How 2 create a free downloadable e-book

20th May 2019

Summary: Systems to use and steps to follow to create a free downloadable e-book.


  • A completed free e-book
  • An opt-in form on your website to download your free e-book


Step 1: Choose a topic.

Choose a topic that makes sense in terms of your business offering and the perception you are trying to create of yourself and your business in the marketplace. Make sure your topic is not only catchy but also currently popular with your target market.

Step 2: Write the content headings in a Word document. 

What are you going to teach in your free e-book? Write out all the headings and subheadings if any. A free e-book does not need to be long, but it must just contain valuable information suitable for your readers. Some free e-books are only 1 page long, others are full length books, others are a few pages.

Step 3: Write your content under the headings in your Word document.

Expand on your topic headings with valuable content. As long as you are teaching your readers something, there are no hard and fast rules.

Step 4: Format your Word Document

Choose nice fonts, do your paragraph layout, create any headers and footers, put in any images and design if required and create a table of contents if required. Put in a formal copyright notice at the beginning of your book, it makes your book look more professional.

Step 5: Create a cover page

This can be as simple as pasting your logo and heading on the first page. Or you can ask someone to design a coverpage for you and then paste this as image on the first page. If your design is very simple with a simple heading and an image, you can use a simple online outsourcing company to do this, like (please note that if your cover gets too complicated, then using becomes a problem). If your coverpage is more complicated, google freelancers who specifically design e-book covers.

Step 6: Do a final check and spelling and grammar check

Make sure your layout looks good and that there are no spelling or grammar errors.

Step 7: Convert your Word Document into a PDF

You can simply save your Word Document as a PDF. Or you can use a PDF convertor (google this). If you want your e-book to be really fancy, you can take it one step further and upload your PDF into a flipbook creator like or  These flipbook creators also allow you to insert images, audio and videos. Flipbook creators can be expensive so only use them if you need to. For the purposes of using a free e-book to grow your mailing list, you do not really need to get fancy, as long as your content is valuable.

Step 8: Upload your PDF e-book onto your website server

For the more technically minded, you can do this yourself by dowloading a program called Cute FTP. Put in your IP address and website login info to access the server your website is hosted on. You can now transfer documents from your computer onto your server yourself. For the less technically minded, get your website people to put your e-book document onto your server for you and then send you the link.  For those of you who are using fancy flipbook creators, the flipbook creators will create online links for you, you don't need to put them onto your server.

Step 9: Make sure you have a good mailing system

Create your subscriber lists on a well known mailing system. More affordable options include Mailchimp,  Aweber or iContact. More expensive, fancier systems include Infusionsoft or Ontraport.

Step 10: Create an opt-in form on your website

There are many options. You can create an opt-in form or pop up box using your mailing provider like Mailchimp and then embed this onto your website. You can purchase a program like Leadpages or Unbounce which give you easy to use, nice looking opt-in page templates which you can link with your mailing list and your website. You can purchase easy to use programs that let you design your own opt-in pages like Optimize Press (links with WordPress) or Ten Minute Pages. You can create a pop up box on your website yourself using a software called Popup Domination.  The more fancy you get, the more your costs on this are going to go up. You If you are really not technically minded at all, simply get your website developers to do this for you. But if you can take the time to learn how to do this yourself, you will empower yourself.  The idea is to have a nice looking opt in form, with name and email fields and nice download button.

Step 11: Link the opt-in fields to your mailing provider

Depending on which option you use to create your opt-in form, make sure you follow their steps to link the name and email address fields with your subscriber lists on your chosen mailing system. Follow the instructions to do any necessary integrations.

Step 12: Link your opt-in form button to your free e-book download on your website server

Depending on which option you used to create your opt-in form, follow the instructions to link the download or submit button on your form to the free e-book download on your server. You can get the button to go straight to the e-book URL, or you can get the button to go to a separate page  on your website where people can click another button to download your e-book, or you can get the button to trigger off an email from your mailing system which contains a link to your e-book in it. For those of you who are less technically minded, you can get your website developers to do all of this for you.

A note to this tutorial: It does take time to learn any systems or programs that empower you to do things like this yourself on your website, but it can be worth it and save you a lot of money on website developer fees. It takes on average 2 - 5 hours to learn the basics of any new system and then some trial and error to perfect what you have learnt.

About The Author

How 2 for entrepreneurs

How 2 for Entrepreneurs supplies free, step-by-step 'How 2' processes specifically designed for entrepreneurs, including suggested systems, tools or templates to aid each process. To access these free step-by-step tutorials simply go to the 'About Us' page and subscribe, or download one of our many free giveaways.