While Amazon is definitely the most popular self-publishing platform currently on the market, there are some other options that you should be aware of as well. If you’re early in the stage of publishing a book, you might want to check out some guides on how to outline a novel. Many people choose to publish strictly with Amazon because they are able to enroll their books in KDP Select which allows them to offer their books through the Kindle Unlimited program as well as use the promotional tools that Amazon provides to offer free or discounted books 4 times a year. However, the benefits of going with some of the other publishing platforms may outweigh the benefits of KDP select. Let’s take a look.
Nook Publishing is the Barnes & Noble solution to the Amazon KDP. It is gone through several name changes including Barnes & Noble press, but the service is stayed pretty much the same. There are some benefits to going with Barnes & Noble in addition to or in place of Amazon. However, since Barnes & Noble has no requirement to only publish through them it is a good idea to go with as many as possible. Most authors say they make more money with Barnes & Noble, have more data to analyze and in general like the platform better.
Kobo Writing Life is a small publishing company that has grown considerably over the past two years. However it still does not compete with Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Most people only make nominal sales but it does have a better international reach than some of the other services out there and they are truly a pleasure to work with. If you are not using KDP select, then you should definitely add your books to Kobo.
Apple is the publishing company that helps you to place your books onto iTunes and be made available for Apple products. Like Kobo, you probably won’t get a whole bunch of sales through Apple most of the time, but there is almost no way to reach people who use visual use Apple products unless you publish your books through this platform. Like the rest of these platforms, it costs nothing to publish your book, and the royalties model is set up pretty much the same as Amazon’s.
There is one thing that you should understand about these final two platforms: Draft2Digital and Smashwords are very similar platforms. Let’s go over a quick summary of each one so that you can see the differences. The first thing to know is that these do not just publish your books on their site. They actually distribute them across a wide variety of sources. There is no upfront cost, and Draft2Digital send your book out to about nine different distributors. They also have some great extras like universal book links in a preorder set up with most vendors.
Smashwords may be the most well-rounded platform out there when it comes to indie publishing. They don’t have an upfront cost either, and they send your book out to nearly twice as many book distributors as D2D. their extras include royalties with the distributors and coupon generators.