Creator tools

Gumroad Review (2023): How I Made $7,000+ Selling Ebooks

Victoria Kurichenko author

written by

Victoria Kurichenko

updated on

August 17, 2023

I joined Gumroad in April 2022 when I was searching for a platform to sell my ebooks. Back then, over 46,000 creators earned money on Gumroad, spreading the platform’s popularity. 

I wrote this Gumroad review after using the platform for 1.5 years and making $6,500 from ebook sales. Keep reading to learn how I did it and what you can do to make money selling digital products and physical goods on Gumroad. 

If you want to get a quick ecommerce platform overview and decide whether it’s for you, my article will help you answer the most common questions and decide whether it will help you achieve your business goals. 

Here is the table of contents for your convenience.

TL;DR Gumroad

If you don’t have time to read the entire article, I collected the most important facts about Gumroad, my observations, and personal feedback below.

Pros Cons
You can sell digital products, physical products, and memberships on Gumroad The customization options are limited
It takes a few minutes to create a product page. It looks clean and natively urges you to click on a CTA 10% flat fee on every sale
Weekly payouts  
Money transfer to PayPal, Stripe or to your bank account (available for some countries only)  
Gumroad Discover helps you boost your product’s visibility on the platform  
Phone widget is available  
Convenient push notifications to inform you about sales  
Detailed analytics is available to help you determine your top performing channels and countries  
If you update your product, you can immediately email a new version to all your former customers  
Discounting and upsell features are available  
No monthly fees or pricing packages  

What is Gumroad?

what is Gumroad?

Gumroad is a self-publishing online digital marketplace where anyone can buy and sell products or services.

According to Fastcompany, the platform idea came when Sahil Lavingia, the former Pinterest designer and Gumroad founder, wanted to sell his photorealistic icon. However, it required a huge effort to sell it directly to end consumers. 

Sahil Lavingia built the first version of the Gumroad platform over a single weekend in 2011. Since then, it has grown to over 46,000 creators and earned $142 million in 2020, 94% up from 2019. 

Even though many consumers expect to pay zero for movies, ebooks, or music nowadays, Sahil believes Gumroad, as a digital marketplace, can transform people’s mindsets and help creators’ economy thrive.

According to Sahil Lavingia:

Sahil Lavingia quote

Indeed, content creators are not charity organizations. 

It takes time, energy, and effort to create something that will help others learn new things, gain new skills, and solve their problems. 

If content creators get rewarded for what they do, they’ll spend more time creating more value for people. 

That’s what Gumroad helps creators do. 

If you have ideas, don’t be shy to share them with the world. You can start selling on Gumrod by following this link.

How Gumroad works

Gumroad’s slogan is “Go from 0 to $1.”

In other words, its main goal is to help you make your first sale on Gumroad. 

You don’t need to be an English native speaker, have years of professional experience, and possess persuasive skills to sell on Gumroad

Here is how the platform works.

1. Set up a profile on Gumroad

It takes a few minutes to create an account on Gumroad. 

You are only required to do three things to get started: (1) upload your photo, (2) write your bio, and (3) indicate your user name.

Here is an example of what my Gumroad profile looks like: https://victoriakurichenko.gumroad.com/ 

It’s worth mentioning that users’ profiles on Gumroad are clutter-free and clear. 

You can only see my name, my bio, the products I sell on Gumroad, a buy button, and a subscribe button.

It’s safe to purchase and sell via Gumroad. However, don’t rush to start selling just yet. 

There are a few more things you’ll have to do.

My Gumroad profile
My profile on Gumroad.

2. Fill out the “Local” and “Gumroad Discover” settings

Gumroad needs this information to accurately display time, language, currency, and recommend your product in its Gumroad Discover network (more on it later in this article). 

Therefore, spend a few minutes filling out the form.  

By default, all prices are displayed in USD. However, 18 more currencies are supported, including GBP, EUR, Yen, and Rupees. 

Gumroad states that all sales will be made in dollars and later converted into your preferred currency, using their up-to-date exchange rate. 

If your preferred payment method supports USD accounts, I recommend setting prices in USD to avoid conversion rates and fees.

how Gumroad works
Gumroad settings page.

3. Fill out the payment information

When I started on Gumroad, the only payment method available was PayPal, a credit card, and a PayPal balance.

Today, Gumroad can send you payouts to Stripe, PayPal, and directly to your bank account (for supported countries only). 

