Nothing is as thrilling as writing and publishing a book online. At the same time, as we know, getting your content out into the digital realm not just involves a lot of technicalities but also burns a hole in your pocket. That said, self-publishing is the best way to keep the costs low, as well as exert creative control over your content.
However, it is not as easy as it seems. First and foremost, before selecting the best self-publishing platform amongst the plethora of options available online, one must be aware of each of its features and provisions. That’s how you can get the ideal digital publishing platform that gets your work out there to your target audience without compromising the quality of the eBook.
We have narrowed down the top ten such online platforms for publishing eBooks in a hassle-free and cost-effective way. Keep reading and select the one you deem fit.
What is “self-publishing”?
Self-publishing is the process of distributing any form of writing, such as novels, articles, eBooks, short stories, prose and poetry collections, plays, comics, etc., on the digital dimension, by oneself, without the help of any publisher or publishing house. By publishing the content by yourself, you can have greater control over the creative aspects, DRM rights decisions, royalties, and so on.
This mode of publishing has always been around, but on a relatively smaller scale; this has now become a multi-billion dollar industry. Over 85% of all eBook sales are done through Amazon, one of the leading publishing platforms for authors who want to self-publish. This approach has garnered immense popularity empowering independent and aspiring authors to publish their books at a much lower cost and achieve their dreams.
What is the key difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing?
If you compare both concepts, both will likely have certain benefits. However, it is opined by several reputed authors that publishing by “self” gives them peace of mind, greater creative authority, as well as a higher royalty percentage. This higher profit margin is one of the crucial advantages of self-publishing an eBook or any other literary resource.
Lastly, a speedy publication process is another advantage that cannot be ignored.
Useful Article: Advantages eBooks have over Printed Books
Top 10 lists of the best online self-publishing platforms for eBooks
There are many options for indie authors to self-publish their content for free or for nominal pricing, way less than hiring an established publishing house. But if you are confused, have no idea where to start, or need a better idea about the features of these sites, keep reading.
We have compiled a list of handy digital platforms that any aspiring writer or author can freely access, format their eBooks and other documents, and hit the publish button. And at the same time, enjoy a chunk of royalty.
So, let’s dig in!
Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
It goes without saying that Amazon is the number one free eBook publishing platform among most indie writers. Kindle Direct Publishing, aka KDP, is the self-publishing platform of Amazon that gives the author complete digital rights and creative authority. The platform also has a major global reach.
Amazon KDP offers a royalty of 70% and accepts multiple file formats like ePUB, DOC, DOCX, MOBI, and KPF (Kindle Package Format).
Useful Read: 10 Tips to Self-Publish a Book in Amazon KDP Platform
Kobo Writing Life by Rakuten Kobo
Launched in 2009, Kobo is a Canadian digital publishing company based out of Toronto having a global reach. It is a subsidiary of Rakuten, the Japanese eCommerce giant. Kobo Writing Life is the free open-source, self-publishing platform of Kobo that is completely free to start and empowers individual authors with several provisions, one of which is promotional opportunities.
The platform offers a royalty of 70% to the self-publishers and supports PDF, ePUB, ePUB3, etc.
Nook Press by Barnes & Noble
Barnes and Noble has always been a leading name in the international book industry for several years, with a strong global reach. Their premium eBook platform Nook Press is an easy-to-use, free, and fast option for most self-publishing authors. Nook Press also offers formatting, editorial, graphic designing, promotional and marketing services for the users.
Publishers can sell directly to millions of Nook readers and enjoy royalties of 65%. Nook Press accepts documents in DOC, DOCX, TXT, ePUB, and HTML formats.
Like Kobo, Lulu Press was also launched in 2009. Ever since its inception, Lulu Press has become the go-to choice for a significant number of writers because of its free self-publishing option. The platform offers assistance and guidance to the user throughout the publishing process, in addition to designing, formatting and editing facilities.
