a business one.

If you get a 'basic' business account, there is no monthly fee associated with having the account. You will only pay a small percent of each sale. Today, as I write this, the fee is 30 cents for each transaction plus 2.9% of the transaction. So, if you are selling a $25 ebook, Paypal would keep $1.03 from each sale, which seems pretty reasonable to me.

Once you setup that basic business account, you can accept credit card payments (from someone with or without a Paypal account) or payments from others' Paypal accounts. It's that simple. You do NOT need an Authorizenet account. You do NOT need to purchase shopping cart software. Just get that basic business Paypal account and you can start getting paid.

Sell Ebooks with Paypal - Step 2

Buy Linklok for Paypal

The next step to sell ebooks through Paypal (and accept credit cards) is secure the download of your ebook. The basic business Paypal account you setup allows you to accept payments from either credit cards or someone's Paypal account. But once you've made a sale and Paypal sends your customer to the download page, how can you secure that download page? What keeps them from giving that download URL to a friend. Or worse, how to keep Google or the other search engines from finding your downloadable ebook and putting the download page into search results.

The easiest, cheapest solution that I've found is Linklok for Paypal. Linklok for Paypal costs just $29.95 (for use with one domain and one Paypal account) and is available for immediate download after purchase. This is a one time purchase and not a subscription service so there are no monthly fees. Linklok comes with a 52-page guide, but most of it are advanced topics that you won't need I was able to read and set-up my first ebook for sale using Linklok in about an hour. Now for me to add other ebooks for sale takes me approximately 20 minutes. I think that's pretty good.

Other Tips for Selling Ebooks

The Art of Selling Ebooks

Remember that most people don't go to the internet to buy an ebook. They go online to find information to help themselves. They may want to know 'How to Heat Your House with Wood' or they may be looking for a cure for acne or how to write a resume. Therefore create a website or blog about the same topic that your ebook is on. Provide enough useful information that people will realize you have something to offer and THEN offer your ebook.

Secondly, people do judge a book (or ebook) by its cover, here is some cool software to create a professional-looking ebook cover. You do need to have a PC (with Windows) to use it, but you DON'T need Adobe or any other graphics editor.

Let me know if these instructions for accepting Paypal payments work for you or you have other tips for people selling ebooks online.

Were You Able to Setup Paypal to Start Selling Ebooks?

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    • profile image

      tylerdurden73 4 years ago

      PS Secure Paypal E-books and E-Multimedia Delivery is a simple PHP script which handles payment processing with Paypal and IPN notifcation to enable you sell any digital products (e-books, music, software...)

      Many products with the same features did exist on the market, but someone are so bloat, complex and ask you to set up with database, run install script....! Others are too lack of feature, even missing a sandbox tesing so we can test with paypal sandbox in order to avoid bother real money!

      PS Secure Paypal E-books and E-Multimedia Delivery uses Paypal Standar so you can use it with a personal paypal account too! With PS Secure Paypal E-books and E-Multimedia Delivery You can sell: e-books, music file, small video,..picture,...directly with paypal, directly sending this files as attachments of the email confirmation!

      Price: 5 Euros

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. I tried Linklok and was pretty happy. My only complaint was that it was a little complicated to get it working since I had to install it on my server. Since then I started using Payzli and sometimes Ejunkie. Payzli was definitely the easiest and I have the most sales from that one so far.

    • profile image

      EarningMoneySecrets 5 years ago

      usefull info for ebook writers...

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      @anonymous: It does automatically create a download page with a link.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Does it automatically take you to a download page or do I need to create that?

    • profile image

      tylerdurden73 5 years ago

      PS PaypalTool Secure Download is a simple PHP script which handles payment processing with Paypal and IPN notifcation to enable you sell any digital products (book, music, software...)

      Many products with the same features did exist on the market, but someone are so bloat, complex and ask you to set up with database, run install script....! Others are too lack of feature, even missing a sandbox tesing so we can test with paypal sandbox in order to avoid bother real money!

      PS PaypalTool Secure Download uses Paypal Standar so you can use it with a personal paypal account too! You can set up it to sell anything: books, music file, video,..picture,...or even for a simple donation system! You can set it up for a single or multi products website, no issue!

      Price: 10 Euro

    • themoneymakerMCA profile image

      themoneymakerMCA 5 years ago

      very helpful info. great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @DotComBusted: Is this just pushing paypal products? By the way 2.9% is NOT a small amount. Plus, I found that between Ebay charges and Paypal charges, I was losing almost 12%. #@@%@! But, paypal it is still for me; for now.

