10 Great Services to Help You Create and Sell Your Ebooks – Self-Pub Boot Camp Approved!
These ten great services are Self-Pub Boot Camp-Approved vendors. This means that I have used them and have found them to be cost-effective, reasonably easy to use, ethical, reliable, reputable, get-your-money’s-worth vendors. This particular list of vendors names those who can help you get your ebook (and, in some cases, your print book, too) formatted and distributed so you can start selling. There are services for plain-text ebooks and others for full-color, and even others that can handle full-blown multimedia books, too. Read or listen, below, and look for more Self-Publishing Boot Camp approved vendor lists in the future, by signing up for my mailing list in the right column. Make sure to click interest group Self-Publishing!
- Smashwords is the largest distributor of indie ebooks, delivering to ebook retailers, app stores, and libraries. They take a 15% commission. Upload your properly-formatted Word document under 5MB in size, or upload your own custom-designed EPUB file. Their cool coupon generator makes custom promotions a snap.
- BookBaby is a complete ebook publishing and distribution service that converts your book from any format (including images and multimedia). They pass on 100% of net sales to authors. Packages run from $99 to $249, with an annual $19 fee after the second year. They also offer high-quality short-run printing, web hosting and cover design.
- Vook is an ebook creation and distribution service that can format plain-text, picture, and multimedia ebooks for you. After conversion, request to use their browser-based tool to finesse or edit your book. They have good cover design and editing services. They charge 15% on sales, and their e-commerce platform Stripe takes 2.9% and charges a $0.30 per transaction fee.
- Aerbook Maker provide a browser-based (cloud) ebook builder where you can create sophisticated picture and multimedia ebooks. Pay $99 for five formats when you’re ready to export your files. Do it yourself or they’ll help you. You get the files to distribute as you wish.
- Scrivener is a word processing program with ebook and print book formatting capability. Lots of writers use it to develop and organize their books, scripts and even articles. You have the files, so you can send the PDF to a printer, and distribute the ebook files as you wish.
- PressBooks is a free, browser-based publishing system based on WordPress. Publish in ebook and print formats, or use a paid premium feature, including premium themes. They will help you for a reasonable fee. They promote BookBaby’s ebook distribution service, but you have the print and ebook formatted files to distribute as you wish.
- Folium Book Studio is a cloud-based service that lets you create plain-text, image-heavy ebooks and multimedia, including cover. Experiment for free, and when you’re ready to publish, pay about $40. FBS exports multiple EPUB, HTML, and Kindle formats, They also offer full-service book building, cover design services, and fixed-format for Apple iPad. You get the files to distribute as you wish.
- Leanpub is both a publishing and sales tool that outputs to PDF, EPUB, and Kindle formats, and they have an online store which specializes in selling in-progress ebooks. Set minimum and suggested prices for your book, and readers can pay what they want using sliders. They charge 10% minus 50 cents per sale.
- PigeonLab distributes your ebooks, including enhanced ebooks, to markets worldwide, and they also specialize in getting overseas authors into US bookstores. Hand them your already-formatted ebook files (from eBook Architects, PressBooks, Scrivener, Folium Studio, or similar) and they’ll do it all for you. Check sales reports, royalty payments and more with their author dashboard. They charge 10% of sales for their services.
- Gumroad is an online store. Upload and sell your digital files, up to 4 GB – or create an order form for selling physical objects. Automatically share your item with your Twitter and Facebook networks. Set a price or let the customer choose with pay-what-you-want pricing. You get customer data, 95% royalty and a 25¢ transaction free.
Have you had a great experience with any of these vendors? A bad one? Is there a vendor I should add to this list? I’d love to hear about it. Please use the comments form below to let me know.
Are you ready to self-publish? Just thinking about it? I’ve been self-publishing since 1995 – before that, if you count all the custom books I’ve written and published for high-tech companies since 1985. I keep up with the industry and in touch with authors by organizing Meetup groups, teaching workshops, helping a select group of writers get their books finished, and attending conferences. My Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors distills what I know in a step-by-step process that makes it easy for you to get your book off of your desktop and into the marketplace, now. Buy it in ebook or print formats from the online retailer of your choice.