Frequently Asked Questions


What is NoiseTrade Books?

NoiseTrade Books is a platform designed to help authors & publishers build their audiences by distributing free eBooks & audiobooks in exchange for reader data (email & postal code).

How did NoiseTrade Books start?

In 2006 one of our founders, singer/songwriter Derek Webb gave away one of his albums for free online, asking in return for a little information (name, email address, and postal code). In three month's time Webb gave away over 80,000 full downloads of his album and collected valuable information for as many new fans. As a direct result, Derek saw many sold out shows, increased merchandise and album sales, including a curious spike in sales of the very album that was given for free.

It was the massive success of this experiment that inspired Webb, with the help of a few trusted friends, to start NoiseTrade. Since its launch in 2008, NoiseTrade has seen incredible growth as a marketing and distribution platform for music, adding NoiseTrade Books in early 2014.

How does NoiseTrade Books work?

Authors sign up for free, then upload their eBooks or audiobooks. They can then promote their giveaway on NoiseTrade or embed a custom widget on their own website or blog. Readers can download the eBook or audiobook for free and leave a tip for any amount, as well as tell friends on Facebook, Twitter or email. Readers can also copy the widget’s code and add it to their own website or blog.

What does NoiseTrade Books do for authors and publishers?

NoiseTrade helps authors in a variety of ways. In the short term, you’re able to simply and freely distribute eBooks and audiobooks online, and enable your readers to virally promote it. You also capture reader information (email, country, postal code) and make money from reader’s tips.

This leads to the long term benefit. By making meaningful connections with your readers, you’ll be able to promote additional eBooks, print books and other products. For instance, collect blog entries into a short book and give it away to gather information for your readers, or give away your last book as a lead generator to promote and sell a new release. Knowing your readers’ postal codes means knowing where they live, and inviting those local readers to book signings & readings, or conferences. The more you know about your readers the easier it becomes to make your living.

What does NoiseTrade Books do for readers?

NoiseTrade Books provides an alternative for people who love free eBooks and audiobooks to download great content and directly support the authors. As the reader, you can choose to help in a few ways. You can tip the author, share eBooks & audiobooks on Facebook or Twitter, and email your friends. And you can embed NoiseTrade Books widgets anywhere you are online.

What is a widget?

A widget is a simple, fully functional web application that is framed into a small box. NoiseTrade Books' widgets are a great connection point for authors and readers. They are amazingly functional yet easily portable. You can embed a NoiseTrade Books widget anywhere online that accepts HTML, including websites, blogs, and some social networking sites.

Can anyone sign up at NoiseTrade?

If you are an independent writer, author, or publisher and have any eBooks or recorded audiobooks (that you have the rights to distribute), you can sign-up at NoiseTrade Books and create an free account. Simply click on 'Author Sign-up/Login' on the top right of the front page at

Does NoiseTrade Books have a legal statement that I can read?

You can read NoiseTrade Books' legal statements here or by clicking 'Legal' at the bottom of any page. If you have any additional questions you can always get in touch with our Support team.

Authors & Publishers

Why would I give eBooks and audiobooks away for free?

In the ever-changing publishing industry, everyone is trying to figure out how to make meaningful connections with readers. Clearly there are more readers for eBooks & audiobooks now than any other time in history. But most authors and publishers can't find them because they're a new kind of readers.

So this is the moment to go directly to these readers with a new approach. Rather than over-charging for eBooks & audiobooks, give it to them for free. You'll be surprised how generous people can be when you don't require them to be, especially when they have already been given something of value. Rather than punishing readers for sharing eBooks & audiobooks with their friends, reward them for it. At NoiseTrade Books, we believe it's time to stop applying the old rules to a new model. If authors and readers can work together, they'll find that they can all get what they want. This is the core belief that drives NoiseTrade.

How do I get started?

It's easy. Just click 'Author Sign-up/Login' on the front page of We'll walk you through from there.

How do I make money giving eBooks & audiobooks away for free?

In the short term, you make money as readers choose to tip you for your free content. And we are proud to say that you keep 80% of that money. This is much higher than any current industry standard. In addition, there is a small credit card fee ($0.30 and 5% of the 'tip jar' per transaction) that is deducted from the author's percentage, which covers any domestic or international transaction fees. As credit card fees are constantly in flux, these percentages are evaluated semi-annually.

In the long term, you get data (email & postal codes) for every download, which you can then use to promote your other paid content, readings, etc.

How do I get paid from readers tipping me?

When you sign up at NoiseTrade Books you will be asked to enter your PayPal account email, which is the email address that you have set up to receive PayPal payments. This enables NoiseTrade Books to transfer the money that has been generated by your content directly into your account.