      OK, I got all the shopping carts through my hosting company, Web Hosting With $1 (, but I am getting information overload. Help. I can even have all the carts running at the same time and play with each, but still requires some customization for my specific use, and so I really need to pick one and go with it.

      Zencart, prestashop, oscommerce...and all the rest mentioned here...... AH! too much info. They all great and work with paypal.

      1. Which one of the carts at WHW1 should I really choose for just about a dozen digital downloadable items to sell with paypal payments (CCs handled through[PP])?

      It is great that I am getting everything at WHW1, but I am seeing a big list to choose from and time is limited. I cannot do a learning cure on each one. It takes too much time to investigate each one too.

      At the moment I am thinking of doing the site with either Sitebuilder (SB), or Wordpress (WP) or Concrete5 (C5), and then adding one of these carts to complement my design.

      3. However, am I getting the correct impression with Prestashop that it can handle my whole site creation with the shopping cart included?

      4. If so, then can I just use it alone without using something like WP, C5, or SB?

      5. Which is truly easier to make use of with PP and selling of digital items? Such as ebooks, videos, and other digital downloadable items.

      I am anxious to point the traffic from my current domain registrar to my hosting at WHW1, and I know how to handle the design fine using any of the above free site building softwares (meaning WP, C5, SB), but this information overload with the carts is holding me back. The first 3 I mentioned, ZenCart, PrestaShop, OsCommerce all look good, but I want to start with one and go with it, and not change later.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Bookmama2: You need to proofread what you wrote here:

      "The ebooks people well on their own websites are generally PDFs"

    • profile image

      DotComBusted 6 years ago

      Setting Paypal is the easy thing IMAO. Instead, writting a good e-book, which raise entusiasm and interest, and gives the reader real value (like 10 x the value of the e-book) is the hard thing to do. It really does not mater in which "market" you write for. Getting readers attention is the most important thing to do. Still, online we can find a lots of bad examples of "how to make an e-book". Especially in make money online field, where is full of gar...danage :D

    • FunNaturePhotog profile image

      FunNaturePhotog 6 years ago

      @Bookmama2: Aha! I've just been researching this very topic because I have two e-books that I'm working on. One thing though, I don't own a Kindle but I've downloaded e-books from Amazon by using their free software that allows you to download a Kindle Reader to your PC. A very handy item!

      I never really thought about doing it the way you discuss here and it sounds good. I've never heard about Linklok...a perfect solution!

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 6 years ago

      @FunNaturePhotog: For one thing, not everyone owns a Kindle. So if a customer wants a digital book because they want the information immediately, a link to Amazon is only useful if they own a Kindle. From the ebook author/publisher side of things, they get a higher percent of the income if they sell the ebook themselves, versus selling it thru Amazon. I will say that over time, I think fewer people are going to sell Ebooks on their own websites and more will rely on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook for ebook sales. But... as I said, not everyone can read those. The ebooks people well on their own websites are generally PDFs which is, I think, the most commonly accepted format for documents online in the world.

    • FunNaturePhotog profile image

      FunNaturePhotog 6 years ago

      Interesting info! But I'm wondering why you wouldn't just put a link on your blog or website directing prospective buyers to Amazon. Am I missing something?

    • profile image

      bwright 6 years ago

      Great information and exactly what I needed to find today! I'm looking at getting started in information marketing and want to sell on ebay, Amazon and my own blog(s).

    • PoetFlow profile image

      PoetFlow 6 years ago

      I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!! I am a publisher (please see my lens) and sell variations of my clients' books. The only avenue that's been "beneficial" so far is the amazon project. I'm glad I found this lens. Thanks so much :-)

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 6 years ago

      You don't put the download on Paypal itself. I've only used Linklok with Paypal -- I'm pretty sure there are other software offerings that work with Paypal, but the instructions for Linklok tell you where on your own website to put the download.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for that info.

    • profile image

      powerleg5 6 years ago

      I don't know, I can't seem to find a place on the PayPal site to list a download page after the purchase. But that's not surprising considering PayPal is notorious for providing utter confusion in everything that they do.

    • LeopoldBlatt profile image

      LeopoldBlatt 6 years ago

      Good tips, great lens. Thank you for the enlightenment.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      I have never thought about doing it this way, just through Clickbank. Helpful information.

    • yuliss lm profile image

      yuliss lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for explaining this to me in an way I can understand. I even went on to read about the ebook formatting programs and were to access pictures. Really great that you are sharing this info with everyone. I just wanted to know 2 things? Can you make a video format (evideos instead of just ebooks)? And would I need a different formating program to make it look good enough to sell?