  • For PayPal: All sales will incur a 10% Gumroad fee + 2.9% + 30¢ PayPal fee.
  • For Stripe: All sales will incur a 10% Gumroad fee.

For example, I use PayPal as a payment method. My ebook costs $29,99. However, I only get $25.20 in my account. So, my commission is $4.79. It’s a lot! So, I’ll have to look for alternative payment options.

Gumroad payout paypal
Gumroad payment information page.

You are set for success now!

However, there are a few more things I want to share as a part of my Gumroad review.

Gumroad features

Besides selling on Gumroad, you can also publish blog posts and grow your email list. 

By using the “New post” feature, you can publish your updates and share them with your customers, followers, or all Gumroad users. 

This way, you can keep in touch with your audience, share updates and build relationships with them. Pretty smart solution, right? 

What’s even better, this functionality is free.

Gumroad new post
How to create a post with Gumroad.

Gumroad sends emails and push notifications to your mobile as soon as someone makes a purchase. It’s very convenient!

Gumroad has a dedicated report helping you track every sale, the referrer, customer locations, and conversion rates (CR). 

You can also find a chart visually representing your monthly earnings.

Gumroad analytics report
Gumroad analytics report.

As an all-in-one email marketing tool, Gumroad displays the email addresses and names of your customers. So, you can send personalized transactional and informational emails. 

Even if you don’t have time to actively promote your products and services, you can still make money on Gumroad.

I’ll share my Gumroad free hack, and how I sell my digital products in the next paragraph of this Gumroad review.

How I sell my ebooks on Gumroad

I joined Gumroad in April 2022 since many Medium writers shared their positive experiences with the platform. “Why not?” I thought.

A few days after, I was registered on Gumroad, exploring its functionality, customer service, and how to create a sales funnel. 

Gumroad has many features and might seem complicated at first glance. However, it’s a simple marketing tool if you take a closer look.

My initial goal was to sell my “How to hit the Google front page” ebook on Gumroad, see how it works and analyze whether I could make passive income from ebook sales. 

It’s worth saying a few words about my ebook topic and how I created my ebook. 

As a content writer, I have over 300 blog posts published on Medium. 

Medium writing is one of the first get-paid-to-write side hustles I’ve tried. 

Some of my Medium posts get thousands of monthly views and dozens of comments. This is how I learn what my readers are interested in and relate to. This Medium article did extremely well and got many positive comments from my fellow readers.

My Gumroad case study
One of the popular Medium articles, which I turned into an ebook.

As a marketer, I decided to create a newbie guide on how to write well-performing blog posts.

It took a month to brainstorm the ebook structure, collect data, add my expert case studies, and include references to make a proper guide on how to write content that hits the Google front page. 

Here is an excerpt from my SEO writing ebook:

SEO writing ebook
An excerpt from my SEO writing ebook.

As a next step, I wrote a compelling sales copy for the Gumroad selling page, trying to be specific and descriptive.

People trust people.

Therefore, testimonials are essential. I shared my ebook with a few friends who gladly shared their opinion about the ebook. A year and a half later, I’ve collected 11 positive reviews, which prove people find my ebook helpful. 

With Gumroad, you can publish a sales page in a few minutes and make it available for the whole world to see.

Here is what the Gumroad product page editor looks like: 

Gumroad editor

You can customize the headline, write a compelling description, indicate pricing, display the product rating, publicly share how many sales you’ve made, and let customers choose a quantity.

The functionality is vast, which is one more advantage of Gumroad. 

The header image should be 1280x720px. You can upload several header images, which lets you share additional info about your product right on the top of your page. 

For instance, it can be a table of content, book preview, user testimonials, etc.

The square-shaped thumbnail image should be at least 600×600 px, and in JPG, PNG, or GIF format.

I self-published my ebook on Gumroad on April 6th, 2022.  A few days after, I made my first sales and received Gumroad payouts.  

As of August 2023, I sold over 241 copies of my ebooks, making $6,500+ in total. 

Gumroad ebook sales

As a marketer and content creator, I am happy with Gumroad, which lets me make sales even when I sleep.

I should admit that big sales are most likely impossible without heavy promotion. Like other creators, I’ll have to manually put my product in front of my target audience. 

The good news is that Gumroad works!

If you want to make money selling your products and services online, Gumroad can be a great starting point. 

Gumroad FAQ

I’ve collected a few more frequently asked questions people often ask online.

