How to Make Ebooks Available for Download on Your Website by Michael Hopkins
There's nothing difficult about setting up an
ebook for download on your website. Just
follow this simple 5-step procedure...
1. Consider compression
You can compress your ebook file to make it smaller (in
memory terms) using compression software like WinZip.
WinZip compresses your files and puts them into a
self-extracting file. When your readers click on the file,
it will install itself to any directory they select on
their PC. You can get a shareware copy of WinZip from the
WinZip website (http://www.winzip.com).
You could offer both a compressed and an uncompressed
version of your ebook on the download page. This will
enable a quicker download for those customers who have
WinZip and are familiar with it. By the same token, those
who don't know about using WinZip have the option of
downloading the larger file.
If you're offering both compressed and uncompressed
versions, then you should link your customers to the WinZip
website, and explain how to use WinZip to unzip
(uncompress) your ebook file.
NOTE: If you're selling an ebook with resale rights that
includes a sales page, images, and so on, then you'll need to package the whole lot into
one downloadable ZIP file. In most instances, you can just use the same ZIP file you
downloaded when you bought the package yourself.
2. Scan for a virus
Don't risk spreading a virus to your customers through your
Before you send it online for others to download, it's
imperative that you run a virus-scan on it. Make sure that
you use an up-to-date virus scanning software. If you don't
have one, then send a copy of your book to a friend who
3. Transfer the file(s) to your website
Now that your download files are ready, you need to send
them online to your webhost's server. In other words, you
need to send the e-book's EXE and/or ZIP files up to your
website where they can be accessed by your customers.
Here's the procedure for this...
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Let's say that your ebook's EXE file is MyBook.exe and
let's say your website is at http://www.websitename.com.
Ideally, you should place the book in a sub-directory
(sub-folder) of your website. You can create the
sub-directory using FTP software (you can get a shareware
version of WS_FTP at http://www.ipswitch.com)
your webhost's control panel. If unsure, ask your webhost
support for help.
You can call this directory anything you want. Let's say
you call it 'download'.
Now upload the book to this directory using either FTP
software or your webhost's 'File Upload' feature if they
If you're using FTP software to upload the book,
simply open the sub-directory you've just created in the
panel on the right. In the panel on the left select your
book. Now using your software's 'Upload' button, send the
file up to your webserver. (In WS_FTP the upload button is
the right-pointing arrow between the two panels). Be sure
to select 'binary' as the 'transfer mode' (this is usually
the default setting).
If you're using your webhost's file upload feature, then
check their instructions on how to use it.
4. Enable the download
You've now placed your e-book file online (2 files if
you're offering a zipped and unzipped version). The only
thing that remains to be done is to place a link on your
webpage pointing to the file.
Sticking with the example above, you would simply place a
or in the case of a zipped file...
Once your customer clicks this link, the download process
will begin. The customer's browser will open up a "save as"
window which will allow them to save your file onto their
1. You may want to write the links above in HTML. This is how the
first one would look with the text 'Click here to download!':
here to download!</A>
2. Always use the correct case (you're better off sticking
with lower) in your files, directories and links. Many web servers are case sensitive.
5. And, of course, test it!
Test the download link to ensure that everything works as
it should. Then, get some of your friends to try it out on
If, when you click the link, nothing happens, then verify
that you've written the link correctly (they are usually
case sensitive) and that the EXE file is where it's
supposed to be. If this is all okay, then you should talk
to your webhost support.
Making PDF Ebooks available for download
PDFs work a little differently to EXE ebooks when it comes to
setting up the download. Basically, the web browser behaves differently when it comes to
Firstly, you should upload your PDF file and create the link to it
the same way as described for EXE files (above).
Now, however, the difference happens.
If your customer just clicks the download link for the PDF, the
book will open inside the customers browser. From here, the customer can click the save
button and save the file to his/her PC.
This approach is not recommended, however. Firstly, it can take a
long time for the book to open in the browser window and, secondly, this often takes
people by surprise.
So, rather that telling your customer to click the link to launch
the download, you should give the following instruction (which will launch the regular
download dialog box)...
To download the file, RIGHT click the link and select 'Save
Target As...' (or, for Netscape users, 'Save Link As...').
Be sure to remind your customers that they'll need a copy of
Adobe's Acrobat reader to view the ebook and let them know that they can download a free
copy from here.
NOTE: If you wish you can package your PDF file into a ZIP
file and set up a regular download link as described above.
And there you have it! Your ebook is ready to download. Now
all you have to do is tell the world it's there :-)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Hopkins is a Successful Web Marketer and Owner of BizzyDays Ebook
Publications. Visit Now to Download Original Ebooks for Free at:
This Article First Appeared in Michael's Newsletter, Ebook Times. To subscribe
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