What is PayPal? What if I don't have a PayPal account?

PayPal is a highly secure transaction platform. It is an internet standard for security and ease of use. If you don't have a Paypal account, go to and sign up for free.

Why does NoiseTrade Books ask for my phone number when signing-up?

For security reasons, we want to have at least a few ways to get in touch with you should we need to. Also, if there were any problems with your account we would want to make sure we could reach you by phone, if not by email.

How often do I get paid?

Once per month, by the 15th day of the following month.

I started the sign-up process but didn't finish. Do I need to start over from scratch?

No. As soon as you complete the first page of the sign-up process you will receive a welcome email from NoiseTrade Books. This email will include your author login information. Simply login by clicking 'Author Login,' where you can upload your eBooks and audiobooks at any time. From there, when you login you will be able to manage your account information, update your content, view/download the reader information that you’re collecting, and automatically embed your custom widget anywhere online.

Does NoiseTrade Books cost money?

NoiseTrade Books is free. We cover our operating costs (development, bandwidth, support, etc.) by keeping 20% of the tips you collect.

What if I can't find the genre/sub-genre that I'm looking for when categorizing my content during sign-up?

Drop us a line via the 'Support' link below and we'll try and add any genre that we have overlooked. As NoiseTrade Books grows we’ll add various genres.

When I add an eBook or audiobook, how long before my content is active?

Ebooks normally become available on NoiseTrade instantly. Depending on the amount of content you've uploaded and the speed of your internet connection, audiobooks could take up to 30-60 minutes to publish.

What if I misspelled my author name or chosen NoiseTrade URL during the sign-up process?

If you need to make spelling corrections to your author name after you've signed-up, just click on 'Support' below and let us know.

What types of file formats does NoiseTrade Books accept?

You can upload MOBI, EPUB and PDF formatted eBooks. We encourage you to upload all three if at all possible in order to make your book available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, etc. All audiobooks should be uploaded as 64kbps MP3s.

I don’t have correctly formatted eBook files yet. How can I use NoiseTrade Books?

No problem. We recommend that you reach out to Bookbaby, Smashwords, Lulu or other eBook services to help you generate these files. Their pricing and terms are available on their respective websites. Adobe PDF files should be relatively simple to generate through many standard desktop applications such as Microsoft Word, Apple’s Pages, Adobe InDesign, etc. However, we recommend that you get help from experienced designers and layout artists to make the eBook the highest quality possible.

What if I only want to give away eBooks or audiobooks for a limited time?

Since you can adjust your content any time, you can certainly impose any time limit you wish on a particular eBook or audiobook. Just login to your account, visit the “Books” tab, and choose “Make Inactive.”

What if I don't own the rights to my eBook or audiobook, can I still upload it?

Yes, but it is your responsibility to obtain the proper permission from the owner or publisher of your work. Please read our Terms & Conditions and NoiseTrade Books' Author Agreement for more information.

What quality should my eBook/audiobook cover be?

Please upload a 360 pixel wide RGB jpeg for your cover, but ideally upload a high resolution image of about 1000-1500 pixels wide.

What if I don't have cover artwork for my eBooks or audiobooks?

A great cover is important for any book, especially on NoiseTrade. If you don't have a book cover, consider uploading a photo or something representative of you or your content. It might be worth having a friend help you create something that could be used as a custom book cover for the content you upload to NoiseTrade Books.

I'm new to HTML. Can you help me embed my widget?

Absolutely. Just visit the book page for the eBook or audiobook you wish to embed and click “Embed this book.”

My widget will not show correctly on my Wordpress website. Can I fix it?

You will need to use the Raw HTML plugin. The NoiseTrade widget should be placed between the [raw] [/raw] tags in the Wordpress post or page.

When I try to login it asks me for a username and password. What is my username and password?

Your username is the email address that you entered when you signed up with NoiseTrade Books. Your password is whatever you chose during this same sign-up process. Your username and password were also sent to you in the email you received after signing up. If you don't have that email and can't remember your password, please go through the login process and click 'Forget Your Password?' to have your password reset and sent to your email address on file.

Can I update my page with new or different eBooks and audiobooks?

Yes. You can change or add content as often as you'd like, including the ability to add as many eBooks and audiobooks as you’d like. Anytime you update existing content, all embedded widgets automatically update with the new content.

How do I keep track of my account?

You can login anytime by clicking 'Author Sign-up/Login'. There you'll have the ability to manage your account information, update the your content, view/download your results, and automatically embed your custom widget.

