7 Best Publishing Platforms for Indie Authors

PUBLISHING PLATFORMS indie authors should know about

“To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author.” Charles Caleb Colton

Top 7 Publishing Platforms for Indie Authors to Consider

You've finished your book, found an editor you trust, and completed all the steps you needed to take to get to this point. Now you're ready to push the "publish" button. This is a huge moment in your life and one that you should approach with knowledgeable steps in the right direction. Which platform will you use to get your book published and in the hands of readers? Which platform will give you the best return on your work? There are many things to factor into this decision, but right now, we're just going to give ourselves the knowledge we need to start the process of decision making. I'm going to give you a list of the top 7 publishing companies that you should look at. And these are in no particular order.

Kindle Direct Publishing: This is a platform owned by Amazon. You and your readers can purchase and download your book to a Kindle, handheld reader. However, you don't have to purchase a Kindle to read books. You may also download the free Kindle app which will allow you to read your books right from your cell phone, tablet, laptop and / or computer. This is one of the easiest publishing platforms to use and will put your book in front of endless readers. 

Nook Press: This is a platform owned by Barnes and Noble. You can purchase and download books to the Nook eReader or tablet. However, like the Kindle, you don't have to purchase an eReader to read books. You may also download the free Nook app which will allow you to read books right on your cell phone, tablet and or laptop or computer. Authors can upload their book directly to Nook Press and start selling immediately. 

Kobo: Kobo is a platform retailer who will sell your book to their Kobo customers. Again, your readers don't have to have that device to read the books. They can download the Kobo app and read your books right from their cell phone, tablet or computer. It's a user-friendly platform to publish on.

Apple: There is a process to publish directly to iBooks that I don't know because I don't use Apple products. I know, I'm one of the three people in the world that are still on Android and a PC. 🙂 Rather than try to recreate the wheel, I'm going to give you a link to Apple that will help you with that process. But, I can tell you there's another way of self-publishing to iBooks by using a distributor instead of direct publishing. Keep reading.

Google Play: From what I can tell, this platform is growing and growing fast! There are one billion android users in over 50 countries! That's some serious reach. This is definitely a platform you want to use to publish your book. 

Draft 2 Digital: This is a one-stop publishing distributor. I use Draft 2 Digital when I want to "go wide" with my books, meaning I'm going to distribute my books everywhere. You may be wondering why I would choose any other way of publishing, and we'll get into Amazon's Kindle Unlimited option in another post. Because I publish often, it's easier for me and hassle free to have one platform where I can upload my book and let the company do the rest. They will take a small fee, but for me, it's worth it. They are also worldwide so any author can use them to upload their books. They will publish, per their website, to the following platforms:

  • iBooks: iBooks is available in 51 countries around the world.
  • Barnes and Noble: NOOK Media LLC is a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Barnes & Noble’s easy to use self-publishing platform is now available to authors and publishers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. 
  • Kobo: Kobo delivers to millions of users in 190 countries, offering one of the world's largest catalogs with more than 4.7 million titles, world-class eReading devices, and top-ranking apps. 
  • Inktera: Inktera manages a central e-book catalog used by dozens of mobile e-reader applications. 
  • Scribd: Scribd is the premier subscription reading service with more than a million e-books, audiobooks, and comics including New York Times bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners and reader favorites across every genre. 
  • Tolino: A German Consortium, Tolino is a shared ebook platform consisting of five German retailers and tech companies (Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Club Bertelsmann, and Deutsche Telekom). 
  • 24Symbols: 24symbols is an ebook subscription service costing only $8.99 per month. 
  • Createspace: I recommend going directly to Createspace to set up your account. 

Smashwords: This is a one-stop publishing distributor. I used Smashwords long before there was Draft 2 Digital. When I discovered Draft 2 Digital, I switched over, and I couldn't be happier. Although Smashwords publishes to more eBook sites, their strict publishing guidelines was always a problem. At one time, it was called the "Meat Grinder," because it took some serious formatting to get a manuscript to clear their publishing process. I'm not sure if this is still the case as I don't use them anymore, however, if it is still the case then I can provide a tutorial on how to get your manuscript to pass each and every time. Just let me know that you need that tutorial in the comments. Below are the retailers they will publish your manuscript to:

Baker & Taylor Blio
Baker-Taylor Axis360
Barnes & Noble
Gardners Extended Retail
Gardners Library
Inktera (formerly Page Foundry)
Library Direct

Again, I suggest going directly to the larger sites like Amazon, to publish your work. You'll have better control and save a little on the 3rd party fee that is taken from your royalty checks if you publish directly to Draft 2 Digital or Smashwords. The links are here:

Amazon KDP
Nook Press
Apple iBooks
Google Play

Draft to Digital

Note: Make sure you read the fine print of each platform above before publishing your work! 

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Do you have an indie publishing site you'd recommend?

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