7 Alternatives to KDP for Self-Published Authors

alternatives to kdp

Authors have a variety of platforms to consider when looking to distribute their books. Beyond the well-known Amazon KDP, there are several Amazon KDP alternatives.

You can distribute your book through retailers or aggregators, as we'll see in this article.

PublishDrive is an aggregator that distributes to hundreds of stores (including Amazon), helps with your print-on-demand needs, and with book promotion. If you're looking for an alternative to Amazon KDP and wish to start your publishing journey right away, we’re here for all your publishing needs.

Key takeaways:

  • Diversifying through KDP alternatives enhances market presence and potential earnings for authors, opening up untapped audiences and revenue streams.
  • A broad distribution strategy mitigates risks associated with platform exclusivity, ensuring authors maintain control over their publishing choices.
  • Embracing multiple distribution platforms through aggregators like PublishDrive allows authors to adapt quickly to market changes, securing a competitive edge in the dynamic publishing landscape.

What's the Difference Between Retailers and Aggregators?


With retailers, you place your book in their storefront, allowing customers to purchase it directly from them. This direct approach has benefits but limits your book's visibility to the retailer's customer base.


If you decide on an aggregator, you're choosing to cast a wider net. An aggregator distributes your work across many channels, including many renowned retailers. Regarded as KDP competitors, aggregators offer unique features and benefits that align better with your publishing goals.

Sites like Amazon KDP serve as robust platforms for book distribution, but it can limit your exposure if you’re distributing strictly on Amazon.

Reasons to Distribute Through KDP Alternatives

Amazon KDP dominates self-publishing, commanding a significant portion of the ebook and print book market. This platform provides extensive reach and comprehensive tools to help authors connect with a broad audience.

KDP also offers an exclusive program called KDP Select. This is where you give Amazon 90 days of exclusive rights, meaning you can't list it anywhere else for that time. The advantage of it? You get discount promotions and countdown deals. However, during those 90 days, you can't make your book available on major retailers like Barnes & Noble or Kobo.

Despite the appeal of Amazon KDP and its exclusivity program, there is value in exploring Amazon KDP alternatives.

Considering alternatives to KDP provides several key benefits:

  • Global exposure: While KDP reaches a vast audience, expanding distribution through other platforms ensures access to readers across different digital and physical bookstores.
  • Mitigated competition: Amazon's market is notably competitive. Listing your book on sites like Amazon KDP introduces it to a crowded field where distinguishing your work requires considerable strategy.
  • Increased sales opportunities: Broadening distribution channels can enhance sales. Each platform serves a distinct reader demographic, and a presence on multiple platforms increases visibility and potential earnings.

Recognizing KDP's dominance is important, but authors should consider Amazon KDP competitors.

Based on our 2023 book sales report, authors and publishers who restrict their distribution to Amazon alone miss out on approximately 40% of potential sales, underscoring the importance of expanding their reach to alternative Amazon KDP channels.

publishdrive stores alternatives to kdp

By diversifying their distribution, authors & publishers tap into a significant market share and enjoy diversified income streams, enhancing their financial resilience against fluctuations in any retailer's performance. This strategy ensures adaptability to market changes, allowing authors to pivot swiftly in response to reader preferences or market trend shifts.

Alternatives to Kindle Direct Publishing

Whether you're looking for a platform with lower fees, different royalty structures, or one that reaches specific international markets, there's likely a KDP alternative that fits your needs.

Here's a list of the best self-publishing alternatives to KDP.


1. Apple Books

Apple Books represents an alternative to KDP, offering authors direct access to a dedicated audience of Apple users. The loyalty of Apple's customer base provides a unique opportunity for authors to connect with readers who prefer to read books on their Apple devices.

For those interested in tapping into this market, publishing directly with Apple Books requires a Mac. But if you're not a Mac owner, and you still want to distribute to this KDP alternative, you can go through an aggregator and reach this store and many others.

Apple has a selective partnership policy, with only a handful of partners. PublishDrive is a trusted Apple partner, distributing to Apple Books, Apple Audio [iTunes], and Apple Digital Narration

Authors can expect to earn 70% of their royalties from Apple Books, making it an attractive platform for those looking to maximize their earnings.

