There are a variety of publishing outlets for indie authors, each with their own unique features. Our guide to self-publishing options will help you to understand the different types of companies, introduce some of the big names and determine what company best suits your publishing needs.
Types of Self-Publishers
Before you start looking at the benefits of individual companies, it’s important to understand which type of self-publishing would work best for you. There are two main types of self-publishing companies:
Options for Aggregator Publishers
Rowanvale - Our own services at Rowanvale are, of course, a top contender for self-publishers! Whether you’re hoping to publish in paperback, hardback or eBook, our publishing packages here at Rowanvale are guaranteed to help you through any difficulties you may encounter within the self-publishing process. Every one of our publishing packages comes complete with proofreading and editing services as well as the option for illustration, cover design and formatting help tailored to the needs of your book.
We also cover all bases in terms of distribution, including an option to publish through Amazon KDP, complete with Amazon analysis and assistance to help your book stand out on the platform. This way, we can help you decide which platforms are best suited to your preferences and needs as an author. With so many services offered under one price, we really are the full package!
Lulu – One of the oldest self-publishing platforms, Lulu gives you the opportunity to publish a range of book types to online retail outlets if you have an ISBN. Lulu offers a commission of 80% royalties for print books and 90% for eBooks, a slightly higher rate than average. However, its other services come at an additional cost to the price of publication, some of which may not be particularly affordable. Here at Rowanvale, we can support you with publication via Lulu with our stand-alone services of cover design, proofreading and copy-editing, which will often be offered by us at cheaper than Lulu’s prices.
IngramSpark – IngramSpark can publish books in hardcover as well as online and offers an average 40% commission, 45% if you opt out of publishing to Amazon. They also offer affordable advertising opportunities and reports of your online sales, as well as access to their free book-building tool to help you design your book cover and layout online. Despite this, the costs of setting up and making revisions to your book via IngramSpark can prove more expensive than other options that let you make the same changes for free. Conveniently, we also use IngramSpark as one of our distributors, so you can reap the benefits of their platform even when publishing through Rowanvale!
PublishDrive – PublishDrive offers direct distribution to many popular online stores such as iBooks, KDP and Google Books. What makes PublishDrive unique is that, unlike other companies who take a percentage of your royalties, you keep 100% of the royalties from your sales with PublishDrive if you pay their monthly subscription rate, which differs depending on the number of books you plan to publish with them. For their standard rate, you would be paying £14.56 per month to keep your royalties, a fee that is likely only worth it if you make a significant amount of royalties in the first place.
Popular Online Retailers
Amazon KDP – With Amazon being the largest retailer of books online and 42% of its books being self-published, KDP is a great choice of retailer to get a wide reach for your book. With initial royalty rates of 35% for books under $2.99 and 70% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, joining the KDP Selects program will also offer you higher royalties and a wider range of features on the platform. However, it is worth noting that joining KDP Selects enrols you in an exclusive partnership with Amazon for 90 days, meaning that you will be unable to publish your book on any other platforms for this time. Rowanvale can help you publish via KDP with our KDP Publishing Package.
iBooks – The second largest eBook retailer following Amazon, iBooks offers 70% royalties and the unique ability to price your book separately in different countries based on the price of comparable books. It is worth noting that you must have a Mac device to be able to publish on iBooks and your books must be published in ePub format, which is not compatible with most other self-publishing platforms.
Google Play Books – With a readership of over 3 billion in more than 75 countries, releasing your book through the Google store gives it the potential to reach a huge audience at an average 70% royalty rate. However, similarly to Apple, your book must be published in the unpopular ePub format, and you are unable to temporarily take down your book from the Play Store, only being able to deactivate it completely.
With the help of this guide, self-publishing should seem like a clearer process and you should have a better idea of which route will best suit your needs. For information about our publishing services, visit our publication services page.
Even if choosing to publish via another platform, why not try one of our stand-alone services to help the process? Check out the help we offer both pre and post publication.