Book Publishing Innovation in Q3 2020: PublishDrive’s New Features

For most businesses, innovation has taken a backseat in 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic. However, it’s very possible for companies to innovate through these difficult times (like during the global crisis in 2008). PublishDrive aims to be one of those companies. The team is staying focused on helping authors and publishers sell more books with new and improved digital solutions.

PublishDrive is a global book publishing company focused on innovation. Here’s our Q3 of 2020 review.

Since the start of 2020, we’ve experienced a wave of transitions from print spaces to digital publishing. We’ve also seen growth month after month since March, reporting a 69% boost in digital book sales in a one-year period.

In the third quarter of 2020, we focused on improving PublishDrive’s self-publishing experience to better support the demand for online books. We worked on both PublishDrive Distribution and PublishDrive Abacus to not only help indies boost book sales but manage royalties easily. Read our top eight developments below.

1. Faster sales data for Amazon Print-On-Demand

It’s important to receive accurate sales data and be able to digest it easily when you are in the book publishing business. Some basics include understanding where your sales come from to make the most out of your book promotions.

The PublishDrive platform displays real-time sales data for ebook sales on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, and Kobo. In March of this year, we added print-on-demand and audiobook formats to the platform. In Q3, we added real-time sales for print copies on Amazon which updates every few hours.

The PublishDrive sales page is filled with pre-made charts on book performance. It gives users the option to filter and see specific metrics by country, title, contributor, or store. When you know about bestselling categories, countries, and best price tiers for your books, it lets you know where you can optimize and invest more in.

Publish ebook, print, or audiobook and easily track your sales today.

2. Distribution to Kobo Plus Canada and Nextory

Selling your books wide to as many channels and markets is the best move you can make for your business. It’s how PublishDrive indies increased their digital book sales by 69%. Our network makes up over 400 online stores and 240K digital libraries, and the list is always growing. We’re proud to say there has never been a quarterly announcement without introducing a new partnership.

This quarter, we expanded our distribution network with Kobo Plus Canada and Nextory (aka Tolino & German network). These are great new avenues to increase your royalties. To be exact, reach more readers in Canada, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, and Switzerland.


In the first half of 2020, Kobo launched their all-you-can-read subscription service in Canada. Compared to 2019, Canadians have doubled the time spent on Kobo eReaders with an overall 89% increase. It’s a similar story with Nextory across Europe as they launched their subscription app in Germany with the rise of traffic on subscription models. We’re glad to have them in PublishDrive Distribution.

3. New 14-day free trial

For the first time, we offer a free 14-day trial period for anyone and everyone. We believe that once indies see how the platform works for themselves, it’s hard to deny PublishDrive as the go-to publishing tool. There are perks like manuscript conversion support, global distribution, exclusive promotion opportunities, keeping 100% royalties, and more.

Whether you’re a newly published author or an independent publisher with dozens of books, enjoy any PublishDrive plan free for 14 days.

It takes 5 easy steps to publish your book.

4. Swift communication about publishing times with stores

As a self-publishing platform working to make life simpler for indies, we want to make sure you’re able to move efficiently through the publishing process. With distribution to thousands of stores, we’ve improved the platform’s communication so you get the most important information.

Since each online retailer has varying publishing times from one to two days up to several months (thanks to China’s censorship laws), now you can see those details easily. When you wait for store approvals after sending out your book, track not only the status for each store but also other operational details on your dashboard.

5. Manuscript correction and formatting by pros

Before having your book accepted by stores, it’s crucial that your epub manuscript is free of errors. It’s usually a good idea to have it reviewed to meet store requirements, industry standards, and have it optimized for a smooth reader experience. (Here’s our free ebook conversion tool and formatting guide).

We know the troubles that come with conversion issues. That’s why we extended PublishDrive’s service offerings to include manuscript conversion and formatting by our experts. For a small fee, you can have your book file reviewed and fixed by our best epub people in one to two business days. We’ve published over 200,000 digital books so far -- you can count on our pros. More info.

6. Upload and edit books in bulk

With PublishDrive, users can upload dozens to hundreds of books in bulk. We’ve made awesome updates to the function. Not only can you upload ebooks in bulk, but you can edit existing book titles in PublishDrive in one go. There’s also quicker upload times and more fields to import.

This is enormously helpful when running price promotions: for either a discounted percentage or specific price points for an entire catalog. Other changes include updated help links, an updated BISAC sheet, and a new sheet and column for adult content types (valuable for recent trends in genre subtypes!). Read more.

Join indies experiencing tremendous sales growth across book categories.

7. Book publishing through custom API

PublishDrive started back in 2015 with publishing groups and companies from all around the world. We helped publish bestselling books like EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and Michelle Obama’s Becoming. We had traditional publishers selling fiction and nonfiction books join our platform who wanted to sell more effectively. We made this possible by being a team of publishers and developers. Building and optimizing digital solutions is a core aspect of what we do.

To better serve our publishers’ needs, we developed an API (Application Programming Interface) that makes it easy to publish books on PublishDrive with an automated method. To put it simply, the communication between your database and PublishDrive is way faster and accessible to manage. The API is custom-built and available through special requests for publishers who have a larger amount of books to handle and can benefit from an API system.

8. More stores added on PD Abacus

PublishDrive Abacus is a standalone tool separate from our main platform. It’s a royalty management tool for co-authors and teams that calculates co-royalties, generates detailed royalty reports, and more. It has had quite a journey since its launch in 2019, savings authors and publishers hours of time.

PD Abacus was first available for those publishing on Amazon exclusively with KDP Select (read pros and cons of selling exclusively). The tool now supports importing reports from ACX, Kobo, Apple, Google, IngramSpark, D2D, FIndaway, and PublishDrive. We’ve also added a feature that automatically fixes currency conversion rates for different countries and stores as accurately as possible. Read more.

Stay tuned for more

As displayed in this post, we’ve been busy this quarter. In fact, the entire year has been a busy one. As PublishDrive indies saw their sales go up by 69% (70% of those sales from global markets), we’re working hard to support our community.

Along with the digital developments, tweaks, and iterations, we’re also doing what we can to share our knowledge of what’s happening in the global book industry. Definitely check out our recent webinar recording for best practices on increasing your royalties. Lastly, stay tuned for more!

Publish your book easily around the globe in 5 easy steps.

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