Apple Books stands out as one of the few ebook retailers, alongside Google Play Books, that indexes book descriptions in its search. This feature grants authors significant control over their book's search visibility, typically comprising 15-20% of overall storefront visibility. 

Read more about how to publish on Apple Books and its many benefits.

2. Kobo

Kobo represents a significant force in the ebook market, holding 25% of all Canadian ebook sales. This statistic shows its potential as a compelling alternative to KDP.

Beyond Canada, Kobo enjoys a global presence, offering authors a broad platform for their work.

With Kobo, authors receive 70% royalties on all books priced over $2.99, making it an attractive alternative to Amazon KDP.

3. Barnes & Noble Press

Choosing to self-publish with Barnes & Noble means your books will be available through their extensive online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Their platform also offers print-on-demand services, making it a comprehensive alternative to KDP for authors seeking a reliable retailer.

Barnes & Noble authors earn 70% royalty on all books.

4. Google Play Books

Google Play, a platform preinstalled on all Android devices, is a significant alternative to Amazon KDP. It taps into a vast global audience of over 3 billion users in more than 75 countries.

Since Google is the largest search engine in the world, having an author page on Google can help you rank in higher search results.

As an expansive digital bookstore with over 5 million titles, Google Play Books positions itself as a compelling alternative Amazon KDP option for authors seeking wide distribution.

Google Play Books authors earn 70% royalty on all books.

If you want to publish on Google Play Books, know that there are two options:


1. IngramSpark 

IngramSpark is a well-established self-publishing platform with global distribution in over 200 countries and additional services such as marketing assistance and design tools.

If you're thinking about print-on-demand, know that IngramSpark offers quality services, which makes this platform another important KDP alternative.

2. BookBaby 

BookBaby lists among top self-publishing companies, offering extensive distribution to both ebook and print markets. The platform distributes to major retailers, including Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play Books, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble, positioning itself as a strong alternative to Amazon KDP. 

BookBaby also provides additional services to assist authors on their self-publishing journey. These include professional formatting and social media promotion to improve books’ visibility.


PublishDrive is among the top book aggregators you could choose for your book distribution, whether you’re an author or a publisher looking for international audiences. It simplifies publishing, distribution, and book promotion, offering a one-stop resource hub.

PublishDrive works based on a flat fee subscription model, allowing authors and publishers full control over their revenue.

With a wide array of stores, collaborations, tools, and features, you access an all-encompassing book network designed to grow your business and open new markets, reaching hard-to-get audiences.

Why PublishDrive?

Besides the seamless process of publishing PublishDrive offers, you’ll benefit from:

We offer print-on-demand distribution through Ingram, which sells books in over 40,000 online stores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Walmart, Costco, and other independent bookstores, chain stores, libraries, and universities.

💡 Unsure which aggregator suits you best cost-wise? Calculate your potential earnings using the Book Sales Calculator.

The calculator offers insights into royalty differences between revenue share models and subscription-based models, showing the best option for authors & publishers.

Why publish wide?

Publishing wide means distributing on multiple platforms, but this may seem like a hassle if you go individually on each one.

However, wide and international distribution can come easily with the right platform. PublishDrive puts authors in control when it comes to distribution while ensuring they retain 100% of their net royalties.

By consolidating the publishing process into a user-friendly dashboard, PublishDrive not only facilitates a smoother publication journey but also significantly broadens authors' potential audience by increasing discoverability.

Working with an aggregator and publishing-wide is the beginning of your marketing strategy because you also ensure your presence in various places to cater to different audience preferences.


Amazon KDP competitors represent not just alternatives but vital opportunities for authors embarking on their wide publishing journey.

These platforms offer more than an alternative to Amazon KDP; they open doors to diverse markets, richer reader engagement, and more robust revenue streams. By considering each alternative to KDP as a stepping stone, authors can extend their reach far beyond the confines of a single retailer. And our reports say there has never been a better moment for such a journey.

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