If you have been looking to self-publish your book but you’re not sure what self-publishing platforms are available or which one to focus on, then keep reading, and we’ll break it down for you!
When it comes to self-publishing your book, there’s a variety of choices and self-publishing platforms available to choose from. Self-publishing is quite intimidating for any first-time author who’s written a book and looking to take the next step.
Which self-publishing platform should you choose? Which self-publishing platform offers you the best ROI (return on investment), and which self-publishing platform is best for your book? They’re all great questions, and in the following article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best self-publishing platforms available.
If you’re looking to self-publish your book and manuscript, and you’ve already had it professionally edited and formatted, then you’re ready to start uploading and turn yourself into an author! If you need any assistance with self-publishing services, our experienced team at Author Services Australia is here to help.
Chech out this article on How Much Does Self-Publishing Cost? To learn more about the costs associated with self-publishing your book.
The Best Self-Publishing Platforms to Publish Your Book
In no particular order, here are some of the world’s best self-publishing platforms to help you get started in your career as an author.
1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
This is probably one of the most popular and also one of the biggest self-publishing platforms available. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), owned by Amazon, is one of the biggest ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook platforms in the world. It’s hard to ignore one of the biggest publishing platforms in the world. They even have a range of e-readers, which allow users to download ebooks to their devices directly.
Amazon controls almost 90% of all ebooks sold in the United States, almost 90% in the United Kingdom, and over 50% in Canada. Whatever way you look at it, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has a huge market share of ebook and paperback book sales.
One of the ways Amazon KDP attracts new authors is with its Kindle Unlimited program. You have to grant Amazon KDP exclusive rights to your digital books to Amazon Kindle for 90 days. In exchange, you can take advantage of five free days every 90 days, discount deals, price countdowns, and also a share of the Kindle Unlimited author earning fund, which gives you a certain amount of money for every page read. In exchange, anyone enrolled in Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime can read your ebook for free.
What Formats Does Amazon Accept?
Depending on the price of your book, you’ll get either 35% or 70% royalties on every sale of your ebook. For print titles, the amount you get depends on the cost of printing the book and how much you’re selling it for. Createspace used to be the paperback or POD (print on demand) arm of KDP, but now all new titles are managed through the KDP dashboard.
Most fiction ebooks on Amazon KDP are now accepted in a reflowable ePub format. However, if you’re self-publishing a children’s book, you’ll need to have it formatted in a fixed-format Mobi file. IngramSpark Publishing accepts ePubs for children’s books, but Amazon KDP hasn’t transitioned to that file format yet for its illustrated children’s books.
Paperback or ebooks will be linked together on the Amazon Marketplace platforms and available under your Amazon Author Central profile. Check the Complete Guide to Amazon Author Central For Authors to learn more about setting up your Amazon Author Central profile and why it’s so important for authors.
If you’re looking to add an audiobook or hardcover book, you’ll need to upload it on another platform and then publish it to Amazon. Once a certain amount of time has passed, the different versions of your book will be all linked together. If this doesn’t happen, you can always contact the support department and ask them to link them together for you.
2. Apple iBooks
The next self-publishing platform on our list is Apple iBooks, which is owned and operated by Apple.
Once upon a time, you needed a Mac and iTunes account to upload your ebook to iBooks or push your book to Apple iBooks via other sites such as IngramSpark Publishing or Smashwords Publishing. However, now anyone can upload and sell their books through Apple iBooks if they have the right file type. iBooks is easily the second-largest ebook retailer in the world after Amazon, thanks largely to Apple continually promoting and pushing iBooks via applications that come pre-loaded on new Apple iPhones and iPads.
iBooks has over forty different country-specific ebook stores that allow users to directly download ebooks to their iPad, iPhone, or Apple Mac computer. iBooks allows authors to set their own prices and schedule free promotions and discount offers, and you don’t have to sign any exclusive distribution rights.
Apple iBooks offer all its authors a 70% royalty.
3. Barnes & Noble Press
Barnes & Noble Press used to be known as Nook.
They offer a self-publishing platform for authors. They offer both ebook sales as well as POD options for paperbacks. Any books that are published with Barnes & Noble Press only retail through their physical stores and their online platforms.
Depending on what price you set on your book, authors can expect between 40% – 65% royalties when they publish their books via Barnes & Noble Press.
Kobo has about 2% of the ebook sales market in the top five English-speaking countries but over 25% of the market in Canada.
The great thing about Kobo is that it offers authors the opportunity to use its self-publishing platform and also distributes and sells its own range of e-readers and devices. As well as their own reading platform, Kobo has also teamed up with several high-profile book retailers around the world.
Depending on the size and price of your book, authors can expect to receive between 45% – 70% royalties on their books.
5. IngramSpark Publishing
IngramSpark Publishing is part of the Lightning Source network. Lightning Source is for book publishers only, but IngramSpark Publishing caters to all authors, including self-published Australian and New Zealand authors and writers, and offers a very comprehensive self-publishing platform. IngramSpark Publishing distributes its books to some of the world’s biggest retailers, including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.
One of the great things about IngramSpark Publishing is not only do they have hardcover options, but they also offer more trim size options than Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Hardcovers are something that Amazon KDP only offers in limited trim sizes and without the dustjacket options that IngramSpark Publishing offers through its POD options for authors. Check out What Is Print On Demand for Authors? to learn more about what Print On Demand (POD) is and how it assists self-published authors.
If you ever want to see your book in a brick-and-mortar store, the returns option on paperback and hardcover books available through IngramSpark Publishing is a great option.
While IngramSpark Publishing used to charge self-published authors a setup fee and to altar existing book listings, they recently changed their policy, and the new title setup is now free. Royalties at IngramSpark Publishing will depend on the size, quality, printing costs, and distribution rights that your book has.
6. Smashwords Publishing
For authors only interested in ebook options, Smashwords Publishing might be the best self-publishing platform for you. Smashwords distributes all their ebooks to the biggest retailers, including iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The format that’s required for Smashwords Publishing can be quite difficult to master. You also need to upload different formats for the other retailers as well.
You’ll lose 10% of all sales through Smashwords Publishing as well as 15% on books that are sold through their list of retailers.
BookBaby has a full suite of author services available, including the design and creation of your ebook, paperback, or audiobook. Along with their book services, they also have a fantastic-looking bookstore where authors can list their books for sale.
All printed books sold through the BookBaby store will generate a 50% royalty for the author. For other retailers, depending on the printing costs, size of the book, and retail price, authors can expect a royalty of between 10% and 30%.
Self-Publishing Platform Ebook Cover Size Requirements
If you plan on uploading an ebook to any of the self-publishing platforms above, then check out the cover size requirements table below for useful ebook cover information. To learn more about ebook and paperback book covers, check out The Complete Guide to Book Cover Design for Authors!
Creating your own self-publishing platforms to sell your books!
Authors also have the option of getting their books printed and creating their own platform on a website. You could do this with ebooks, paperbacks, hardcovers, and audiobooks. It’s going to take quite a lot of work, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to lose any money in royalties.
If you have any questions about the self-publishing process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
At Author Services Australia, we support Australian and New Zealand self-published authors and writers with a full range of affordable self-publishing services, including ghostwriting, copyediting, developmental editing, proofreading, ebook and paperback formatting, book cover design, manuscript uploading assistance, social media and marketing.
If you have another self-publishing platform that you believe we should add to our self-publishing platforms list, drop a comment below.
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We hope that you’ve enjoyed our post on the best self-publishing platforms. If you need any assistance throughout your self-publishing journey, then don’t hesitate to contact us at Author Services Australia.