In today’s super competitive publishing marketplace, indie or self-published authors are leading the game. As an independent author, you enjoy the distinct advantage of having total control over various aspects of your book, including content, cover design, and distribution.
But being an indie writer comes with its own share of challenges. One of them is the choice of the publishing platform or tools to begin the process.
To make things easier, we introduce you to the top 7 self-publishing companies for indie authors who are looking to publish their books and reach out to readers as quickly and easily as possible.
1. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
KDP is one of the top choices for every indie author looking to publish his/her book. Owned by Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing is a robust self-publishing platform that allows authors to directly publish their eBooks.
Such is the popularity of the platform that almost 80% of all English-language eBook sales occur via Amazon, and 42% out of those, account for self-published titles.
Other key highlights of KDP
- Competitive royalty rates of 35% for books priced under $2.99 or 70% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99
- KDP primarily uses .MOBI format for eBooks, but if you have created your eBook in Word, you can convert it to .MOBI using any of the free conversion software available in the market
- If you wish to take advantage of the full Amazon self-publishing experience, opt-in for Kindle’s KDP Selects program. It offers multiple handy features such as international sales expansion and option for higher royalties to help optimize your book sales and profits
iBooks from Apple is the second-largest eBook retailer after Amazon. An excellent publishing platform for independent authors, iBooks offers more than 40 country-specific eBook stores to give several unique benefits to authors.
To be able to publish your books directly on iBooks, you must have a Mac device, or else you will have to go through an eBook aggregator. Additionally, authors can discount books for free at any time, and there are no exclusive distribution contracts to deal with.
Other key highlights of iBooks
- Authors can price their books separately in each country based on the prices of comparable books
- The platform allows you to set prices of books in local currency
- There is no exclusive distribution contract on the platform and you can schedule free book and discount offers anytime
- The platform offers a flat 70% royalty rate to indie authors
- The site is completely free to upload and publish your book
3. Barnes & Noble Press
Barnes & Noble Press is a fast, free and easy-to-use self-publishing service that enables indie authors to publish and sell directly to readers.
The platform accounts for 3% of total eBook sales and also offers print-on-demand publishing.
Other key highlights of Barnes & Noble Press
- The platform leverages all great aspects of NOOK Press to create one unified experience and make publishing your print or eBook a seamless experience
- The platform is specifically designed to help indie authors and content creators succeed by using the resources and expertise of Barnes & Noble
- Books published with Barnes & Noble Press retail only at their physical and online bookstores
IngramSpark is a self-publishing platform established by Ingram – the world’s leading distributor of print books.
What makes IngramSpark a preferred choice for self-published authors is that the platform also distributes eBooks to all the top online retailers, including Kobo, Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.
Key highlights of IngramSpark
- The platform publishes hardcover books and also offers a premium level of printing
- Offers easy-to-use tools and access to help whenever needed
- Features such as file-to-eBook conversion, opportunities to advertise your book on-site, and multi-platform publishing
- The commission that the platform charges for sales to bookstores and online retailers are 53% and 30%, respectively. This is after deducting book production costs
One of the largest distributors of indie eBooks, Smashwords is a well-known name in the industry. The platform makes it fast and easy for authors to publish and distribute eBooks to major retailers.
In addition to this, the platform gives complete control to authors and publishers over the pricing, sampling and marketing of their written works.
Other key highlights of Smashwords
- The platform disperses your book to both Smashwords site and other established sites such as Apple Books, Barnes and Noble, and Scribd
- Smashwords offers an extensive set of eBook formatting guidelines that enable you to easily convert your books into the formats required by multiple retail partners
- Earning potential for the authors at Smashwords is up to 80% from purchases made at the Smashwords store and 60% of sales from outside retailers
Draft2Digital is an excellent platform for indie authors who are only focused on self-publishing digital books.
What makes Draft2Digital stand apart is that they provide authors with access to International Book Links. This can be a huge advantage for readers not shopping on Amazon for their favourite books.
Key highlights of Draft2digital
- Primarily an aggregator, the platform pushes your book to multiple retailers, rather than you having to upload it to different places and keep track of reports
- Offers royalty of a whopping 90% of your book’s retail price
- There are no fees for using their service on Draft2Digital
- Another significant advantage of the platform is that they format your eBook for free
Kobo is an open platform for publishing books that supports the most popular formats, including PDF and ePUB. The best part is that authors can upload their books on Kobo for free.
The platform allows readers to buy and read digital content from various sources.
Other key highlights of Kobo
- Features an easy-to-publish platform for your books called Kobo Writing Life [KWL]
- The platform also offers a detailed sales analytics tool to allow self-published authors to track their sales in real-time
- Royalty rate at Kobo is 70% on books priced more than $2.99 or 45% on books priced below $2.99
8. KITABOO Bytes
KITABOO Bytes is an e-publishing software that enables digital content creators to create and share content instantaneously. It’s the perfect platform for small publishers and individual authors to self-publish and share content with a limited audience securely.
Key highlights of KITABOO Bytes-
- Users can upload podcasts, short videos, PowerPoint Presentations and PDF files
. Bytes has an easy-to-use and responsive interface
- Offers DRM security with AES 128 bit content encryption
- The platform features an analytics tool that helps in tracking user engagement and analyzing content consumption patterns
- Enables content delivery on mobiles, tablets and desktops
In a nutshell
When it comes to eBook publishing platforms, there is no dearth of options that indie authors can look at. Irrespective of what your budget and goals are, you are guaranteed to find a platform that fits your specific requirements. All you need to do is research thoroughly, consider all the features, weigh the advantages and disadvantages, then proceed with the option that you feel most confident about.