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Self-published books account for around 30-40% of last year’s (2018) total ebook sales. In fact, ebooks make up close to 40% of all books sold. Will ebook sales surpass printed book sales in the coming years?

No one knows. But it pays to be involved in the market. Not only for eBooks, but print books as well.

Readers are comfortable reading ebooks. They are convenient and usually much less expensive than print books.

The verdict is in, it’s time to throw your hat in the ring and publish your book.

But, how should you get your book published? What method is best to get your book into the hands of your readers? Self publishing or traditional publishing.

If you need help deciding, take our FREE self publishing vs traditional publishing quiz. If you’ve already decided self publishing your book is right for you, read on.

Here are the 10 best self-publishing companies for your convenience. Easily compare the products, services and reputation of each company before you start to work with them.

The following self publishing companies perform different tasks in the process of self publishing your book. Some of these self publishing companies handle everything, like the editing, book cover design, formatting and distribution. But some only offer distribution.

Before we get to the list of the top 10 self-publishing companies of 2019, I want to clear something up. There are different types of companies you may do business with.

Retailer

A RETAILER is a company that sells books exclusively through their own retail store. Examples include Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble’s Press, and Kobe. Some of these companies, however, have launched special programs and partnerships to distribute books to other retailers, e.g., KDP’s Expanded Distribution program.

Aggregator

An AGGREGATOR offers a retailing platform for ebooks, but also distributes your ebook to different online retailers and libraries. This way, authors get the widest possible reach, without having to format their book to each retailers’s guidelines and maintain multiple retailer accounts. Aggregators can also get ebooks into channels that authors cannot approach directly; e.g., Scribd, a digital library with a subscription service and more than 80 million users worldwide, does not accept ebooks directly from authors.

Usually, Aggregators charge 10-20% commission on sales over and above the retailer’s cut.

Technically. the term “Aggregator” applies to distributors of ebooks, while the term “Distributor” is used for companies that make hard copies (print books) of the books available to physical bookstores stores, libraries, and academic institutions, e.g., IngramSpark.

Some aggregators, like Lulu and Bookbaby, even distribute and retail print books. Given the degree of overlap and the essential similarity in what they do, both types can be referred to as “distributors.”

So, here’s the list of the top self publishing companies to publish your book. Keep in mind that you can always choose to work with one or more, depending on your needs. The list of publishing companies below are NOT arranged in any particular order.

1. Firebrand Publishing

  • A book publishing services company that offers the following services:
  • Editing Services
    *** Book Cover Design Services
    *** Graphic Design of Marketing and Promotional Material
    *** Interior formatting and typesetting for print and eBook
    *** Book Marketing Strategy, promotion and advertising
    *** ISBN Numbers
    *** Author Platform Building and outreach
    *** or an all-inclusive book publishing package.
  • Does not “buy” the rights to publish your book, therefore they do not hold any rights to your book.
  • Provides all completed work to be distributed to retailers, or they can distribute books for you.
  • Authors keep all rights to their work and can distribute their book in any venue they choose.
  • Does not take any portion of any profits from the sales of your book.
  • 100% Royalties
  • Distributes books through Ingram, or bulk printing and import services available.

2. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

  • Owned by Amazon.
  • Publishes and retails ebooks that are available on Kindle devices or on devices that have installed the Kindle app.
  • Noteworthy for indie authors: Around 80% of all English-language ebook sales were sold via Amazon, and self-published titles alone account for 42% of this figure.
  • Use the .MOBI format, unlike most other publishers who use .EPUB.
  • Pays authors royalties of 35% or 70% on the book’s list price.
  • Does not assist with editing, typesetting, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.

3. CreateSpace (now apart of KDP)

  • Amazon’s publishing platform for print books.
  • Uses print-on-demand publishing (meaning, no stocks are held and a book is printed only when a customer places an order).
  • Books published are retailed exclusively on Amazon (unless the author has opted into their Expanded Distribution program)
  • Expanded Distribution Program: Authors can make their books available to online and offline retailers such as Barnes & Noble, and to distributors such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor.
  • Takes a 40% cut from every regular sale.
  • Takes 60% from sales made through the Expanded Distribution Program.
  • Royalty is paid after deducting Amazon’s commission (40% or 60%), a fixed charge, and a per-page charge from the book’s list price.
  • Does not assist with editing, typesetting, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.
  • Note: Does not at present offer the hardcover format.