How do I get the contact information gathered from readers downloading my eBooks & audiobooks?

After clicking 'Author Sign-up/Login' and logging in, just click on 'Reader Data' to view live updating information about your total eBooks & audiobooks downloaded and money earned from readers’ tips, both in total and broken down by month. You can also view all of the markets where you have had more than 10 downloads of your content on your custom heat map.

This will also be where you can download a spreadsheet with all of the information gathered from readers who have downloaded your content. You can then view and filter this information to learn more about your readers. This information can also be imported into most web-based email services or email software programs for email list management.

What can I do with readers' information?

Once a reader gives you their information in exchange for your content you may use it to contact them about upcoming book releases, reading/signing tours, speaking engagements or other events. However, we ask you to respect your readers enough to remove them from your email list if they request a removal. The information is yours, but we ask you to use it responsibly (approximately one email a month is typically appropriate).

Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and NoiseTrade Books' Author Agreement for more information.

I want to put my new email list to good use. Can you recommend any web-based email services?

We wholeheartedly recommend the good folks at Emma ( for all of your web-based email list management needs. Other options include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, iContact and AWeber.

If I'm giving away my content on NoiseTrade Books, should I even bother setting up digital distribution through various stores, like Amazon and Apple’s iBookstore?

You absolutely should. While NoiseTrade Books is an innovative platform for eBook & audiobook marketing and distribution, it is primarily a tool to help you make more meaningful connections with your readers. You should ensure that your readers can find your content wherever they go looking for it.

I have a contract with a publisher. Can I still use NoiseTrade Books?

Yes. However, you'll want to tell your publisher about NoiseTrade Books and let them sign you up. All copyright clearances will need to be handled by your publisher. You also might consider collecting a series of blogs entries to which you own the rights into an eBook, and uploading that content to NoiseTrade.

If I'm a publisher, can I manage multiple authors on NoiseTrade Books?

Yes, you can sign up as a publisher -- which allows you to manage multiple authors under one login. Once you create a publisher account, you are also able to merge existing author accounts under your account.

Someone is impersonating me and has uploaded my eBooks or audiobooks to NoiseTrade Books. What do I do?

Contact us immediately via the 'Support' link below or email us at to resolve any disputes. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more information.

What rights does NoiseTrade Books have in relation to my content?

NoiseTrade Books only has the non-exclusive right to distribute your content. You can revoke that right from NoiseTrade Books at any time by canceling your account. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and NoiseTrade Books' Author Agreement for more information.

What if I want to stop using NoiseTrade Books?

You can cancel your NoiseTrade Books account at any time. However, you may also choose to simply make your account “inactive” then turn it back on whenever you're ready. Your username and password will remain the same during this time, and we will hold on to both your account’s content and the reader information that you've collected. Once you reactivate your account, all of your embedded widgets will automatically begin working again and your account will be accessible for updating by clicking 'Author Sign-up/Login' and logging in.


Is my credit card information safe with NoiseTrade Books?

Yes. NoiseTrade Books does not store or even see your credit card information. We use Authorize.NET for our credit card transactions. Since 1996, Authorize.NET has been a leader in secure and reliable online payment transactions. For more information, please visit

Are there restrictions on the eBooks & audiobooks I download from NoiseTrade Books?

Absolutely not. There is no DRM (digital rights management) on any NoiseTrade Books content, which means your are free to put it on your computer, your eBook reader, or any other device that is MOBI, EPUB or PDF compatible. However, the author's content that you have downloaded through NoiseTrade Books is intended for your own personal use. So rather than giving copies to your friends, help support the author by promoting their free content to your friends on social networks, encouraging them to download their own copy. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more information.

What happens to the info I enter for free content at NoiseTrade Books?

If you download an author’s content on NoiseTrade Books, your information goes through NoiseTrade Books to that author. That way, they can let you know when they have new content coming out or when they will be in your area. You can always request to be unsubscribed from the author's list by contacting that author directly. You can unsubscribe from NoiseTrade Books' email list by clicking on "opt out" at the bottom of any of our email newsletters.

I did everything required and still haven't received my download code. What do I do?

If you went through the process on a book page and didn't receive an email with your download code, check that your email application didn't mark and file your NoiseTrade Books email as spam. You may want to add "" to your contacts list so emails from us don't get caught in your spam folder.

If none of this works, please go back to the book page and try again.

While I was downloading an eBook or audiobook from NoiseTrade Books my download was interrupted. What do I do?

Just go back to the email that you received from NoiseTrade Books with your download code and click the download link again. This link will work for 5 days during which you can download your content. If you're having problems beyond this, please drop us a line via the 'Support' link below.