Writing is an ever-evolving art form that connects different parts of the world. As the medium changes and grows, so does the method of reaching readers. Once, a difficult-to-please editor stood in the way of new writers getting their work out there. Fortunately, that is no longer the case with the rise of the internet.
There are many options for self-publishing online, the advantages and disadvantages of which can be difficult to navigate. Fortunately, everything you need to know about the best platforms that reach a large audience is right here.
Amazon has been in the retail and marketing business since Jeff Bezos started the company in 1994. One of the first expansion moves Bezos made was acquiring online booksellers in different parts of the world. Amazon’s self-publishing platform has changed significantly since then, for the better.
One major factor to consider is the dominance of the Kindle in the eReader market. It’s easy to understand why Amazon’s flagship reading tablet corners the market. It checks many boxes on the list of things to consider when buying an eReader.
But the Amazon book store is an even greater accomplishment than the Kindle. It functions in different corners of the world as one of the greatest self-publishing platforms currently available online. Amazon puts the power back in the writer’s hands, allowing you to get your novel out there and keep 70% of the profits accrued.
In addition, Amazon offers books across genres like Romance, Mystery, and Adventure. It also facilitates the publishing of graphic novels and comic books. Users have significant control and input in the publishing process. You can enter key book details on the platform while attempting to publish a book.
What's more, you are responsible for writing a catchy book description that can entice readers enough to pick up a book. You must also enter the book title, author name, genre, and keywords.
Kindle Direct Publishing prioritizes quality over quantity. Any work submitted for publishing is rigorously scrutinized to ensure it adheres to platform guidelines. There is also a limit to the number of books a single author can publish within a given time frame. This is done to reduce delays in the review process.
Amazon has a strong name, and Kindle Direct Publishing benefits from the high traffic on their websites. Consequently, you’re sure to get plenty of eyes glancing at your work if you choose to use this platform. Thus, making it a great place to promote your eBooks.
2. Apple Books
Apple Books launched as iBooks in 2010 as a special feature on the iPad. However, it was later released on the iPhone and iPod that same year and has since been the choice application for literary enthusiasts who use Apple products.
One major merit of publishing on Apple Books is device compatibility. The company has a long list of supported hardware sold to millions of people around the world. As such, readers can browse and read titles on Apple Books on their iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.
Another merit of the platform is that it allows users to import eBooks into their Apple Books. This versatility in usage attracts a large audience that authors can capitalize on.
The publishing process is fairly straightforward. You’ll need an iTunes Connect account to get started. In addition, converting your book to EPUB format should be the first step before proceeding.
You can also enter relevant metadata to help the Apple Books algorithm market your work from there. The Apple Books publishing portal also includes an entire section dedicated to promotion. This gives you pointers and recommends relevant platforms to get the word out about your new novel.
Apple Books is also a great choice for authors who prioritize audiobooks. You can use a digital voice to narrate your written work on the platform. Or, you can publish an already narrated story. Finally, there are no hidden fees on the platform, and authors earn a 70% royalty on every book sold, regardless of the price.
Barnes and Noble is one of the oldest bookstores in America. It began as a traditional book retail merchant in New York City and has since grown into a Fortune 1000 company with an extensive reach.
Over the years, Barnes and Noble has evolved and currently offers self-publishing services on its web platform. They understand authors' needs and offer help with editing, marketing, and publicity. They offer the standard 70% royalty package to self-publishing authors and a chance to earn more when you publish hard-copy books directly through them.
Barnes and Noble simplify the process of uploading your work to their system by detailing what is required, so you can prepare it beforehand. Once you’ve uploaded your book, you can edit it before publishing. They also offer services that enable you to create and customize a front cover.
Authors can enter book details that help the Barnes and Noble platform promote their work, like genre and more. Once published, your book is added to the vast selection of available books and made easy to find.
Google Play Books cuts across various devices, since it operates on anything running the latest version of Android. The platform is supported in over 75 countries worldwide, and three billion people could pick up your book if you choose to publish it on Google Play Books.
They offer authors the standard 70% revenue split, allowing you to maximize your profit with each book sale. The publishing process is as easy as creating an account, uploading your formatted work, and entering the necessary metadata and descriptions to hook new readers.
Google Play Books also allows readers to embed links to their book’s page on whatever platform they choose to self-promote. They also do not require exclusivity, which means you can publish on other platforms and still make the same money in royalties.
As a company, Google is known for effectively using search habits to recommend user products. This level of marketing also works in Google Play Books, reassuring authors that the right eyes will find their books.
Darft2Digital (D2D) is the parent company of popular distributor, Smash Words. They offer many of the tools other self-publishing platforms do, plus so much more. D2D provides authors with handy templates they can choose from to help organize their work.
Authors can set their price to whatever they want, and the platform only takes 10%, leaving authors with 90% in royalties for every sale. The platform boasts a fast and intuitive user interface, so even less tech-savvy authors are welcome.
Another helpful feature is the author page. D2D allows users to create custom pages that readers can go to when they intend to learn more about the author of their favorite books. It’s a great tool for authors who do not have their own websites.
Lulu is determined to help authors achieve the best results with their work. This includes providing templates as guides during the writing process and offering author toolkits packed with some of the most useful online tools and software for writing.
You can also boost your confidence by hiring a pro on the platform to critique your work and give you some pointers. All services offered on the site contribute to a successful self-publishing venture. They even help you set book prices you can be confident in.
Lulu also offers enticing author splits, only taking 20% for services rendered. This means you make 80% in royalties on each book sale. There is also the Lulu Direct service, which allows authors and users to sell on their own websites outside the Lulu platform.
Placing the Power Back in a Writer’s Hands
Self-publishing has elevated authors around the world, and the platforms detailed above give you the best advantage in terms of reaching the widest reader base and earning the most profit.
So, do a little experimenting. Feel free to use any combination of the six platforms above. Add that to a pretty good marketing strategy, and you’ll be well on your way to publishing your own eBooks as a professional.