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Top 9 Self-Publishing Platforms To Publish Your eBooks

Self Publishing Platforms EBooks are gaining popularity worldwide. The busy lifestyles, higher travel time, etc., have made it difficult to catch up with the printed books they are reading as often they would have liked. Carrying them along to all the places you travel to causes a bit of a hassle. Hence, EBooks or digital versions of the books have made a space for themselves in our lives. EBooks make it easy for us to read a book anytime, anywhere as they are on our devices, either our smartphone or an e-reader like Kindle. The estimates of eBook sales show that 335.7 million eBooks were sold in the USA alone in 2019, and close to 689 million units of print books were sold in 2019.

On the other hand, the publishing industry also has been experiencing a huge shift. While traditional publishing still exists, the self-publishing industry has seen a surge in the number of books over the last decade. The number of self-published books is startling enough to say that it has risen as the strong competition for traditional publishing.

As an Author, you might have been contemplating self-publishing your book. You have a perfectly edited and designed manuscript ready and wondering which platform you should choose to self-publish the book. If that is so, you are at the right place. In this article, we list 9 platforms that you could use to publish your book and fulfill your dream of becoming an author. What’s more fascinating? With many of the below-mentioned platforms, you can complete the process from uploading the manuscript to publication in a couple of hours.

Let us dive into the list of 9 such platforms:

1. Amazon KDP:

Self Publishing Platforms

Needs no introduction, isn’t it? Amazon KDP, provided by Amazon has revolutionized the eBooks publishing industry. Amazon sells nearly 83% of eBooks purchased in the USA and in many ways, is the largest market shareholder thanks to the massive reach of the Amazon marketplace. Forget not that it started as a marketplace for Books before diversifying the product line and becoming an integral part of our lives as it is today. For marketing your books, Amazon KDP provides programs like KDP Select, wherein they take the sole right for marketing, and you get higher returns. The reach of Amazon far-exceeds any other platform in the industry.

With Amazon KDP, creating your eBook can be accomplished in a very simple process. Once you have created your KDP account, you will be guided with the further steps related to formatting your book and cover until completion. Once you have completed formatting, you will be able to publish your book. Your book will appear in the Amazon Marketplace for purchase. In 2019, more than 1000 authors earned $100,000 through KDP as their royalties.

2. Smashwords:

Self Publishing Platforms

Smashwords is one of the oldest publishers and distributors of online books i.e. eBooks. More than 500,000 titles have been published through Smashwords by more than 140,000 authors and publishers globally. If you want to create a wide outreach of your book, Smashwords helps you with that. It distributes your book to major platforms like Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Walmart. It also claims to have an access to more than 27000 public libraries through their partnership with public libraries like OverDrive, Gardeners, Libri, Scribd, etc.

You will be able to upload your manuscript and creation of an eBook with just a few easy steps. Once you have signed up, you will be provided with a style guide to help you format your manuscript. If you already have a professionally-designed EPUB file ready, Smashwords accepts that as well. What’s more? You will be provided with the daily sales reporting from Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, and Smashwords store. Depending on different criteria, you may earn up to 60% of the list price from the major eBooks retailers like Apple Books, Kobo, etc., and up to 80% from Smashwords store. Smashwords charges 15% of the revenue on your books as their commission.

3. Draft2Digital:

Self Publishing Platforms

Draft2Digital is regarded as one of the best eBook aggregators. Similar to Smashwords, Draft2Digital distributes to all the major channels like Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, among others. The best part, Draft2Digital would take care of the formatting process of converting your manuscript into an eBook version, and its distribution. So, all you have to do is- submit your manuscript. You will be provided with a dashboard, which would be one place from which you could maintain the author profiles, sales descriptions, book versions, etc. on all the platforms. Any update on the dashboard would get reflected on all platforms.

Draft2Digital doesn’t charge anything for formatting or updating the book. They would charge 10% of the retail price of the book/copy sold as their commission. If you are looking to get started with publishing an eBook with a low/no investment, Draft2Digital is available at your service.

4. Apple Books:

Self Publishing Platforms

When it comes to eBooks publishing, Apple Books is growing rapidly in its audience. It accounts for 10% of all eBook sales worldwide and growing. There is no second thought on the loyalty of the Apple community towards the products. In the Apple universe, Apple Books is among the majorly used apps for accessing books.

