BookBaby Vs. KDP: Who Should You Publish With?

With the rate at which many authors are losing interest in publishing companies and looking for a way to become established self-publishers, it’s no wonder why so many self-publishing platforms are on the rise to help them get where they want.  

You must have heard about self-publishing and how easy they say it is. If you are looking to get a massive audience reach for your self-published book and make money while doing it, BookBaby and KDP are two book publishing service providers that should be the first on your list.

In this piece, I’ll show you what makes these two self-publishing service giants unique, and hopefully, after reading this piece, you would be able to select one of the two or both when you decide to embark on your self-publishing journey.

BookBaby

What is BookBaby, and who can use Bookbaby?

BookBaby is a self-publishing platform for authors that promises to make your dream of being a self-published author come to reality with the vast array of services they offer.

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or amateur author, photographer, or novelist; BookBaby is ready to step down or level up to your level of expertise. 


Benefits Of Using BookBaby To Self-Publish

BookBaby is has many services to make self-publishing a smooth process; whether you want to publish an eBook or a printed book, Bookbaby promises you top quality. 

Their team comprises book publishing specialists with a vast wealth of experience. These specialists are ready to walk you through the process of self-publishing, from the moment you submit your manuscript to the moment the book is launched.

Here are some of the services you can get on BookBaby:

Services 
The printed book package – Printing your book when you want (on-demand).
– Giving your book the interior design and formatting that it needs.
– Publishing your book with your designs and templates.
– Single book printing for people who only want to test the waters.
E-book only package – Layout for Apple only Books for self-publishers who need their E-books to be in a fixed-format without compromising the eBook’s quality and resolution.
– Image to eBook conversion, for people who intend on converting photographs, illustrations, artwork, graphs, tables, and charts into readily available eBooks that will be easy for the reader and accessible on their devices.
– eBook conversion to convert your typed manuscript into the perfect eBook.
– eBook cover designs: this way, your Ebook is sure to convert prospective buyers into real buyers.  

What will it cost to get your book published Using BookBaby?

For those of you who intend to publish using BookBaby, here is a guide to the price options. It is important that I mention that Bookbaby also offers you the opportunity to talk to any of their self-service agents. At any point during the publishing process, if you get stuck, their self-service agents are there to assist you. This is something Amazon does not currently offer.

The cost of getting your book published on BookBaby will depend on:

  • Whether or not the manuscript is to be printed or if it is an eBook (or both).
  • It will also depend on the book’s genre; this will enable BookBaby to determine the trim size. Some of the available genres include Religion, Children Books, Cook Books, Yearbooks, Magazines, and many more.
  • The number of books you want to publish. You can pick any number from 25-2000.
  • The page count for each book.
bookbaby book printing pricing example
Check out all BookBaby print packages and get this FREE SHIPPING offer! Free shipping on your hardcover book orders of 25-1,000. Use code FREESHIPBB at checkout.

For example, a standard 200 page, 6″ by 9″ book would cost you $3250 for 1000 copies. Not too bad if you manage to sell those at around $9.99 a piece!

Cons of using BookBaby to Self-Publish

If there ever comes a time when you need to make any changes to your book, you will be charged a fee by Bookbaby; this is because Bookbaby doesn’t allow you to make changes to your book by yourself.


KDP

KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing is the go-to service for most people choosing to self-publish. This book publishing platform from Amazon, allows you to take charge of publishing your book. And, in just a few steps and a matter of hours, anybody can get their book across to prospective readers when they use Amazon KDP.

Statistics show that Amazon KDP currently controls roughly 70%-80% of the online book publishing market. With these high statistics, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with Amazon KDP. 

It can also be free or very inexpensive when publishing with Amazon KDP, from cover design or illustration, formatting and editing to publishing itself. Check out this post to see how you can get your entire book produced for under $200!

Benefits Of Using Amazon KDP To Self-Publish

Amazon KDP have the widest distribution and reach available today. With Amazon, your book gets the marketing and outreach it deserves and honestly, that you couldn’t get anywhere else, within one service. Millions of people around the world buy their books (and everything else) from the Amazon platform. In only 2019, 83% of the books in America were published using Amazon KDP. 

Amazon KDP offers marketing tools to help you reach your target audience. Amazon KDP packs some excellent marketing tools to help you get to your audience with little effort. Some of these tools include Amazon Advertising Which allows you to advertise your book and have it displayed as a sponsored post. You can run different campaigns for the US, UK, Canada etc – wherever Amazon has a dedicated platform.

Equal Opportunities for Veterans and Amateurs

In the Kindle store, every book is displayed based on the amazon KDP algorithm. This algorithm uses information like sales, presales, and reviews to decide what books to display when customers visit the kindle store. 

