Long gone are the days when writers had to wait to hear from a publishing company to know whether their books would be published.
While traditional publishing still holds a high status, digital books are catching up. One of the digital publishing avenues that authors, especially new ones, are opting for is self-publishing. Here, writers choose a platform to publish their books, where the complete responsibility and authority of publishing lies with the writer. In short, authors do not have to wait for anyone’s approval to publish their works.
Types of Self-Publishers
Basically, two types of self-publishers are available in the market: retailers and aggregators. While retailers publish a book for their own retail store, aggregators distribute the e-book to different retailers. Both have specific pros and cons you should consider when choosing the right method to publish your work.
Top 10 Self Publishing Companies
With so many self-publishing services available, the choice can be overwhelming. Here we present the10 best self-publishers for the year 2020 for your consideration.
Kindle Direct Publishing (Retailer)
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is considered the leading self-publishing company. Almost 40% of the self-published books are hosted by KDP. By publishing your book with KDP, you will be able to sell it on Amazon’s Kindle app. To gain more benefits, you can also opt for the KDP Select Program, where you’ll have a 90-day connection to Amazon, which gives you access to countdown deals, giveaways, etc. that can increase your book sales. The only problem is that you cannot publish your book anywhere else during the time of the contract. However, KDP offers a royalty of 35%-70% depending on the price of the book, which is a clear advantage.
Apple Books (Retailer)
The second noteworthy self-publishing company is Apple Books. Although it does not have the reach of KDP, it is still quite important, as it gives exclusive reach to Mac users, all 100 million-plus of them in the world. One of the conditions of using Apple Books for self-publishing is that the author needs to use a Mac. In case you do not have one, you can publish your book through an aggregator like PublishDrive or Smashwords. Many authors prefer Apple Books because it is easy to format and publish your book and also because the company offers a flat 70% royalty.
Barnes & Noble Press (Retailer)
Another retailer that is quite popular in the US market is Barnes & Noble Press, formerly known as NOOK. Barnes & Noble is also a print publisher, which has forayed into the digital world. The best thing about this self-publishing company is that it is easy to upload, and it is free too. What makes it different from KDP and Apple Books is that it offers print-on-demand services, i.e., you can get your books printed if you want to. But an important thing to remember is that books published by Barnes & Noble Press can be sold only in their online and physical store locations. The royalty that authors receive can be anywhere between 40%-65%.
Kobo is a Canadian self-publishing retailer responsible for more than 25% of Canada’s eBook sales. It also operates in more than 19 other countries. Kobo is considered to be one of the best self-publishing platforms if you want to reach readers beyond the USA. Kobo has a Kobo Writing Life feature, which makes publishing a book quite easy. It comes with a sales analytics tool, which makes it possible for writers to check the sales of their books in real time. Publishing through Kobo Writing Life also gives you access to exclusive promotional offers, which may not be available to you if you publish through an aggregator. Depending on the price of your book, you will get a royalty of anywhere between 45%-75%.
When it comes to aggregators in the self-publishing world, Smashwords is the oldest and the largest eBook distributor. They help authors publish their books with almost all the major eBook retailers, including Kobo, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, Tolino, etc. However, certain drawbacks of choosing Smashwords do exist, with the most prominent one being that it is does not distribute to Amazon. Secondly, the web design is a bit complicated, and the company does not support the writer with formatting. Smashwords is a good choice for you if these issues aren’t a factor.
Although PublishDrive is relatively new to the field of self-publishing, it is considered one of the best in the field. PublishDrive is associated with all the major eBook retailers in the world, including Amazon KDP, Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, etc. Nevertheless, what really makes PublishDrive different from other aggregators is its royalty options. The standard royalty option is that the company takes a 10% cut from every sale of your book. However, if you are ready to invest in a $100 membership every month, you gain 100% of the royalties from your book. This is a great option for established authors.
An Italy-based aggregator, StreetLib has a strong hold in the European self-publishing market. However, it is not limited to Europe. In fact, they have an international reach that extends to 6 continents, including North America, South America and Asia. They have recently extended their services to 5 countries in Africa as well. This company is one that you should consider if you want to reach out to readers in Europe. While StreetLib helps you with self-publishing and distribution of your book, it takes a 10% cut from every sale of your book.
If you are new to the world of self-publishing, you can trust BookBaby completely. This aggregator is not just associated with all the major eBook retailers but also works hard to make the job of the author easier. Some of the services they offer include editing, formatting, distribution, social media promotion, etc. These paid services can be bought independently or as a package, which is quite affordable. Apart from this, BookBaby also gives the option of print-on-demand. With BookBaby, you can earn almost 85% of royalties from every sale.
Draft2Digital or D2D is one of the most preferred self-publishing channels by writers. Although this aggregator is not associated with many retailers, they distribute to all the major ones, including Amazon KDP, Apple Books, Kobo, etc. Nevertheless, what really takes the cake here is that D2D offers writers formatting services (for print and ebooks) for free. If you publish your book with Draft2Digital, you will get a Universal Book Link, which takes customers to your books on their preferred book platform or retailer. When it comes to royalties, D2D takes a 10% cut on each book sale.
IngramSpark is clearly the largest book distributor in the world. It is associated not just with eBook retailers but also with major bookstores, libraries, gift shops, universities, schools, etc. Apart from distributing your e-book to the major retailers, IngramSpark also offers premium print-on-demand services. While uploading and publishing is free on the IngramSpark app, the printing charges can be a bit expensive. However, the print quality is really worth it. When it comes to online self-publishing on IngramSpark, you can get a royalty of 40% with every book.
Each of these self-publishing companies has its advantages and disadvantages. The perfect company for you will be the one that matches your needs and requirements, budget, etc. Siliconchips Services Ltd. is a company that offers complete support to self-publishing companies with our customized, end-to-end digital publishing services.