Guidelines for Publishing Your eBooks on Obooko Free

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 by offering our members free books to read. 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, which means 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if your book does not follow our guidelines or does not meet our minimum grammatical standards, your work will not be published.

These submissions will be rejected without notification: chapter-limited or time-limited works; PLR books; any work containing sales, product or affiliate links (links to the author's personal website, blog or official retail site for printed and digital copies are permitted); part-works; samplers; magazines; papers; articles; books containing personal information or requests for money; books written with the intention to encourage, promote, condone or incite racial, sexual, cultural or religious intolerance or hatred; physical, mental or sexual abuse; criminal activity or acts of terrorism.

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)

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 55% of readers 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 of our readers and suggest file-sizes be kept to a maximum of 5mb, especially when users prefer to download pdf books. Don't worry, this figure is not set in stone: we will consider larger files. If files are too large for our platform, we will let you know. File-bloating is usually found in non-fiction books, the main cause being the quantity and size of images and graphics displayed, so please consider image-optimisation and always have your final files compressed before submitting for consideration. Please contact us for advice.

Book Cover

Ideally, as a guide only, please provide a cover image close to these dimensions: 1000 pixels wide x 1450 pixels high (minimum size 600 px wide x 800 px high). Don't worry if you can't, we will do any necessary tweaking at our end.

In addition to providing a cover image for your listing page, please also insert the cover as the first page in all your ebook files: this is what readers will see when viewing ebooks in reading apps and digital libraries. Failure to do this will result in the reader seeing only the text in 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:

Submitting Your Book Files

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) on a white background, with equal vertical margins ready for digital publishing.

File formats: should you not have all three required file formats you must provide a PDF file as a minimum. We can create and format an ePub file (best for reading on mobile phones) for you if you upload a Word document with your submission. 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.

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 standard terms 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 for for your download page to appear in a third. The original page for the first category will be repeated in additional categories.

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.

Protect your Intellectual Property

To establish your intellectual property 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 2023

Legal License

By submitting your book, you are giving us written permission to distribute the work on your behalf. This authorisation is termed a 'license.' We advise adding the following 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 serving as a deterrent to digital pirates and plagiarists. The legal license also ensures our members have written permission to possess a copy of your work under Copyright law.


This is VERY important. The synopsis you provide for your book download page must be UNIQUE, not as it appears verbatim on other sites. We appreciate this is a pain, but there is a reason for the request: if we display exactly the same text as it appears on 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.

Blank pages

Blank pages are the result of printing and bookbinding conventions, they don't work for digital books. Imagine a reader faced with an unexpected white screen on their mobile phone: what will they be thinking? Has something has gone wrong? Is there a missing page?  We are sure you will agree that we must do everything we can to avoid confusing readers. With this in mind, please remove all blank pages from your ebook files, especially PDFs. Bear in mind your existing page numbering will be affected.

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 and editing draft manuscripts; it is not suitable for final output of e-book files. One opinion as to why this practice arose is that double line-spacing makes it easier for proof-readers and editors to scrutinise each line and insert proof-readers’ correction marks and notes for the author.

The problem occurs when self-publishing writers decide to convert their draft manuscript, which is intended for print, to PDF 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 may submit new books, upload revisions to existing work and view download figures for each ebook format.

view of Obooko author account page

Be Aware of Rights Infringement and Plagiarism

Unfortunately, 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 knowledge or permission. Many thieves set up their own illegal websites to sell stolen books. We have seen evidence that these criminals 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, unlike us here at Obooko, the big boys like Amazon 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 you can use to have it removed under international Copyright laws. Although we cannot represent you in legal matters, 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

© Illustration by Iconicbestiary / Freepik

Read and Rate our eBooks
Legal Book Downloads