Following on from last week’s post on publishing eBooks, this week we continue with the spotlight on the more traditional printed book. Here we have a list of five of the most popular self-publishing services that offer indie authors a route to publication in paperback (and in some cases hardback too).
One - KDP
KDP – Top of the list in terms of popularity, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to sell both your eBook and paperback to Amazon, if you select their Expanded distribution then it opens your book up to other distributers and makes it available to buy in many other locations (although, many bookstores tend to purchase books from other locations to KDP’s higher margins for them). KDP is free to use and offers royalties of up to 70%, they offer their own free ISBN for books, but you should really consider buying your own (if you want to be taken seriously within by the publishing industry).
Two - Ingram Spark
Ingram Spark – The second most popular self-publishing service that we design for, they offer more in the way of printed options for authors, along with paperback they offer hardback (dustjacket) and hardback case laminate. From a production aspect their books always great once printed and tend to have a higher quality feel to them (in comparison to some other self-publishing services). Ingram is the largest book distribution company and one of the largest self-publishing services within the US, so you should give them a look, they do have a small set up fee and you will need your own ISBN, but their quality and distribution make them a great choice.
Three - Lulu
Lulu – Another big name within the self-publishing world, they offer a great many services to help the indie author along with self-help guides that are worth looking at (even if you don’t print with them). They don’t offer the range of trim sizes that both KDP and Ingram offer, but they cover the most popular sizes (which is great for the majority of authors). Their service is free to use and their distribution is global, distributing through Amazon, B&N, Lulu and retailers through the Ingram Spark channels.
Four - Blurb
Blurb – Offering self-publication in traditional printed trade books, eBooks, magazines and even photo books, Blurb offers printed options for paperback, dustjacket and case laminate. Their distribution is through their own Blurb bookstore along with selling your book on Amazon and in over 39,000 stores using Ingram Spark’s distribution channels too.
Five - BookBaby
Bookbaby – Along with eBook publication BookBaby publishes printed books too, they also offer lots in the way of advice and resources for authors. Their publication services for print currently break down into two print on demand options, the first is $299 and makes your book available through Amazon, Powell’s Books, Books-A-Million, B&N, Ingram Spark’s distribution channels along with many other distributors giving your book lots of options to be purchased. Their other option (currently $99) places the focus more on their own bookstore, it still comes with great control and their royalties are at 50% of your retail price.
There are of course many other services out there, but we wanted to bring a list of the top five publishing companies we use and design for when creating a book for an author, it has to be said that the most popular service used by authors has always been KDP (formerly Createspace) and then Ingram Spark, both of these companies are ones that you should consider, but do take a look at the others, they still of great options for the indie author which will make your book available to as many readers as possible.
It has never been easier than it is today when it comes to self-publishing your book, and this is especially the case when it comes to eBooks, they’re still a highly popular way to reach an audience and in most cases more flexible when it comes to promotions (and this can really help in raising awareness along with promoting your other titles).
The good thing is that there are plenty of places (other than the key players) where you can self-publish your eBook, this gives you more choice and flexibility, which can only be a good thing. Here we have some eBook publishers that you may or may not know about.
No surprises that KDP are on this list, being Amazon’s publishing wing they offer a free to use service which gives authors up to 70% royalties on their book sales, their service is easy to use, popular and of course works seamlessly with Kindle and Amazon.
One of the other most popular print on demand publishers used by indie authors, they have great distribution (Amazon, Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble) and compatible for pretty much every eReader available, their prices start from $25 per title.
Nook (if you don’t already know) is the eBook service and device from Barnes & Noble, their service is currently free to use and works beautifully with their Nook eReaders and on any device that has the free Nook app
This service is from Apple and makes your eBook available through their iBooks Store, if you have a Mac then you can simply download the iBooks Author app where you can edit and prepare your book for their platform.
Google Play – Books Partner Center
Google’s eBook publishing service allows your book to be available on Android devices and from Google books, their website allows you to upload your work and set which countries you want to sell to (currently from a list of just over 50), you can of course set your own prices too.
A great service which allows you to sell your eBook through a variety of other platforms along with their own Smashwords store, they currently distribute through Apple Books, B&N, Kobo and Scribd, offering 80% commission from sales through their own store and 60% commission from sales in the others.
They currently sell their books through Lulu, Amazon, B&N and even Ingram, free to set up and they have some great training videos and downloads to help with the process
Blurb offers more in the way of self-formatting your eBook (if you are using Adobe InDesign or the BookWright Software to create the original manuscript that is), they distribute books through their own store (which is pretty big) along with Apple Books and Amzon.
Fairly straightforward to use with some great tools for getting your eBook ready, once uploaded and for sale your book will be available to the millions of Kobo device users around the globe.
BookBaby offers everything that an author could need to get their eBook ready for publication, they have distribution through Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Scribd along with some smaller outlets too.
Book cover designers.