Amazon and Barnes and Noble are two of the most well known online book retailers, but did you know there are other places to list and sell your books?
When Amazon started Kindle Unlimited, many self publishers and Indie authors made the decision to go exclusive. These numbers increased when Amazon changed their pay system to pay royalties by the page read rather than by the book. But what happens when you’re ready to leave?
If your books are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, you will need to wait until the 90-day period is over before going wide. You will also need to make sure your book isn’t automatically continued in the program. You can change this in your KDP dashboard by simply unchecking the enrollment box for the books you wish to take out. You should immediately see a date listed for your last day in Kindle Unlimited. You won’t want to list your books with other retailers until after you are sure your book is completely out of the program.
While you’re waiting for your enrollment to end, it’s a good time to research and select the retailers you’ll offer your books through. A lot of online bookstores are Indie-friendly, and they have even went so far as to offer simple and easy ways for self-published authors to publish their books in their online stores.
Bookstores to List Your Self-Published Books at:
A lot of authors enjoy the features that Draft 2 Digital offer to their enrolled authors. Simply register for your account (registration is free) and upload your books. Within minutes, you will have a .mobi, pdf, and epub of your book. You can then choose to list it at every bookstore D2D is affiliated with (Kobo, iTunes, and more), or you can choose to just list with some of them. The royalties for Barnes and Noble are reported to be higher by listing through D2D, but remember they keep 10% of the retail price as commission.
The bookstores they are affiliated with are:
- Barnes & Noble
- Inktera (formally Page Foundry)
- and CreateSpace!
Many authors find D2D an easy and painless way to get their books into all of these retailers. There are no contracts. Enroll or delist as often or as little as you want. Royalties are paid every month after the initial hold, though some bookstores might have an additional hold time.
Smashwords is another well known retailer of e-books. They, too, list to several retailers, but the highest royalties you will earn will be through purchases made directly on Smashwords. They share some of the same bookstores as D2D, but they also have some that aren’t on D2D. The ease of uploading books here is not as simple as Draft 2 Digital. Unless you are familiar with Smashwords’ formatting requirements, you will likely have to hire someone to format your book for you. A cheap way to locate someone to do this is through Fiverr. Most sellers charge by the word count of your book.
If you decide to list your book with Smashwords, you will find that there is a lot of information to read through. Some authors have reported delays with getting books removed through the program, with some stores in International countries taking weeks to delete the listings. You might want to keep this in mind if you plan on enrolling into Kindle Unlimited at some point in the future. You will want to make sure that your book isn’t available anywhere besides Amazon at the time of enrollment. I believe royalties are paid quarterly through Smashwords, though with all the information on the site, I had a difficult time locating the page to confirm this.
I’m going to mention Barnes and Noble too, although I mentioned it above. Barnes and Noble allows authors to register directly, similar to Amazon. They pay once a month, too, like Amazon.
There has been a lot of talk over the last few years concerning the Nook Press system. If you decide to sell through them, you will want to keep a few things in mind. First, your book might not display correctly if you upload it from a .doc. If it doesn’t, you might need to upload it with an epub.
Second, there has been a lot of talk about B&N and visibility when it comes to self-published authors. Some say there have been issues with their keywords being rejected, making it time consuming and difficult to get their books live.
Third, it’s been said they are a lot slower about uploading books than Amazon. It can take days to have your book added and days to have it removed.
But even with these issues, many authors are finding themselves surprised by the sales they are receiving through Nook Press. If you decide to publish on Barnes and Noble, you will want to give your books time to season, meaning time to hit the search engines and time for readers to find them. There are benefits to selling through this store directly. You will receive your pay faster, and you won’t have to share what you earn, like you would if you publish through a third party.
A lot of authors like All Romance E-books and/or Omnilit. They have a pretty simple system, and the royalties are higher than what you’d earn at Amazon or Barnes and Noble (not including KindleUnlimited). They pay quarterly. When you upload your books, they are available immediately to readers, which is a bonus. You can upload your books in different formats, from mobi to pdfs to epubs.
Google Play is another place for a self-published author to sell their books, however they haven’t been accepting new sign ups for a while now. You might want to check them periodically, though, for when they do allow new registrations.
Payhip is a place where you can upload your e-books and offer them for sale directly to your customers. From what I see, they don’t offer a storefront. However, if you want to market directly to your readers and fans from your website or blog, this actually might be an option. It looks like they take 5% as a transaction fee and that’s it. No other fees are listed.
If you are considering selling your books directly to consumers through your website, you have to check out Shopify. With a Shopify site, you’ll have a professional online store to showcase your books, and the behind-the-scene features are just awesome. They’ve thought of everything, from marketing to themes to fulfillment. As a merchant, you can sell your books online, in stores, or even through Facebook or Pinterest. The plans start at $29 a month. Get a free two-week trial with this link.
If you decide to publish with an e-publisher, many of them have online stores as well. They will also handle listing your books on all of the major retailers.
Should you decide to go back to Kindle Unlimited after going wide, make sure all of your books have been removed from the other bookstores before enrolling. Sometimes it can take a while for bookstores to remove your listing, so keep this in mind.
If I’ve missed a bookstore that accepts self-published books, please mention it in the comments. And don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in regards to self publishing, as other authors will likely find your information helpful.