How to sell an ebook with WooCommerce

Woocommerce is a free e-commerce plugin for WordPress that gives you the ability to sell online. Selling digital products, such as eBooks on your website is a great way to reuse some of your content and  produce some passive income. WooCommerce has made it easier than it’s ever been to sell digital products through your WordPress site.  This tutorial will go through how to set up Woocommerce to be able to sell an eBook or a similar digital product on your WordPress site.

Step 1: Download Woocommerce and Configure the Settings for Digital Downloads

Woocommerce can be found in the Plugins directory of WordPress.


Once you have your plugin activated, you will want to change some of the settings to enable Woocommerce for digital downloads. If your site only sells digital download products then the main updates you need to make to the WooCommerce settings are as follows…

General Settings

Set the selling locations to Sell to all countries, because shipping is not an issue. Then, set your currency to what you want to be selling in.



In Products, navigate to Downloadable Products and set the File Download Method to “Force Downloads’ and your Access Restriction based on your preferences.



In the checkout tab, these are the options that Woocommerce gives for Payment. We suggest you only enable PayPal and disable the other payment methods.


From the checkout tab,navigate to the Paypal option and set up your PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account, it would be a good idea to sign up for one to accept payment for your dowloadable products.



Disable shipping as you will not need it with downloads.



From the Emails tab, you can customize the email that will be sent when someone purchases your product. You can set  the “From” Name and Email Address as well as adjust some of the visuals of the Email Template.


Step 2: Add a Product to Woocommerce

From the main menu of your admin dashboard, select Products> New Product.


Adding a new product is similar to writing a post. Include a title, a description of the product and a category for the product.


The product data is where you can include a price and upload your eBook file. Your final product data should look similar to this with your product being specified as a Simple Product, Virtual and Downloadable. You don’t need to include a SKU, but set a price and a sale price if applicable. Then upload your files by clicking on the add file button and uploading your eBook file.


The final section of the page that you’ll need to fill out is the Product Short Description.

Step 3: Test it out

The final and probably most important step in this process to to Test it out.  Go through the process of placing an order on the site.  Think from your customers’ perspective as you go through the Cart, Checkout, PayPal and Order Received pages.  If you can find ways to make improvements then go ahead and make them.  The main thing is to make sure that the links to download your products work.

The order process for downloadable products is as follows

  1. User adds product to their cart
  2. Users checks out and pays
  3. After payment several things can happen depending on your setup:
    • If the items in the order are all downloadable + virtual the order will complete
    • Otherwise, the order will be processing until you change it
  4. Once complete, or if the option “Grant access to downloadable products after payment” is enabled, the user will:
    • Be granted download permissions
    • See the download links on the order received page
    • See the download links in their email notification
    • See the download links on their ‘My Account’ page if logged in

Users can then download their files.

For more information, watch these tutorials on how to set up a dowloadable product from Upload WP:

Configure Woocommerce Settings for Digital Download

Adding a Downloadable Product Tutorial