How to Sell PDFs Online, ebooks and Other Digital Downloads

How to Sell PDFs Online, ebooks and Other Digital Downloads

There is no better time to monetize from selling your PDFs online than in the current age. PDFs, ebooks and similar digital download offer quick and secure ways of sharing your original and valuable ideas with the world. 

As a compatible format, PDF files are ubiquitous and readily accepted by almost all smart devices making them a versatile format to create patterns, templates and more.  Some popular PDF downloads and digital formats that you could choose to sell would include:

  • Do-it-yourself books
  • Brochures or catalogues
  • Courseware and manuals
  • How-to tutorials and guides
  • Magazines
  • Ebooks
  • Marketing templates
  • Professional templates for resumes, proposals, tenders, agreements, invoices etc.
  • Health and nutrition schedules
  • Greeting cards
  • Party invitations
  • Reports and studies
  • Manuscripts

and so on.

It is incredibly simple to sell PDFs online, and hence let’s look at innovative ways to sell PDF digital downloads on the Internet.

Benefits of selling PDF downloads online

There are several advantages when it comes to selling your PDF documents or downloads online. An essential factor is that PDFs are inexpensive, cost-effective and can bring you a steady stream of income. That means all you ought to do is create a PDF document and choose to sell copies repeatedly without added effort or expense after its creation. Besides, you can save a good deal of time thanks to the electronic distribution process and help protect the environment using nil ink and paper.

In addition, selling PDFs online give you a wider audience as people all over the world can gain access to your knowledge instantly for a fair sum of money.

What you need to do before selling your PDFs

Before selling your PDF files online, you may want to take into account a few things.  Beginning with creating a PDF document, you need to format it and then secure it with the right document security technology to prevent piracy and protect your revenue. In this regard, PDF digital rights management [PDF DRM] provides you with the necessary security to prevent users from illegally sharing or distributing your PDF files with others. In addition, DRM’s robust encryption, dynamic watermarking and access controls can ensure that your PDF files can be sold securely without having to face income loss or online theft and piracy.

Selling PDFs from online

To sell your PDF documents, you can simply upload them to one of the many sites that offer PDF marketing and sales. 

Popular online marketplaces to sell your PDF digital downloads are eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Shopify etc., among others. You can upload your PDF to the online store, add a description and set a price – you are then ready to start selling.

Alternatively, you can upload PDF files to sell from your own web site.  You need to consider that you have to market them yourself and have an ecommerce system in place for taking and fulfilling orders.  If you are going to do this, don’t rely on one-time download links or password protected PDF files for protection.  Once a single user downloads the PDF or has the password then they can share it with others.

It is important to implement PDF DRM before you begin selling your PDFs online. This can ensure that you have taken proactive measures to safeguard your intellectual property from being unlawfully modified, copied, printed or shared without your knowledge.  PDF DRM also provide other benefits such as expiry, location locking and revocation. 

Promoting and marketing your PDFs

If you’re looking to monetize from the sale of your PDFs, you need to market your PDF documents correctly. For instance, you may want to maintain a low price point for a PDF so as to gain more uptake from people looking for quality content at a low cost. You may also want to consider targeted advertising to boost initial awareness and PDFs sales. For long-term awareness, you could create blogs around your PDFs that promote their use.


Perhaps you are a passionate cook or baker and have gathered all your recipes, tips and tricks together to form a unique ebook of your own. Now, within seconds you can transform it into a PDF document and begin selling it online. Or perhaps you have just started creating and designing a new magazine on trending issues, or a report with weekly finance tips.  Regardless of what type of PDF document you are selling, you need to protect you work from piracy as well as revenue from the sale of your books with DRM.

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