Gumroad pricing: how much does Gumroad take?

Gumroad is free to use. 

There is no monthly fee or hidden charges. Instead, Gumroad makes money when you sell products or services online. It does not give you any extra bonuses for making X revenue figures.

For instance, I sell an SEO writing ebook on Gumroad for $29.99. The Gumroad fee is $2.99 for every sale I make, which is 10% of the sale.

If you use PayPal as a payment option, you’ll have to pay 2.9% + 30¢ PayPal fee.

What is Gumroad Discover?

Gumroad Discover is a so-called marketplace where you can check available offers from other creators.

Gumroad Discover recommends your products to prospective customers, helping you grow faster and find more people who care about your work.

You can add your product to up to five different categories. 

Here is what Gumroad Discover looks like:

Gumroad discover
Gumroad Discover.

What is a Gumroad Affiliate?

Gumroad affiliate is not a conventional affiliate program.

You won’t earn a commission if someone signs up and starts using Gumroad following your recommendation.

Instead, Gumroad encourages creators to collaborate and promote different offers to their audience. Your affiliate will then earn a commission on every customer they refer.

For example, this is my Gumroad affiliates dashboard.

Gumroad affiliates

I can manually add affiliates by using the “Add affiliate” button in the top right corner. Or Gumroad creators can apply to become my affiliates by following this link.

As an ebook creator, I can indicate the affiliate fee and the destination URL. Every affiliate will get their unique URL, which will help track sales and assign commissions. 

If you are still unsure whether Gumroad is legit, here are a few facts to be aware of.

Is Gumroad safe?

Gumroad has been working since 2011 and received over $1.1 million in investment in 2012. However, some people are still unsure how safe Gumroad is

I’ll list a few more facts that will hopefully help you make your own opinion about Gumroad:

  • According to Wikipedia, famous musicians made sales on Gumoad, like Eminem, Bon Jovi, David Banner, and many others.
  • Gumroad revenue increased by 94% in 2020 compared to 2019. 
  • 46,000 creators made money on Gumroad in 2020, including 8 who made over $1,000,000.

Impressive, isn’t it?

As an individual creator, I believe Gumroad is safe to buy from and sell online. 

I’ve also found a tweet from a founder that dates back to 2018. Sahil Lavingia shares that Gumroads’ GMV (gross merchandise volume) was $4.2 million in April 2018.

Gumroad Sahil Lavingia tweet

Gumroads’ GMV grew to $142 million in 2020. It’s over a 3,380% increase in two years! Perhaps, the pandemic helped the business scale up. However,  I should not justify Gumroad success by giving credit to the pandemic. 

Nowadays, Gumroad is a legit platform that helps beginner and experienced content creators make money online. 

The entry barrier is zero. That’s what I like about Gumroad. 

What’s your Gumroad review? Have you tried the platform yourself? 

Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Grab my guide to learn how you can make four figures from selling ebooks on Gumroad.

Victoria Kurichenko

Hello there! 

My name is Victoria.
I am an SEO expert, Medium top writer, solopreneur, and the founder of Self Made Millennials. I help companies create optimized content and attract potential customers through organic search results. In addition, I share how content creators can monetize their writing skills.

Latest posts

How to make money selling ebooks

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10 Responses

  1. This is a great overview. Thanks! I know a guy who is making a KILLING by finding unique products on Gumroad and promoting them to his audience. That income can add up!

  2. Thank you so much, Victoria. This is an in-depth review of gumroad that really answers all my questions and doubts about it. I see readers commending you about your website. It is indeed lovely! My Question is simple: can you be successful on gumroad and medium without having your own website?

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for reading my article and for your question!
      You definitely can be successful without having a website. In fact, many content creators monetize their efforts via an email list, which they build with the help of social media.

  3. Really enjoyed reading this Victoria. Very thorough and you’ve clearly explained the entire process of selling digital products on Gumroad.

    A very important point to remember is that your medium reach contributed a lot to the sales, as I noticed on the traffic analytics. in short, there should be a preferably organic traffic source that contributes to getting sales isn’t it?
    But truly appreciate the clarity you’ve offered, and will surely use it to my advantage. and yes, you do have an awesome website here! Good job on it!

  4. Hi Victoria! This is an incredibly well-written post about Gumroad, which I am using as well to sell my products and services. By the way, the design of your website is super easy to navigate! Well done 🙂

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