4. iBooks

  • The second biggest ebook retailer after Amazon.
  • Accounting for 10% of sales in the top 5 countries.
  • Has more than 40 country-specific ebook stores.
  • Offers a flat 70% royalty rate.
  • eBooks distribution only
  • eBooks distributed to the apple ibooks platform
  • Does not assist with editing, typesetting, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.

iBooks allow authors to price their books differently in each country. This is usually dependent on the prices of comparable books, and even set prices in the local currency. Authors can also schedule free book and discount offers anytime. The best part is, iBooks does not require exclusive distribution contract.

5. Barnes & Noble Press

  • Former name: NOOK Press.
  • A self-publishing portal from Barnes & Noble.
  • Accounts for 3% of ebook sales.
  • Offers print-on-demand publishing and eBook distribution
  • Books published with Barnes & Noble Press retail only at their online and physical bookstores.
  • Royalty rates range from 40% to 65%, depending on the price of the book.
  • Does not assist with editing, typesetting, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.

6. Kobo

  • Accounts for about 2% of total ebook sales in the top 5 English-language markets combined.
  • In Canada, it accounts for 25% of ebook sales.
  • Offers an e-reading device as well as an app for reading on other devices.
  • Ebooks published with Kobo are available to readers in over 190 countries.
  • Runs the Kobo eReading Program with the American Booksellers Association.
  • Royalty rates are either 45% or 70%, depending on the ebook’s price.
  • Does not assist with editing, typesetting, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.

7. IngramSpark

  • A self-publishing service established by Ingram.
  • Ingram is the world’s leading distributor of print books.
  • Connected to 39,000 bookstores, libraries, and online retailers in more than 150 countries.
  • Also distributes ebooks to all the top online retailers, including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.
  • Publishes hardcover books.
  • Offer a premium level of printing, which is useful for books containing many pictures.
  • Also offer authors a book returns option.
  • Charges a 53% commission for sales to bookstores and 30% to online retailers, after deducting book production costs.
  • Does not assist with editing, typesetting, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.

8. Smashwords

  • A popular ebook aggregator and distributes ebooks to almost all the top retailers.
  • They have extensive ebook formatting guidelines.
  • Does not distribute to Amazon.
  • Takes a 10% cut on books sold through their own retail channel.
  • Takes 15% on books sold through other retailers.
  • Does not assist with editing, typesetting, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.

9. Draft2Digital

  • Has fewer retail partners.
  • Distributes to Amazon and covers all the major ebook retailers.
  • They will format your ebook, and for free.
  • They charge 10% of the retail price at most retailers.
  • Does not assist with editing, book cover design.
  • You are responsible to provide all final production files for distribution.

10. Lulu

  • One of the oldest online self-publishing companies.
  • A popular distributor of digital and print books.
  • They retail books through their own bookstore.
  • Distribute to other online stores (Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.)
  • Distribute also to other publishers such as Barnes & Noble and Ingram
  • Offers both hardcover and paperback formats for print books.
  • Their ebook conversion, publishing, and distribution services are free.
  • Sell an array of support services including editing, cover design, and book marketing.
  • Charges a 20% commission after deducting any book production costs applicable to print copies.

Aside from these publishing companies, there are other companies that offer the similar services with a few minor variations in terms of pricing and other policies. Authors can also opt to use Gumroad. This applciation allows authors to directly publish and sell their books to their readers via the author’s personal website.

Another option is through crowdfunding of book publishing via the platforms like Unbound and Inkshare. These sites allow authors the chance to pitch or directly post their book through a book proposal

In choosing the right publishing process, it always depend on which one you find will make you more comfortable and profitable at the same time; of course putting into consideration a lot of factors such as the kind of book that you have, the speed you want to get thing done, your budget for the capital, and many other factors.

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