You can upload and publish your title to Apple Books from Apple Pages. Previously, Apple iBooks Author used to be the platform for publishing books, but Apple has discontinued it from July 2020 and transitioned to Pages. To publish your book on Apple, you need to be a Mac user as you won’t be able to access Apple Pages without that. Your manuscript will be converted into a different format than the standard EPUB format. This format can’t be used for upload on any other platform. The best part about publishing your book through Apple books is you get a direct 70% royalty.

If you aren’t a Mac user, you can use the platforms like Smashwords or Draft2Digital alternatively. These platforms distribute your books to Apple Books.

5. Lulu:

Self Publishing Platforms

Lulu is another platform that has pioneered the eBooks & Self-publication industry. Started in 2002, much before the boom of eBooks even began, Lulu has enabled the publication of more than 2 million titles by people from 225 countries [2014].

You can upload your manuscript and convert it to an ePUB version for submission or other sites, or you could choose to publish with Lulu books. If you choose Lulu Books for publication of your eBook, you would be getting 90% royalties. [Source: Wikipedia]

Once you upload the manuscript, it would have to pass the quality assurance test before it is approved for publication. Once approved, it would be published and distributed to the major eBooks retailers.

6. Barnes & Noble:

Self Publishing Platforms

Barnes & Noble has been a renowned name in the Books industry for decades now. The self-publishing unit was previously known as Nook Press. In 2014, they had announced that it would spin off Nook Press into a separate publicly-traded company. But in 2018, they rebranded it to Barnes & Noble Press, and it remains the self-publication division of the parent. The self-publication unit has rapidly gained popularity among the writing community and already accounts for 3% of eBook sales in the USA [Source: The Penny Matters]. The added advantage is the NOOK e-reader. According to the statistics, B&N generated $92.14 Million in 2019 from the sales of e-reader alone.

Publishing your eBook through Barnes & Noble can be completed in few easy steps. B&N would help you format your book to make it ready for publication. With B&N, you earn up to 75% in royalties.

7. Kobo:

Self Publishing Platforms

Kobo, the manufacturer of Kobo eReader, was acquired by the Japanese electronics major Rakuten for $315mn in 2011. Kobo continues to remain a brand for self-publishing your books. The process is quite simple. You add your details and upload your manuscript, and it would be converted to the standard ePUB file through an automated process. Once your book is published, you would earn a royalty of 45% or 70% depending on the pricing of your book on the Kobo store.

With Kobo, your book would be available in 190 countries through their reach in the Asian regions and other regions outside of the USA & the UK.

8. Google Play Books:

Self Publishing Platforms

Are you an Android user? You would have certainly heard of ‘Google Play Books’. Nonetheless, the reach of Google Play Books is unquestionable as it is powered by the search engine itself. Moreover, the ‘Play Books’ app comes pre-installed on many Android devices. Choosing to publish through Google Play Books would enable a wider reach of 75+ countries and 2 billion+ users. For the sales of your book in 60+ Google Play Books supported countries, you would get a 70% revenue split. You can check the names of the countries that support Google Play Books here.

9. IngramSpark:

Self Publishing Platforms

IngramSpark is a self-publishing unit of Ingram, one of the oldest print book publishers in the industry. IngramSpark is an aggregator similar to Smashwords & Draft2Digital. Once you have published your book with IngramSpark, it is distributed to all the major eBooks retailers like Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. As an offline network, they are connected to 39000 retailers and public libraries. Hence, if you are looking to make your book reach the offline stores, Ingram is the name to reckon with.


Among the platforms, there are two types: eBook retailers and aggregators. Platforms like Amazon KDP, Kobo, Apple Books, Google Play Books, Barnes & Noble, and Lulu are the book retailers. Book retailers are the ones who have a marketplace where the books are offered for purchase. Platforms like Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and IngramSpark are called aggregators as they help your book reach the eBook retailers and save your time of doing the same.

We hope that you find this list helpful in your endeavor of publishing the book. If you have any further questions, do leave them in the comments below.

If you like this post, don’t forget to share it with someone who might find this helpful.

Image Credits:

Image 1: Image by Steven Guzzardi on Flickr

Image 2: Amazon KDP

Image 3: Smashwords

Image 4: Draft2Digital

Image 5: Apple Books

Image 6: Lulu

Image 7: Barnes & Noble

Image 8: Kobo

Image 9: Google Play Books Image 10: IngramSpark

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 3rd June 2021.

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