Guidelines for Publishing Your eBooks

First things first: it is 100% free to publish on Obooko. There are NO fees or charges whatsoever. Ours is a book publishing and distribution platform for English-language authors, where you may publish your work for free distribution without cost. Please ensure you have read the guidelines and instructions below before submitting Your book for consideration. 

Submissions will be accepted only from genuine Authors or Publishers. Please do not engage in digital piracy by uploading books you did not write or by authors you do not officially represent. 

group of authors writing together on laptops
The obooko platform is for authors who wish to gift their work and have it read and enjoyed by as many readers as possible: especially those who find it difficult to access books or cannot afford to buy them. Because your book will be given away free of charge please understand that you will not receive royalties or payment of any kind. Neither will we.

Whether you are a published or non-published author, obooko is a great place to publicise your name and writing. We encourage you to make at least one of your titles available free of charge so that our members can evaluate your work. You'll pick up plenty of fans here!

Our preference is long-term distribution of permanently free (permafree) books, not those released for short-term promotion. We are particularly interested in hosting original books that do not also appear on other websites.

We would like you to share your work for as long as possible in order to increase readership and receive feedback. With this in mind, you must agree to make your book available to our members for a minimum period of 90 days. Please do not submit your work if you cannot guarantee this minimum term.

We confirm and guarantee you will never be charged for publishing on Obooko, nor will readers be charged to read or download your work. We will never offer your books for sale so you will not receive royalties or payment of any kind.

We do not accept every book submitted: if your book does not follow our guidelines or does not meet our minimum grammatical standards, your work will not be published. Furthermore, we do not accept: erotica, sales or promotional material, part-works, samplers, magazines, chapter-limited or time-limited works, papers, articles, books containing advertising links or works that contain personal information or requests for money. All books must comply with our Terms and Conditions. We reserve the right to reject, without notification, any submission not complying with these guidelines.

Word counts (fiction)

Approximate word counts for Fiction books:
Novel: over 50,000 words
Novella: 20,000 to 50,000 words
Novelette: 7,500 to 20,000 words
Short story: fewer than 7,500 words.

Novels, Novellas and Novelettes will appear in our main categories. Books with fewer than 7500 words will be listed in our Single Short Stories category or, for young writers under 18, the Young Writers category. Collections of short stories must contain a minimum of three stories and will appear in the main category, Short Story Collections. If using images please note that all books must contain at least 70% text.

Poetry collections must contain a minimum of 15 poems.

Word counts (non-fiction)

We prefer non-fiction books to contain a minimum of 10,000 words. 70% of the content must be textual.

File types

We offer our members three file-types, which can be read on most devices. Please provide us with correctly formatted files. The minimum we accept is PDF.
KINDLE (mobi or azw)

If this is your first book and you do not already distribute via other publishing channels we can create PDF, ePub and Kindle files for you free of charge, but you MUST provide us with a correctly formatted Microsoft Word (or similar) document for us to convert. This is a manual task and can take up a lot of production time, so we will do this ONCE ONLY for your initial set up. In exchange for this service we would like you to keep your book on Obooko for a minimum of 120 days. For future updates and revisions you must provide your own files.

File Sizes

Large files can adversely affect download speed, bandwidth usage and user-experience on our website and on end-user devices, especially mobile phones. Currently, over 60% of people using the Obooko website do so via a mobile device. With this in mind we must seriously consider the different global network speeds, contract allowances and device storage capabilities and restrict ebook file-sizes to a maximum of 3mb (the average size available for a textual PDF file on Obooko is 1mb). We will consider slightly larger files on request. File-bloating is usually found in non-fiction books and is caused by the quantity and size of images displayed, so please consider image-optimisation and always have your final files compressed before submitting for consideration. Please contact us for advice.

Book Cover

As a guide, please provide a cover image to these dimensions: 1000 x 1450 at 72dpi or in the same proportion, otherwise your cover is likely to distort when fitted into our standard cover displays. Your book cover must include its title and your author name. In addition to providing a cover image for your listing page, please also insert the cover at the front of your ebook files, especially PDF and, if you provide one, your manuscript. This is what readers will see in ebook apps and digital libraries. Otherwise, the reader will see only your title page. IMPORTANT: Please name each of your files with the TITLE of your book: vague filenames like 'cover.jpg' or '123456789.jpg' or 'image.jpg' may be fine for your purposes but they will make no sense in our digital filing system and will be difficult to locate.

Observe Copyright

Please ensure you have written permission from the rights holder to use images displayed in your book or on its cover. Although not mandatory, it is a courtesy to caption images with the creator's name, even if it is royalty free. Please read this page if you are unsure about Copyright and intellectual property:

The Submission Form

The initial submission form can be accessed via the Submit book link in the dropdown box under Info in the main menu. You will have to be logged-in to access. Subsequent submissions and updates can be made only from your author account. After your first book is published on Obooko your standard free account will automatically upgrade to author status.

Submission progress barYour files must be correctly formatted in a regular typeface (not bold) with equal vertical margins (no more than 20mm) ready for digital publishing. Double line-spacing will not be accepted. Should you not have all three required file formats you must provide a PDF file as a minimum. All files must be in portrait orientation with a cover image in position as first page. This is to ensure your books appear as they should in members' digital bookshelves. Also, for your listing page you must supply us with a separate cover image in jpg or png format.