Lulu supports formats like PDF and ePUB, gives out a whopping 90% royalty to the authors, as well as distributes to leading bookstores like Amazon, iBookstore, etc.
Google Play Books
One of the fastest and most convenient platforms to self-publish a book online is Google Play Books. It is an app installed on every single Android device and is completely free to use. Given the unbelievable reach of Google in 75+ countries with more than 2.5 billion Android users, GBP is probably the best option to take your content to the masses.
The platform gives out 70% royalty for most eBooks and supports only ePUBs and PDFs.
Besides helping authors publish their literary works, Blurb’s primary forte is offering users advanced design-related features. The site has a design software that facilitates the easy creation of beautiful graphics and cover pages for online books as well as print books. One can design magazines and photo books on the Blurb platform, as well as track the sales of eBooks.
Blurb’s distribution outreach includes the Blurb bookstore, Apple Books, Amazon, and the like, giving out 100% profits to the users. Users must upload their content documents in PDF format and graphic files in JPG and PNG formats.
The Apple Books platform for indie publishers was started back in 2010; eventually, it became the second-largest e-tailer for eBooks, marketing directly to more than 1.4 billion Mac users worldwide. Users can list their content for free and easily upload it in formats like ePUB and multi-touch eBooks developed in Apple’s powerful word processor “Pages”.
Authors can get 70% of the royalties from their published and sold books.
Primarily targeted towards selling print books online, IngramSpark is also a great platform to sell eBooks in a fast and cost-effective way. With a wide distribution range, including Booktopia, Bookmate, Apple Books, Amazon, Barns & Noble, Zola, and the like, Ingramspark is a great online tool to showcase your work to millions of people.
The platform has a 70% royalty payout and supports only PDF for document upload. It also offers marketing and designing assistance to the users.
A great online publishing platform for authors that allows the creation of interactive and immersive eBooks by integrating multimedia elements. The online tool is compatible with leading operating systems like Windows, iOS, and Android.
Another great feature that Kitaboo has is it offers in-built DRM protection to safeguard every intellectual property. Users can also track the analytics of their content’s performance.
The platform supports file formats like PDF, ePUB, ePUB3, MOBI, DOC, etc. For royalty information, one has to visit the Kitaboo official website.
One of the most preferred choices for new-age self-publishers is Draft2Digital. This intuitive platform has a super user-friendly interface, great customer support and facilitates eBook upload and publication within 24 hours.
Smashwords, a fast and user-friendly digital publishing platform is acquired by Draft2digital which has a wide range of similar audiences and 500,000+ digital content published across the globe.
The best part of Draft2Digital is that it offers UBL (Universal Book Links), which enables book authors to generate links, which makes their uploaded content discoverable. This link then goes to the end users’ or customers’ favored e-tailer. Like the other platforms mentioned in the list, Draft2Digital has a wide distribution circle encompassing Apple Books, OverDrive, Tolino, Playster, Amazon, Scribd, etc.
Supported file formats are DOC, DOCX, ePUB, OTF, RTF, etc., and users can keep up to 60% of royalties.
Which platform is the best for authors and self-publishers?
Are you weighing between which platform is the best amongst the listed options above? Let us simplify the task for you. Considering all the aspects, such as royalty percentage, audience reach, distribution, as well as user-friendliness, Amazon KDP takes the cake.
It is one of the most trusted and bona fide online publishing platforms to reach the largest eBook audience in the world. This is evident from the fact that 85% of eBook sales happen via Amazon now.
Over to you now!
There you go; a handy list of the top ten best self-publishing platforms for aspiring and independent authors. Make your pick wisely and start learning how to publish with that platform. Also, since most eReaders prefer the ePUB format, select the one that supports ePUB or ePUB3. There are several eBook conversion software available online.
In case you require any assistance in formatting your manuscript or converting it into an ePUB version, contact an experienced agency that offers professional eBook conversion services. If you have enjoyed our blog, keep coming to our blog site. In our following blog, we shall talk about the criteria to consider while selecting the best self-publishing site.