From e-books to print ones and everything in between, the process of selecting a distribution platform for your carefully crafted new creation can be a lengthy one. Luckily, new authors are certainly not short on options – with countless of them now available in today’s market.
As a self-publishing company, we’ve made the rounds (about a hundred times!) of them all and have come up with our top selections. Beyond making your book available to the masses, many of them also conveniently offer a variety of incredibly useful resources to those finding themselves going through the publishing process for the first (or subsequent) time.
Feel free to browse through our picks and visit their sites to determine which one is right for your final product and your goals.
Kindle Direct Publishing
Owned by Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to have your e-books reach a potential audience of millions of Kindle readers. Publishing takes less than five minutes and your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24 to 48 hours. You really can’t have the process done much quicker than that! Additionally, authors are able to earn up to 70% on royalty sales to customers in a selection of countries including the US, Canada, Germany, India, France, Spain, Japan and more.
You can also enroll your book in KDP Select, which enables it to earn even more by becoming part of Kindle Unlimited – a subscription program that lets readers peruse as many books as they’d like. With Kindle Direct Publishing, authors can keep control of their rights, set their own list prices and make changes to their books at any time.
Smashwords is routinely recognized as the world’s largest distributor of indie e-books. They make it fast, free and easy for authors around the globe to publish and distribute their e-books to major retailers. As an added benefit, they provide helpful resources for authors to learn how to market and distribute their books, along with how to become familiar with metadata management and sales reporting. Authors and publishers will have complete control over the sampling, pricing and marketing of their written works. With over 100,000 authors having published approximately 350,000 e-books on the platform to date, it’s safe to say that it delivers on its promises.
Draft2Digital is particularly interesting in that it provides a self-publishing and distribution platform to authors while simultaneously offering services such as formatting. If you’re struggling with formatting your manuscript but don’t have much of a budget to do so professionally, send it over to these guys. They’ll help you convert your Word document into an e-book with clean chapter breaks, a functioning table of contents and optional end matter to help authors generate more sales. Draft2Digital doesn’t charge upfront for these services, but keeps 10% of the retail price of your book once you sell it. Their goal is to help authors sell, and they certainly offer a great variety of resources to fulfil that objective.
Also owned by Amazon, Createspace is Kindle Direct Publishing’s counterpart – for printed books. Authors can use the platform to handle their publishing process from start to finish, and often for free. With several no-fee tools such as a cover creator, a book preview aggregator that helps generate customized feedback and the power to share your book with a select audience and make changes to it based on what they say, Createspace provides first time (or seasoned) authors with incredibly useful resources. Consider opting for the Interior Reviewer to make sure that any problems with your manuscript’s format and images are addressed prior to the book going to print. Similarly to the services offered at Happy Self Publishing, Createspace also offers a selection of paid products including a design, editing and marketing package, or all three combined into one.
Ingram Spark truly offers a dizzying variety of options to authors hoping to publish their print books. From more book types and formatting options than you can shake a stick at (hardback, paperback, magazines, etc), authors can select their ideal number of books with the print-on-demand option, print in premium colour or in crisp black and white and access print markets across the world with Ingram Spark’s partnerships. Get your book into the hands of potentially over 7 billion readers worldwide by connecting to more than 39,000 retailers and libraries globally. In addition, Ingram Spark offers convenient in-house channels for you to connect with more retailers to promote your book. Feature your title in one of its family of Advance catalogs or advertise in E-Central, a monthly newsletter reaching over 100 retailers.
Since 2002, Lulu has empowered creators in more than 225 countries worldwide to produce almost two million publications. Available in six languages including English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch, it allows users to self-publish both printed books and e-books, but we’re here to highlight how awesome its print options are in particular. From soft cover to hard cover, color prints to black and white and an incredibly diverse selection of printing formats, Lulu’s platform allows authors and creators to produce everything from novels to photo books and calendars. Be sure not to miss its valuable Learning Resources centre, which conveniently guides new authors through the publishing process from start to finish.
While we’ve highlighted helpful platforms to get your e-book and print book self-publishing process off to a start, what about audiobooks? If you’re planning to create one but are unsure of where to start, bring your story to life with our audiobook services. Additionally, head over to our blog post that breaks down how audiobook narration works and what the format is really all about.
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have about book distribution! Don’t hesitate to get in touch by posting in the comments section or via Facebook and Twitter.
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