    • jethrosas profile image

      Jethro 6 years ago from Philippines

      I think I should consider selling my work. Nice idea! =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have got a very simple way.

      just upload and get money :)

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for the visit and the additional tips. That's a good point about the affiliate program. I'll have to check it out and the rest of your advice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice guide to setting up a secure sales system for ebooks. I personally use the e-Junkie shopping cart because it allows me to run an affiliate program to recruit others to market my book for a commission on sales. The small monthly fee is more than offset by the additional revenue generated by affiliates.

      For anyone needing help writing and formatting their first ebook, I have lots of tips and tricks on my website at

      Great lens!

    • Mark-Hudson profile image

      Mark-Hudson 6 years ago

      Great lens! PayPal is great for selling ebooks online, just be sure to protect yourself from hackers and you'll do just fine. I wrote a lens on the topic call PayPal Buy Now Button Security. Check it out, just like your lens there is plenty of useful info.

    • profile image

      opeleroy 6 years ago

      Super helpful! I use Paypal to sell my goal setting manual YourGoalBook. I've always used a second party developer to host my site, but am planning on taking it over to Wordpress. This tutorial is very helpful in getting me to complete that task. Thanks!!

    • pbrite profile image

      pbrite 7 years ago

      i'm going to use this info to help sell my e-book on becoming a freelance writer. thanks!

    • lankanwriter profile image

      lankanwriter 7 years ago

      Very informative and to the point lens, unfortunately PayPal is send only in Sri Lanka

    • profile image

      RhapsodyBloom 7 years ago

      this is great info thanks, very useful to me

    • profile image

      merle30 7 years ago

      I am in the middle of

      create an ebook

      and found this information extremely helpful.

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 7 years ago

      @anonymous: No, I don't think Linklok will do that for you. I do know that the monthly PDF file that I got through the offer at:

      used to have something unique for each copy. But you'd have to email the owner (Angela) and simply ask what software she used to generate unique copies.

      I'm guessing there is something out there that works the way you want, but I'm afraid I don't happen to know what it is.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very Nice Article man! I just have a problem, I'm about to sell a new ebook and I will personally add an Identification code to each customer ebook. There will actually be 3 identification codes, 1 will be hidden (not told). Linklok seems like a good idea, but it won't work to me because I have to modify each pdf with the new code and upload it again. What can I do? One-Time Download Link in my own server? Is there any suggestion? Thanks!

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 7 years ago

      @anonymous: The linklok and paypal are VERY easy to just add to existing pages. The key is to create a "Buy Now" button in Paypal and then get the HTML in link format (I believe they call it 'email format'). This will give you a URL that you can use as a link. So you add the link to that URL on an existing page with text like "Buy Now" and when they click on that link, it takes them to Paypal with the item you are selling already selected. Like I said, for me it works quite well. Once in a while I'll get an email from someone saying they were not taken to a download page. But they do get an email with a download link even in that case. Overall, it's been great for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for writing the article, as it answers my question about securing downloads (in this case, using Linklok), but I have yet another question which remains unanswered.

      How easy is it to incorporate Linklok and PayPal into an existing page? I've put a site together to sell a book online, and the big freebie e-commerce solutions like Zen Cart and Magento are simply overkill for the task and far too difficult to quickly customize. That's what I need. The ability to plop an e-commerce solution onto an existing page, as opposed to spending lots of time figuring out how to alter existing solutions to match existing pages.

      Is a PayPal and Linklok solution âdrop-inâ easy on existing pages, or do they in some fashion rely upon difficult-to-alter templates?

      Here's hoping to hear from the voice of experience. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Useful lens :) People who have some money in their PayPal account might like my lens on Spending PayPal Cash as well :)

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 7 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm sorry, but I don't know the answer because I've never sold things by subscription. I did look into setting up a membership website once, but I never did more than read the guide. I can't remember what advice it had about the recurring billing process.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I read this lens and got some valuable information about paypal.But I am looking a solution of my problem regarding paypal.I am facing this problem:

      The following error comes from paypal in case of subscription but not in case of one time payment.

      "The link you have used to enter the PayPal system is invalid. Please review the link and try again."

      I hope you ll suggest me a solution regarding this problem.


      Best Web Development Company

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      A great information on selling Ebooks, especially the Linklok.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 7 years ago

      Thankyou for producing such an infomative and easy to understand lens. This is great and makes clear somethings I didn't understand such as the secure link issue.

    • profile image

      kpcwriting2 7 years ago

      I sell many books with PayPal - great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      great info.. trying to figure out how to sell my book now

    • joax112 profile image

      joax112 8 years ago

      Thanks for the article, good information. I don't think Linklok is necessary but the rest is pretty sound advice.


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