IMPORTANT: once you click the form submit button please WAIT! The progress bar must reach 100% otherwise we will not receive your submission form or files.


Publication date

Books are not published automatically. If your book meets our standards and conditions, submitted files will be checked and processed manually to ensure they are formatted correctly.  If you have not provided us with the details requested on the submission form or your files require re-formatting, please allow more time for us to process. Publication date will depend on the extent of the work involved and the workload in our production studio. As a guide only, should everything be in order, please allow 72 hours, excluding weekends and public holidays for your ebook to be published. After this period, please check your chosen category to ensure your book is being displayed, and let us know if you require any changes to your download page. Please bear with us if things take a little longer. Preference is always given to books that will appear exclusively on Obooko.

Multiple Categories

You may select a second category on the submission form. Please let us know if it is important to appear in a third. Only the thumbnail book cover will appear in the additional category, which will link back the main category page.

Pen Names

When you already have a book or books listed on obooko and wish to publish another using a pseudonym, you must register a new account in that name, using a different email address. The reason for this is to protect your anonymity by avoiding books being displayed in the 'also by the author' section of your existing titles, and vice versa.


To establish your intellectual rights as author of the work, please ensure your book contains a Copyright notice in the title page. This should contain your name and the year you wrote the book. For example: © Copyright Tim Johnson 2019


By submitting your book, you are giving us written permission to distribute the work on your behalf. This authorisation is termed a 'licence.' For legal reasons, we ask you to add the following licence imprint to your book's title page:

This is an authorised free edition from

Although you do not have to pay for this book, the author’s intellectual property rights remain fully protected by international Copyright laws. You are licensed to use this digital copy strictly for your personal enjoyment only. This edition must not be hosted or redistributed on other websites without the author’s written permission nor offered for sale in any form. If you paid for this free edition, or to gain access to it, we suggest you demand a refund and report the transaction to the author and Obooko.

This is to help protect your intellectual property rights by making it clear you are not on your own. Also, this ensures our members have written permission to possess a copy of your work under Copyright law. Most importantly, the licence also serves as a deterrent to digital pirates and plagiarists.


This is VERY important. Your synopsis must be UNIQUE, not as it appears verbatim on other sites. We appreciate this is a pain, but there is a reason for this: if we display exactly the same text as other sites we will be viewed by Google as plagiarists and will be penalised for offering copied content to our visitors. To follow the synopsis, you may also provide an excerpt from your book, between 500 and 1000 words. If you have not provided an excerpt, we will include one from your first chapter.


Please ensure the left and right margins of your book are equal and no more than 20mm. Please do not upload files intended for print. Your digital files will be read on small devices like mobile phones, which will account for around 60% of your readership.

Double Trouble

Unfortunately, too many authors are distributing PDF ebooks without considering the presentation of their pages. The most noticeable mistake being to double line-space (space between each line.) 

How many printed paperback novels have you read that are double line-spaced? This practice is based on a traditional submission format requested by publishers for assessing draft manuscripts; it is not suitable for final output. One opinion as to why this practice arose is that it is easier for proof-readers to scrutinise each line when it is separated more effectively from those above and below. Apparently, the space is also used for inserting notes and proof-readers’ correction marks.

The problem occurs when, unwittingly, self-publishing fiction writers decide to convert their draft manuscript to a digital book format without considering the end-user. While it is advisable to open up the lines by adding a couple of points to standard line-spacing, doubling the white space affects readability by disturbing the natural flow of words from the end of a line to the beginning of the next. It also increases the size of the PDF file. Ensure people enjoy reading your work: avoid double line spacing!Don't use double line spacing for ebooks

Author Account Page

Your standard free account automatically upgrades to Author status when your first book has been accepted and published on Obooko. From your author-account page you can submit new books, upload revisions to existing work and view download figures for each ebook format.

view of Obooko author account page

Infringement and Plagiarism

Please be aware that we cannot control where your book will end up once it has been downloaded. Most of the time it will remain on the device used by the person who activated the download. However, people like to share, so it might be sent to friends and relatives anywhere in the World ... and they in turn may pass it on! Currently, there are over 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, which means we can't keep tabs on where your book might end up. So, please be mindful that, without doubt, some of the people in possession of your book will be unscrupulous by nature and see an opportunity to try and make a few bucks. They do this by uploading your ebook to platforms like Amazon Kindle and Scribd, without your permission. We have seen evidence that the uploaders have replaced covers and changed the author's name. It happens regularly to best-selling authors every day. Until the big platforms get their acts together, it is not going to stop any day soon.

The problem is the big boys do not practice any meaningful due diligence to protect authors. Even though Copyright infringement is a crime, it is you who has to prove your rights have been infringed or your work plagiarised. Crazy!

Our advice is to regularly search for your book titles and your name via your favourite search engine. Should you find a copy of your book being made available on a website without your permission there are legal processes to have it removed under international Copyright laws. Although we cannot represent you unless we publish your books exclusively, we can show you tried and tested methods to rectify things. Simply reach out via our contact form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Free stuff

If you are a new writer you may be interested in checking out these free utilities:
Free Open Office Word Processor
Free Ebook Creator/Converter
Free Ebook Readers
Free Book Cover Creator

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