Choosing eBook publishing services
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eBook Publishing Services are ready-made platforms dedicated to distributing books to readers. They can be used to take content from your computer and convert it to a format that can be easily displayed on an eReader; some allow you to upload books you have already converted. They fall into two brought categories: direct publishing and aggregators.
A direct publishing platform allows you to publish directly to an eBook store (e.g. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and Kobo Writing Life) whereas an aggregator sends your eBook to multiple stores and usually takes a small cut (e.g. Smashwords).
Unless you sign up to Amazon KDP Select, which requires your eBook to be exclusive to Amazon, you can publish your eBook with more than one eBook publishing service. However, do be aware of conflicts if you use an aggregator with another service, as a store selling more than one eBook version of your book can be confusing for readers.
You can also convert and distribute your own eBooks. See Distributing eBooks via your own website.
Overview of services
|Kindle Direct Publishing||Direct||Amazon||Highest|
|Kobo Writing Life||Direct||Kobo||Low|
|Smashwords||Aggregator||Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple and more||Moderate (varies from store to store)|
|Draft2Digital||Aggregator||iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and more||Low (varies from store to store)|
|Ingram Spark||Aggregator||Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo and more.||Moderate (varies from store to store)|
|Nook Press||Free||No longer distributes to the UK||None|
|Google Play Books Partner Centre||Free||Not currently accepting new authors||Low to moderate|
Things to consider when choosing an eBook publishing service
Direct publishing platforms usually offer the simplest royalty structure, because only one store is involved. Sometimes different price points attract different royalty rates; in other cases, the royalty rate is driven by the territory in which it is sold. The royalty rates for aggregators vary more, as different stores offer different rates.
When choosing publishing platforms, it's better to choose a high traffic site with a low royalty than a low traffic site with a higher royalty.
|Kindle Direct Publishing||Free||35% / 70% see breakdown|
|Kobo Writing Life||Free||45% / 70% see breakdown|
|Smashwords||Free||38-85% see breakdown|