Platforms, fees and royalties
The growing demand and rise in popularity of Amazon KDP for self-publishing ebooks have led to an increase in the number of people becoming self-published authors. Consequently, the number of eBook publishing platforms has drastically risen to meet this demand.
Nobody likes the idea of putting all of their eggs in one basket and many people are looking for alternatives to Amazon KDP. This can be a daunting task for authors and publishers trying to choose the best one(s).
Although KDP is my personal preference, all of the platforms provide space to publish and sell your eBook. However, they offer diverse extra services and work slightly differently from each other. In this article, I will discuss the ten best self-publishing platforms for your consideration.
One of the best self-publishing platforms for eBooks is KDP. Kindle Direct Publishing is a massive company Owned by Amazon. It publishes and retails eBooks that enables you to reach many readers worldwide.
Readers can access the eBook by installing the kindle app or through kindle devices.
If you want to sell your book in a print version directly from the platform, you will need to enable paperbacks as you upload your book files. KDP offers authors royalties of 35% for books with prices of less than $2.99 and 70% for books with prices ranging from $2.99 to $9.99.
To learn more about publishing on Amazon KDP and winning check my other post:
#2. Apple Books
Formerly known as iBook’s, this eBook retailer rank second after Amazon. Using Apple's book, you upload and publish your book straight to the apple store for free using a Mac Computer. But if you don't have one, you will have to use an aggregator such as Publish Drive or Smashwords.
It uses the ePub format, and readers can read the eBooks via the Apple Book app.
Apple Books pays a royalty rate of 70%.
#3. Kobo writing life
Rakuten's Kobo Writing Life is another excellent self-publishing eBook platform you can consider. It is Canadian based, founded in 2009. It is not exclusive; therefore, you can still sell your eBook on other sites even after enrolling with kobo. Its marketing power in eBook sales accounts for about 25% of sales in Canada and 2% in the top five English language markets. Kobo supports popular formats that include PDF, EPUB, and EPUB3. These formats enable readers to buy and read the eBooks through an e-reading device or other devices installed with their app. Kobo offers different royalty rates, depending on the price of either 45% or 70%.
#4. Barnes and Noble (B&N) Press
Barnes and Noble is another leading eBook retailer. It accounts for about 3% of total eBook sales in the US.
The process of uploading a book on Barnes and Noble's self-publishing platform is straightforward and free. It takes about 5 minutes to upload, and within 72hours, it will be ready for sale.
With this platform, you can price your book for free, and it does not offer exclusivity requirements.
B&N Press also provides a print on demand service that allows a reader who needs a book's physical copy to purchase it through their website.
The royalty rates range from 40% to 60%, depending on the price of the book.
Another outstanding choice for authors or publishers who need to publish, sell, and distribute their eBooks to leading retailers is Smashwords.
You only need to sign up for free, and will be ready to publish your book.
Smashwords offer comprehensively clear and easy-to-follow guidelines, enabling the author to start posting like a pro.
It provides free distribution, sales reporting, and marketing tools.
With Smashwords, authors and publishers have absolute control over marketing sampling and pricing of their books.
Readers can read most of the eBooks in Smashwords on any e-reading device.
It offers a royalty rate of 85% from the eBook’s sales after taking out the retailer's cost.
This is another ideal self-publishing platform where you can publish your eBook at no cost. BookRix distributes your eBook to the most popular online stores such as Apple iBook, Amazon, among others. This self-publishing platform allows you to create an author profile and market your eBook to the potential customers in the BookRix community, which comprises more than 500,000 authors and readers. BookRix offers loyalty payments to the authors and publishers 70% of the total eBook sales.
This is a free self-publishing site that is a relatively new aggregator. Although it does not distribute eBooks to many eBook sites, it does to the leading eBook retailers such as Kobo, Amazon, Barnes, and Noble. One of the excellent services of Draft2Digital is that they offer a free automated formatting service that converts your simple work document into an elegant and professional eBook and prints. Although Draft2Digital does not charge for updating or formatting your book, the company takes 10% of the retail price of the book sold.
BookBaby is another self-publishing platform that retails eBooks in its Bookshop as well as distributing to other retailers. It has an easy-to-use interface with clear guidelines making it the best for new authors. It also offers services such as marketing, editing as well as interior and cover design. The services can be bought as a package or individually. The platform also has print-on-demand services and can print up to 25 copies, which generates about 10%-30% royalties. Bookshop sales earn 85% royalties
Lulu is an upcoming eBook aggregator platform that distributes all the published eBook to the most popular eBook retailers like Amazon. It provides marketing services, including publicity and website set-up, at an extra cost. However, it does not help to format your book. This is the right choice if you are good at formatting because your text will be accepted after being tested with their Quality Assurance test. Lulu offers 75% royalties for all books sold from lulu bookstores and 40-50% from retailers.
One of the oldest and largest self-publishing companies in the US is Ingram Book Company connected to libraries, bookstores, and online stores in more than 150 countries. It also publishes and distributes eBooks to all major eBook retailers. On top of publishing and distribution services, Ingram Spark offers premium level printing and publication of hardcover books. The platform charges a set-up fee of $49 and a yearly fee of $12. It also demands a 30% commission for sale on online retailers and 53% to bookstores.
The above are the ten best self-publishing platforms in the market. Using any of the platforms will make your eBook visible on the broader market. It is very important to choose the platform, offering the best and most convenient services right for you to help boost your sales and income.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from getting your book up on multiple of these platforms to increase your reach. But, be sure to take the necessary precautions with regards to protecting yourself. You might want to read my post on piracy and copyright, just click this sentence to learn about how to best protect your hard work and intellectual property.