Other Benefits of Amazon KDP

Some of the other benefits of using KDP include; The freedom to keep all the rights to your book, royalty rates that can go as high as 60%, and swift publishing time.


How to Publish on Amazon KDP

Here are the steps you will need to follow to be able successfully publish your book on Amazon KDP:

·      First, You will need to open an Amazon KDP account.

·      Secondly, choose a book title and a subtitle for your book

·      Next, write a book description. Your book description, together with the title and cover page are the primary factors that will contribute to attracting readers to check out your book. So the Description must be able to entice the reader.

·      Choose the right keywords that match your book.

·      Also, select the correct genre for your book; this will include the category the book belongs to and subcategories. Try to choose a subcategory that is not crowded with a lot of books.

·      The next step involves uploading your book through your amazon account and choosing a cover that sells.

·      Finally, put a price on your book. You should try to research the prices set by competition before deciding the price for your book. I advise new author to price their book a couple of dollars lower than the competition for the first few months. After the first few months they can then set the normal price.


How Payment on Amazon KDP works

Before we go on, let me reiterate that Amazon KDP does not charge you to publish your book on the KDP platform, but they will take a certain percentage of the earnings from your book, leaving you with a royalty payment/percentage. 

eBook royalties;
You can choose between the 70% royalty fee or the 35% royalty fee that will be paid to your account after 60 days of every month.

Paperback royalties;
Royalties on paperbacks are tagged at a 60% royalty rate. The printing cost and the number of pages will be multiplied to arrive at the 60% royalty rate.

Additionally, if you wish to order a batch of your own print copies you will be paying a fee per book (typically the cost of print). You can order as little as 1 book or 999 at a time.

Cons Of Using KDP To Self-Publish

Amazon offers a great service known as Kindle Direct Publishing Select, or KDP Select. KDP Select is an opportunity for exclusive publishing on Amazon and comes with many great benefits for publishers.

But do the benefits outweigh the costs? Let’s take a look at the biggest cons of KDP Select:

1. Amazon Only

You are bound to publishing only on Amazon when you sign up with KDP Select. There are a lot of people who read eBooks on other platforms, and you don’t want to give up the opportunity to sell to them. 

2. Lost Revenue on Other Websites

You know how hard it is to build a following of loyal readers. When you only build that following on Amazon, you could lose up to 50% of your income that could come from other platforms. 

3. No Subscribers

Authors can get readers to subscribe to their works through advertisements and other social media. You can’t convince nearly as many people into subscribing on KDP as you could across all platforms. 

4. Lower Royalties

KDP Select lowers the royalties you get when people borrow your book. You can make more money in the long run by publishing outright on different platforms. 

5. Ban Risk

KDP Select has a multitude of rules and regulations. If you break one of them (even by accident), your Amazon account could be banned for life. This means you will never be able to sell on the platform again. 

6. Literal Income Lost

If you do get banned, the income you make on your book is immediately lost. You don’t get to recuperate your sales when you are banned. There are some cases where Amazon accounts are banned for false reasons, and if you are able to work out a solution and get your account restored, you have to resubmit your book and then regrow your rankings and ratings. 

7. No Free Books

You can’t make any of your books permanently free on KDP Select. There may be certain times where you can offer a free promotion, but you are not allowed to set any of your books to be free forever. 

8. Too Many Authors

The pool of exclusive KDP Select authors is too large to have any kind of healthy competition with. There are currently over 1 million KDP Select authors saturating the exclusive Amazon market.

9. Other Platforms Suffer

There are many great eBook sales platforms out there. Amazon exclusivity actively hurts readers who are active on Smashwords, Ingram Spark, or even Google Play. 

10. No Big Publishers

If you are looking to become a part of the big publishing companies and you want your titles in every store, you can’t safely rely on KDP Select exclusivity. The bigger publishers are on every platform, and you should be, too. Think of yourself as a distributor, rather than a vanity author. 

11. Marketers Prefer All Platforms

eBook marketers love the opportunity to promote new and upcoming books, but they typically like to spread their marketing message across all eBook platforms. If you want to get noticed, you’ll make sure your name is everywhere. 

The Conclusion

When these two Book publishing platforms are placed side by side, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, if you have no experience in the formatting of books, I strongly recommend you go with BookBaby. As easy as it is to self-publish with Amazon getting formatting right can be a headache and there is nobody you can have a one-to-one chat with. You have to wait until your book is rejected and ask for further clarification.

There was a point where I thought my first book would never go live, and, after numerous emails and rejections I finally got the grasp of bleed, margins and what have you!

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