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Choosing the Best eBook Publishing Platform – Part 2
Continuing on, these are the things you need to consider when you pick your publishing platform:
Royalties – Most likely, you already figured out that your service is going to take their cut and that will vary from publisher to publisher.
File Format – Most services will offer free eBook conversion.
Pricing – Some publishers set limits on how a book is priced. Amazon, for example, will not allow any author to offer a book free and both Kobo and Amazon have different tiers of royalties for different price ranges. That’s not such a bad thing; they do tend to know the sweet spots for pricing but you may not want to be in a situation where you are not happy with the price and can’t do a thing about it. Getting the price right is important but not easy; look for a platform that allows a bit of experimentation.
Exclusivity – Some publishers will demand this, like KDP Select from Amazon. Some self-publishers who have several titles will often have some exclusive to Amazon and others with a few other platforms.
eBook Retailers – The five biggest are iBooks, Scribd, Amazon, Kobo and Google Play (not necessarily in that order!) and most are global sellers. It is important that you get your books in all the biggest retailers and you should also consider a few of the smaller ones too.
These are the popular services and what they offer – none of these charge any setup fees or upfront payments and all offer free conversion:
KDP – Royalties of 35% to 70%, supports ePub, Mobi, .doc, HTML and .docx formats. The Select service demands exclusivity. They pay monthly, provide daily reports and the retail outlet is only Amazon.
Smashwords – Royalties of up to 80%, supports .doc and ePub formats. They pay monthly, offer monthly reports and their retail outlets are Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, OverDrive, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.
Kobo – Royalties of 45% to 70, supports ePub, Mobi, .doc, and .docx formats. They pay monthly with a minimum payout of $50 (CAD), offer daily reports and their outlets are Kobo and their partners.
PublishDrive – Royalties are 10% of your sales, and they support ePub, RTF, .doc, and .docx formats. They pay monthly and offer daily reports for some partners. Their retail outlets are Amazon, iBooks, Kobi, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, OverDrive and many more.
Draft2Digital – Royalties are 10% of your sales and they support ePub, RTF, .doc, and .docx formats. Payments are monthly with daily reports for some partners and their outlets cover Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and so on.
Some eBook publishing platforms identify as aggregators and these are the services that stand in between the author and retailer. These tend to offer several services aside from distribution, including cover design, editing, conversion, and so on. They can help you to acquire an ISBN, with copyrighting and tracking your payments.
However, their main focus is on getting your book distributed to as many stores as possible. Aggregators help both publishers and authors to give their books a global reach, with some reaching as many as 400 or more stores across the world – well worth considering if you want to get your eBook out to as wide an audience as you possibly can.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds