Contributing Author: Writer99025
It’s 2019 and self-publishing still remains one of the best ways to make money online. But it’s more than just about making money.
Self-publishing is a great way to grow your audience, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and market your small business. The question is which are the best platforms to publish with?
Everyone knows about Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). While Amazon dominates the self-publishing market like a colossus, it would be a mistake to ignore other platforms.
As an author, you can do with all the exposure you can get and there is every chance that you will find your target readers on a platform outside of the Amazon ecosystem.
Keeping this in mind, here’s a look at five platforms for self-publishers.
#1: Amazon’s KDP
Any serious self-publisher has to be on Amazon, that’s where most of your sales are going to come from. Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) accounts for 80 percent of the eBooks sold in English-speaking countries.
Amazon is one of the most popular websites in the world, so you’re guaranteed to get a lot of attention – depending on how good your books are.
You will make good money too – Amazon pays out a 70 percent royalty to authors on all Kindle eBooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99. For eBooks priced at under $2.99 and over $9.99, the royalty is 35 percent.
There’s good money to be made from the KDP Select program as well, where you can sign up for a 90-day exclusive distribution deal with Amazon.
Your books will then be made available to readers for free under the Kindle Unlimited service, which is sort of like a digital library. You will get paid a nice royalty for each book borrowed.
#2: Barnes & Noble Press
Barnes & Noble Press is a self-publishing portal from Barnes & Noble, one of the world’s biggest book retailers. This platform accounts for 3 percent of eBook sales across the world and is quite popular in the US – not so much in other countries.
Royalty rates are pretty good, ranging from 40% to 65% of the price of the book. However, there’s a drawback - Barnes & Noble Press expects authors to publish books exclusively on their platform and nowhere else.
iBooks is Apple’s answer to Amazon’s KDP. iBooks accounts for 10 percent of eBook sales across the top 5 English-speaking countries – which makes it the biggest eBook seller after Amazon.
iBooks allows authors to price their books differently in different countries and gives them a lot of flexibility on pricing and discount offers. The royalty rate is pretty good: 70 percent on all books sold on their platform. However, to self-publish on iBooks, you will need to have a Mac device.
Smashwords is one of the oldest self-publishing platforms and has been around since 2008. It is an eBook aggregator site, which allows you to distribute your books at other eBook retailers such as Barnes & Noble Press, Baker and Taylor.
Smashwords enjoys an excellent reputation in the indie publishing world. They charge a commission of 15% on every book sold through them – after taking out the retailer’s costs.
If you want to sell your eBooks to a Canadian audience, you got to be on Kobo, one of the most popular self-publishing platforms in Canada. Kobo accounts for 25 percent of eBook sales there and about 2 percent across the top-5 English speaking countries.
Kobo is similar to KDP in a lot of ways. It even has a specialized eBook reading device, much like Kindle. The royalty rates on this platform range from 45 percent to 70 percent, depending on the price of the book. What’s more, Kobo has an exclusive partnership with the American Booksellers Association.