Amazon KDP is the most popular eBook platform, especially for self-publishing authors. About 80% of the world eBook sales go through Amazon. Yet they are not the only online book publishing company. There are many reasons why some author look for alternative platforms to sell their eBooks and hard copies. Are you a blogger looking for eBook publishing platforms to help you sell directly from your blog or are you a self-publishing author? You will learn the best online book publishing platforms that suit your need in this article.
Amazon KDP pays authors 70% royalty for ebooks whose prices go between $2.99 to $9.99. But if you price your eBook below $2.99 and above $9.99, you will receive 35% royalty. For paperbacks (hard copy), authors receive 60% after printing cost has been deducted. Also authors pay about 0% to 30% of their net earning as tax, depending on the country where your business is located. But most non-US citizens who sell through Amazon pay 30% of their monthly royalties as tax. So what this means is that you pay 2 taxes; one on amazon and then the other in your country.
Also if you enroll your eBook to KDP Select, the content of that book must not be found free or paid in any other platform apart from Kindle. Not withstanding all these conditions, authors who publish through Amazon KDP make a lot of money because their books sell more. But if you cannot withstand all these conditions on Amazon KDP, then check out these alternative self-publishing platforms below. Do you still want to publish on Amazon KDP? Microsoft Tutor wrote a Step by Step Guide to Self-Publishing on Amazon KDP. You can easily publish both the eBook and paperback version of your book on Amazon without paying any fee. They give you a free ISBN, unless you have on for your book already.
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How to Know the Best Self-Publishing Platform for You
According to an article on Shout Me Loud, there are 3 categories of Online eBook Publishing Platforms.
- Those who sell direct to popular eBook retailers like Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.
- Aggregators who distribute to both large ebook retailers and other book libraries. You just need to upload the eBook on their platform, then they do the rest. But their service cost is higher, thus lower, royalty.
- Smaller platforms like Selz and Gumroad that give you more flexibility. For example, they allow you to sell directly from your blog or social media page.
No matter the type of book you write, one of these categories of book publishing companies must suit your need.
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Best eBook Publishing Platform Alternatives to Amazon KDP
Even though this platform has only about 2% of eBook market worldwide, there are other benefits you enjoy. They serve as book publishers and online retailers worldwide. You receive 70% royalty if your book price falls between $1.99 to $12.99. You receive 45% as royalty for any other book price range. Also, when you publish with Kobo, your book will be available in about 190 countries. They have more reach in Asia and beyond than in US and UK. Kobo also covers about 25% of Canadian book market. They also support audiobooks.
After Amazon, Apple iBook takes the second position in the eBook market worldwide. They account for about 10% eBook sales worldwide. They offer a flat royalty rate of 70%. But before you can publish on iBook you must be a Mac user. Then if you must publish from Windows PC, you must have software tools that allow you run Mac programs on Windows PC. Another alternative is to go through an aggregator like Smashwords or Draft2Digital. They also serve as book publishers as well as online retailers.
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This eBook publishing platform accounts for about 3% eBook sales worldwide. The main advantage of this platform is that your book can be read from different OS like Android, iOS, Windows, etc., unlike iBooks. Their royalty rates range from 40% to 60%, depending on the eBook price. They also offer Print on Demand (POD) publishing service.
This is the oldest aggregator site. Through them, you can distribute your books to smaller eBook retailers and libraries. They take 15% of whatever remains after the retailer taken their own cut. For example, if a $10 ebook sells through any of their retail partners; you earn $6, the retailer earns $3, while Smashwords earns $1. Among the 2 popular aggregators (Smashwords and Draft2Digital), Smashwords tops.
D2D serves as book publisher, retailer and aggregator. After Smashwords in popularity as an aggregator, Draft2Digital follows. They concentrate mainly on the popular retail stores like iBook, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc. They charge no setup fee, but take 15% of your book sales. It is very simple to setup account with them.
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If you have built a large audience on social media (facebook, Instagram and Google Shopping) or blog and wish to monetize it by selling a digital product to them, then consider selling through Selz. You can sell ebooks, videos, music, software and eLearning. Selz als help you setup a fully customizable online store. They have 3 plans, all with 14 days trial; Basic plan ($26/month), Standard plan ($53/month) and Advanced plan ($179/month).
Gumroad is for writers, designers, software developers, musicians, educators, filmmakers, and anyone in-between. They help you sell any digital product; be it eBook graphic designs, beats, videos or software, and have all it takes to receive payments on your behalf. Gumroad pays publishers through PayPal. If you need an easy eBook publishing platform to start selling directly from your blog, then consider Gumroad. Note that before you start selling directly from your blog, your site must have a trusted SSL certificate.
Gumroad offers a free account and a premium account. For the free account, they take 8.5% + $0.30 (USD) per sale. While the premium account costs you $10/month or $108/year. Then they charge you 3.5% + $0.30 (USD) per sale. The premium accounts gives you extra benefits like: unlimited posts and workflows for your customers, you can also import your customers and followers’ email to your mailing list, etc.
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Other Recommended eBook Self-Publishing Platforms
You now know the different eBook self-publishing platforms for full-time authors, blogging authors and even digital marketers. Take time to go through them and start publishing your eBooks.
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