If you have an e-book created which you want to sell, the next step is to determine how you want to sell and deliver your e-book. This can be an overwhelming decision, but hopefully the information and suggestions below can help you find the method that works best for you.
While there are many different payment options available, in the options below, we suggest using PayPal as your payment processor. This is not to say that you can only use PayPal to sell an e-book. You can use whatever payment gateway you are most comfortable with, but we have found that PayPal is the most popular payment processor.
Selling E-books With WordPress
Install WordPress and an e-commerce plugin that allows you to sell downloadable/digital content. You can then connect that to your payment processor. The following is a list of several of the many plugins that allow you to sell downloadable/digital content:
Selling E-Books With an E-commerce Program
Most stand alone e-commerce programs allow you to sell downloadable/digital content. All 3 of the e-commerce programs you can install through Fantastico offer this functionality. However, of the three, osCommerce will take the most work to set up. According to the osCommerce forums, the standard installation of osCommerce may allow someone to download files without paying and an Addon will be needed to prevent that. Additionally, the instructions for setting up downloadable products advises setting folder permissions to 777. As mentioned in our article on File Permissions, this is not secure. This could also cause an error on your site.
Once you have installed an e-commerce program, you can connect that with your payment processor and add your e-book as a product in your store. Once your customer pays for the e-book, they would then be given a link to download the e-book file. You can set the number of times to allow the file to be downloaded as well as how many days the download link will remain active.
Selling E-books With the Premium Website Builder
The Premium Website Builder does not offer the functionality to sell digital/downloadable products through the eShop module. The best recommendation is to migrate your site to one of the solutions suggeted above. However, we understand that some people may have invested a lot of time and effort into developing a site within the Premium Website Builder and may be hesitant to move over to a new platform.
Using the Premium Website Builder With Other Software
If you do not wish to move everything over to new software, our first suggestion is to use a third party software program along with the Premium Website Builder. This will allow you to use other software (such as WordPress or an e-commerce application) to sell your e-book but still use the builder for the rest of your site.
Using Only the Premium Website Builder
If you do not wish to use another program along with the Premium Website Builder, there is another work around, but it will involve a bit more work.
- Using the cPanel File Manager or an FTP program, create a subdirectory and upload your e-book to that subdirectory. It's best to name the directory something hard for others to guess.
- Next, you will want to create a PayPal buy now button and insert this into your Premium Website Builder site.
- When you are creating your PayPal button, under Step 3 you will see an option to "Take customers to this URL when they finish checkout." Put in the URL to your e-book. For example, if I created a subdirectory named e-book and uploaded a file named myebook.pdf, then my download URL would be whhsupport.com/ebook/myebook.pdf.
Please note, someone could still share the direct link to the downloadable file, but it will keep most people from snooping around for the file. You could take it a step further and password protect the directory, but you would need to provide the login information to your customers. This information could also be shared, but you could also change out the credentials periodically as you like.
Selling E-books With Other Software
The first place you will want to check is the documentation for your particular software. Depending on your software, there may be an e-commerce plugin or addon you can install which will allow you to easily sell and deliver your e-book to your customers. If your software doesn't offer an e-commerce plugin or addon, you may want to consider installing an e-commerce solution to a subdomain or subdirectory and simply linking that to your main site.