Self-publishing your ebook is an exciting and creatively rewarding process, but it is also an intimidating one. There are so many great self-publishing sites out there to choose from—how will you know which one is right for you? Other questions will also go racing through your mind. If you’re short on cash, one of those questions might be, “How can I promote my ebook for free?”

Luckily, there are plenty of self-publishing sites out there that will do the lion’s share of book promotion for you. And the promotion won’t cost you a penny. Here are 7 self-publishing sites that will promote your ebook for free.

1) Amazon KDP

If you’re considering self-publishing your ebook, it’s likely you’ve already thought of Amazon KDP as a possibility. There’s a reason this platform is such a titan in the self-publishing world. Publishing your book is simple, straightforward, and doesn’t take longer than a few minutes. Once your book is published, Amazon will start promoting your book to readers who have bought similar titles. If you enroll in Amazon KDP Select, you will also have the option to run your own promotions where you can make your book discounted or free for a limited time.

While promotion is free, Amazon KDP isn’t an ideal option for indie authors who don’t have some cash saved up. Though you can try to design your cover and format your book for free, it’s a much better idea to have your cover design and formatting done professionally so your book will stand out. In order to sign up for KDP Select, you also have to publish your book exclusively on Amazon.

2) Wattpad

Like Amazon KDP, this mega-popular self-publishing platform will give your story exposure to a large audience. Publishing your story is quick and easy, and you can use Canva’s free book cover maker without even having to leave the site. Wattpad’s editors regularly choose titles to include on “Editors’ Choice” lists and the site is great about promoting stories on social media. You can also submit your story to Wattpad’s yearly Wattys competition, giving you a chance to get even more exposure.

It can be notoriously difficult to become a paid author on Wattpad, so if you’re looking to make money as you post your story, this may not be the right platform for you. With such a large pool of talented writers, it can also be easy for your work to get lost in the crowd.

3) Smashwords

Smashwords is another self-publishing site that is known for its quick and easy self-publishing process. With this site, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in exclusive Smashwords promotions such as “Read an Ebook Week”, the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, and the Smashwords End of Year Sale. You can also generate custom coupon codes to enable free downloads or discounted promotions.

While Smashwords is a popular site, it doesn’t have the huge customer base you’ll find with Amazon or Wattpad. And if you’re hoping to produce a printed version of your book as well, you’d be better off saving some cash up so you can publish your book on Amazon KDP.

4) Royal Road

Royal Road is a similar platform to Wattpad in that it is a good fit for writers who want to post their stories online as they write them. As you post, Royal Road offers several opportunities for added exposure. The site’s “Trending”, “Popular This Week”, and “Rising Stars” lists provide chances for your work to be seen by new potential readers. If your story isn’t already doing well, you can still snag new readers from appearing on the “New Releases” list.

Like Wattpad, Royal Road has become a very popular self-publishing platform, so it can be difficult to stand out in such a large pool of talented writers. It can also be a bit of a challenge to make money on the site. You can add a link to your Patreon but may not have a lot of luck coaxing readers to subscribe if you don’t already have a big following.

5) Booksie

Booksie is another site where it is quick and easy to post your content whether your book is in progress or completed. It has a whole page dedicated to ways you can promote your ebook. You can link your Booksie account to your Twitter account and invite family and friends to read your story. The site has several categories like “New Books” and “New Poems” on its main page that will help get your work noticed.

While several promotional opportunities are free on Booksie, it does cost money to run ads on the site. So if you don’t have some cash to burn, you may get outshone by authors who can afford to run ads.

6) Fictionate.Me

Fictionate.Me is a new fiction platform with a smaller pool of writers that will make it easier for you and your work to get noticed. Categories like “Top Paid Books” and “Trending” on the site’s main page shine a spotlight on books that are doing well. There is also the “Consistent Writers” category that rewards writers for consistent posting with added exposure. Fictionate.Me is great about promoting its’ authors’ stories on social media as well. Another huge perk is that you get to keep 100% of your book’s profits.

As mentioned, being a newer site means your audience will be small—far smaller than what you’ll find on Amazon or Wattpad. So if you’re looking to build a huge audience, this may not be the platform for you. This platform is also best suited to authors who are writing their novels as they post them—it’s hard to make the “Consistent Writers” list if you post your story all at once, after all.

7) Inkshares

Unlike the other fiction platforms on this list, Inkshares handles the editing, design, and marketing of your ebook for you. All you need to do is pitch your story on the site and based on that pitch, readers pre-order copies of your book. Once you reach 750 preorders, Inkshares will take over the heavy lifting of publishing and promoting your book from there. This way you get to avoid promoting your book entirely.

Of course, it’s not the simplest thing to get those 750 preorders. And if you fail to reach that threshold, all that money is refunded to the readers. Inkshares also only offers 35% of net receivables, and the publishing process can take 9-12 months once you reach your preorder goal. So if you’re looking for a quick publishing turnaround, this is not the site for you.

Promotion is one of the most daunting parts of the self-publishing process. It can also get very expensive. I hope that this list has helped you find a self-publishing platform that will suit your needs without breaking the bank.

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, Jillian 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 Jillian 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: