Amazon KDP: Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is one of the most popular self-publishing platforms available today. It allows authors to publish their books on the Kindle Store, without any setup costs, making them available to millions of readers worldwide. With Amazon KDP, you can create an ebook and a paperback version of your book, set your own price, and earn royalties of up to 70% on your sales. However, one disadvantage of Amazon KDP is that it’s a closed system, meaning you can only sell your books on Amazon. Amazon also offers a program called Kindle Select, which allows authors to enroll their ebooks in an exclusive program for 90 days, during which time they are only available on Amazon. This allows you to reach their Kindle Unlimited members. Amazon KDP is by far the most popular publishing choice for authors.
IngramSpark: IngramSpark is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to distribute their books in multiple formats, including print-on-demand and ebooks. It’s a global platform that provides distribution to over 40,000 retailers, libraries, and schools worldwide. When you publish your book through IngramSpark, you have the option to select distribution to various retailers, including Amazon. This means that your book can be made available for purchase on Amazon’s website alongside other online retailers, libraries, and bookstores. Authors often choose this platform to try and get their books into physical libraries. However, IngramSpark charges fees for upload, setup and revisions, in the range of $25 for a revision and $50 for an upload.
Draft2Digital (D2D): Draft2Digital is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to distribute their ebooks to multiple online retailers, including Amazon, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble. It provides a range of tools to help authors format and convert their manuscripts into ebook files, as well as marketing and promotional tools to help authors reach a wider audience. One advantage of D2D is that it’s free to use, but it takes a percentage of your book’s sales in exchange for its services. Remember if you want to use KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited you cannot use this platform and make your books available in other ebook stores, as it is against Amazon’s rules.
Kobo: Kobo is a prominent self-publishing platform that authors can utilize to share their work with a vast audience. With Kobo Writing Life, their dedicated self-publishing platform, authors gain access to a user-friendly interface and global distribution channels. Whilst not distributing to Amazon, Kobo presents various promotional opportunities, including discounted pricing, author spotlights, and featured deals, all aimed at enhancing visibility and driving sales.
For authors looking for an alternative program to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, there is Kobo Plus. Kobo Plus is a subscription-based service that allows readers to access a vast library of ebooks for a monthly fee. Subscribers can choose from a wide range of titles, including bestsellers, self-published books, and popular genres, and read them on Kobo e-readers or the Kobo app. Similar to Kindle Unlimited, Kobo Plus provides readers with unlimited access to a diverse selection of ebooks, giving them the freedom to discover and explore new authors and genres. For authors, Kobo Plus offers an additional avenue to reach a wider audience and earn royalties based on reader engagement with their books.
Barnes & Noble Press: Barnes & Noble Press is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to publish their books in both print and ebook formats. It offers a range of tools to help authors create and format their books, as well as marketing and promotional tools to help authors reach a wider audience. Barnes & Noble Press also offers distribution to its own online store and other retailers, such as Amazon and IngramSpark. However, Barnes & Noble Press charges fees for some of its services, such as revisions and book cover design.
Overall, each platform has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the best platform for you will depend on your individual needs and goals as an author. Whatever you decide to do, remember that Amazon is a major player in the book industry, generating around $28 billion annually from book sales worldwide. The company controls between 50% and 80% of book distribution in the US and is responsible for over 50% of sales from the Big Five publishers. In the US, Amazon sells at least 300 million print books every year, which is at least 40% of the print book market. Estimates suggest that by 2025, Amazon could control over 70% of the US print book market. In the UK, Amazon controls at least 50% of the book market, selling over 106 million copies yearly. When it comes to ebooks, Amazon dominates the market, selling over 487 million ebooks annually through Kindle.
That is why I continually browse Amazon Bestsellers and I make sure my cover designs are on trend with popular styles on Amazon Kindle. You can view my cover design Portfolio here or browse my Premade Book Cover Galleries.