Choosing an Ebook Distributor


May 29, 2020

If you are not planning to be exclusive to Amazon, you’ll have several choices on where to publish your work in e-book format. You can either upload directly to the book distributors or go through a third-party aggregator. Other blogs compare these choices more thoroughly, so consider this an overview. This post will help you decide where to upload your self-published book.

Going Direct 

Publish your book directly to these distributors for maximum royalties and promotional benefits that may not be available otherwise. It really isn’t hard and you’ll like getting monthly royalties from these vendors once you learn the ropes.

Amazon Kindle –Since the majority of e-book sales are through Amazon, it’s best to go direct through KDP. If you go exclusive in Kindle Select, you can take advantage of certain promotional opportunities such as Kindle Unlimited and sales options.

BN Nook– You can schedule price promotions in advance.

Kobo – Ask to activate the Promotions tab to participate in special deals. You can opt-in for Overdrive and get a royalty 50% of library list price. Kobo Plus is a subscription service.

Apple Books – Apple has a new platform for authors, making it easy to upload your books directly without owning an Apple device. Fill out the four steps at the Publishing Portal – Upload your  ePub file & book cover; Add Title, Author & Description; Set Categories; Enter publisher & ISBN info. If this doesn’t work, if you only have a Word document, or if you need further instructions, see my advice here: https://nancyjcohen.com/publishing-direct-to-apple/

Google Play – They can discount your books at any time. This becomes an issue if Amazon does a price match. The solution? Raise your prices for this vendor.

Third-Party Aggregators

You can avoid all the angst and publish your book through a third-party aggregator that has multiple publishing partners.

Draft2Digital

  • Takes 10% cut of retail price.
  • You can set preorders at one site. Also handy for revised files.
  • Note you make a higher royalty (59.5%) going through D2D than going direct to Kobo (35%) with a book priced less than $2.99.
  • Payments are once a month direct to bank account.
  • Easy to upload files for free file conversion into mobi, ePub, pdf files
  • Author profile page and book tabs and Custom Book Carousels
  • Audiobook Production/Distribution via Findaway Voices
  • Universal Book Links via https://www.books2read.com/
  • Easy user interface and responsive customer service
  • New release notifications
  • Schedule sales ahead of time

Smashwords

  • Readers can buy direct from the SW Store.
  • Special copyright page wording is required. Approval for premium catalog needed.
  • SW’s royalty rate varies. Monthly payments via PayPal.
  • Set preorders in advance
  • Exclusive Promotions, Discount Coupons, New Release Alerts, Series Listings
  • Discount coupons on SW do not impact your retail prices at other stores.
  • Free ISBNs for use on SW sites
  • Author profile page and Author interview

PublishDrive

  • Takes 10% cut of retail price
  • Publishes to Google Play among numerous other sites.
  • Price Promotions in a few easy steps
  • You can add POD and audiobook formats to your distribution

IngramSpark

  • IS charges fees for uploads and revisions. Discount coupons may be available.
    Distribution includes 60+ e-book retailers.
    Royalties on e-books are 40% compared to 70% going direct to Amazon through KDP (depending on book price). However, KDP only allows you to reach Amazon customers.

You can also upload your books directly to some of the vendors above and use a third-party aggregator for the rest. One of the biggest advantages of the third-party aggregators is that they can reach the library market. Check out their partners and then make your own choice on which one you favor.

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Disclaimer – This advice is based on my interpretation. Please visit each site to check for updates and to make your own evaluation.

Coming Next – Print Distributors

By the way, did you know the first four books in my Bad Hair Day Mysteries are available in Audiobook format? These stories are “funny, light, full of surprises and twists.” Go Here to learn more and listen to samples.




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