The Top 10 Most Talked About eBook Platforms
If you’ve been debating skipping out on the eBook craze, you may want to reconsider.
While rumors have circulated that the popularity of eBooks are declining and the world is turning back to print, there’s an important factor you may want to consider as a self-published author.
Much of the decline in eBook sales has been reported from traditional publishers who tend to price them higher than some readers are willing to pay. But platforms that allow self-published authors to upload their books are thriving more than ever.
So before erasing “publishing an eBook” from your list of goals forever, consider the fact that as a self-published author you might just have a leg up in the game.
How to Choose an eBook Platform
Different eBook platforms offer slightly different services and perks, so it’s important to consider some of these details before uploading your book:
- Pricing: What percentage of the book sales will the company take? What will they charge for using their site and features?
- Usability: Some platforms offer tools like free eBook conversion from your documents.
- Exclusivity: Check to see if there are requirements that your eBook can only be featured on their site.
- Popularity: Look into sites that have a lot of buyers.
Below are some of the top-featured platforms for self-published eBooks and what makes them stand out from the crowd.
You’re probably wondering why we listed Amazon, the seeming antithesis to the indie book world, as a platform choice.
Not only is it the world’s biggest eBook publisher thanks to its 300 million readers, but Amazon is incredibly easy to use, making it especially helpful for DIY publishing and those new to selling ebooks.
Financially, the payoff for uploading your eBook on Amazon has potential as well. Kindle offers a 70% payout on books up to $9.99, and a 35% payout for prices above or below that range.
If you want the full Amazon self-publishing experience, opt in for Kindle’s KDP Selects program. KDP Select offers handy features to help optimize your book sales and profits:
- Promotional tools like rewards and offers for the purchase of your book.
- International sales expansion
- Options for higher royalties
Smashwords is the perfect one-stop shop for publishing your eBook on multiple sites.
It disperses your book to not only the Smashwords site but also to other established sites like Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, and Skribd.
Earning potential is up to 60% of sales from outside retailers, and 80% from purchases made at the Smashwords store.
Want to see what’s working? Try out their multi-platform analytics to find out where your sales are coming from and learn where to focus your promotion efforts.
Perhaps all the convenience and options are why Smashwords is the largest distributor of self-published books in the world.
3. Google Play
Like Smashwords, GooglePlay also makes sure you have the option to publish your eBook on more than one platform. Not only will it be available on all Apple and Android devices, but you can also get an international reach of over 50 countries.
The biggest perk is it’s easy-to-use, customizable interface combined with Google’s famously effective search engine. This ultimate combo makes it easier for you to stand out from the crowd, and for your audience to find you.
4. Ingram Spark
Self-published authors rejoice: Ingram Spark is designed specifically to help you succeed with their easy to use tools and access to help whenever questions pop up.
There are publishing fees to use Ingram Spark, but some services to go along with them you may find worth it, including easy file-to-eBook conversion, 24/7 customer service, opportunities to advertise your book on their site, and multi-platform publishing.
Whether you consider yourself more of a word person (duh, you’re a writer) than a visual one, or you have a knack for design and a very specific vision for your eBook layout, you might want to check out Blurb.
Blurb has all the basic eBook publishing perks like the ability to publish on multiple platforms. But what sets it apart is the ease of design for your interior layout.
Out of all the platforms listed, Lulu doesn’t short its authors on royalties. In fact, they offer about 90% per sale.
If you’re a first-time eBook publisher or would like to sharpen up your skills, try out the Lulu classic package. You’ll receive the help of a design team and other professional support.
Lulu also offers workshops to guide you along your way.
Payhip gives you a taste of both the eCommerce and eBook publishing world, as every author is able to open their own eBook store for free. Payhip even includes promotional tools like share buttons so your fans can share your book and discount options.
Payhip not only helps you attract customers, but it enables you to better retain them thanks to its unique membership program capabilities. And get this- when it’s all said and done, they only take 5% of your book sales!
Kobo Books offers publishing software that’s specifically for self-publishers called Writing Life. This program makes the process of publishing your eBook a bit easier as it guides you step by step through the publishing process.
One of their most unique tools to help self-published authors sell their eBooks is the “gift” option, where purchasers can send your eBook as a gift to their friends and help spread the word.
9. iBooks Author
iBooks makes publishing an eBook easy as pie for Apple users (actually way easier...making a pie is kinda hard). In fact, you can publish one straight from the Pages app.
If you’re writing an educational nonfiction book, you can hone in on your audience a bit more by publishing it to iTunes U, their platform specifically for academic material.
Using PublishDrive means you don’t have to bother worrying about royalties.
Thanks to their subscription pricing options, authors making over $1000 a month in sales have the option to pay a $100 a month flat rate with no additional royalties paid to PublishDrive.
You’ll also get the capabilities of dispersing your book to up to 400 stores and 240,000 other libraries.
The abundance of options for eBook publishing platforms means you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to find a platform that fits your budget and goals.
Take a moment to dig into the ones that stick out to you, weigh the pros and cons, then go forth with your decision confidently.
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