Should you be switching to an aggregator? Authors always seek efficient, cost-effective ways to reach a wider audience and simplify the publication process. One viable and increasingly popular option lies in partnering with ebook distribution aggregators.
This can free up time, maximize your global reach, and potentially increase your earnings. We have already written about the benefits of publishing-wide and how ebook aggregators can assist authors in streamlining their publishing process.
This article discusses why making the switch might just be the game-changer you need.
Distributor vs. Aggregator
Self-published authors typically do one of the following:
- Distribute directly to a few top retailers
- Use a self-publishing aggregator (like PublishDrive) to distribute to many retailers at once
- Distribute directly to a few top retailers, and use an aggregator to access stores that can’t be reached directly
A distributor is a platform that enables your book to be sold in various stores. At the same time, an aggregator does the same but typically with a broader network of stores, including ones that might be inaccessible to individual authors.
When you're considering distributor vs. aggregator, consider the scope. Ebook distribution aggregators often provide you with a significantly wider reach. They have partnerships with many online retailers and libraries across the globe, giving your work increased visibility on a multitude of platforms. Managing all these channels from one place is an immense time-saver.
Switching to an aggregator offers convenience and allows you to focus more on the creative aspects of being an author, like writing and promoting your work, rather than managing the administrative duties of distribution.
Aggregators take over the heavy lifting, from converting your files to the right format for each retailer to managing the distribution of your book across various platforms.
What to look for?
Here are some benefits of switching to an aggregator:
1. Better royalties management
Understanding the financial implications is crucial when switching to an ebook distribution aggregator. Most aggregators take a commission, often around 10%, for their services.
2. Increased distribution opportunities
Always look to increase your chances of being discovered, and not just with your ebook Besides the wide distribution an aggregator offers, you can also talk to local libraries directly to see if they will accept submissions. You can pitch your book using author copies through the print-on-demand technology available with certain aggregators.
Also, remember that on platforms like Scribd, you can only access using an aggregator.
Assess your aggregator’s distribution capacity, niche international network, and ability to reach hard-to-access markets.
Note: PublishDrive is currently the only ebook distribution aggregator that will get your books to audiences in China.
Take into account the following:
- Economic and urban growth influence China’s landscape, resulting in a more educated middle class eager for international books.
- China’s market share of international books has rapidly increased since 2020.
- Some indies selling books in China made up to 201% more sales in 2020 via PublishDrive.
For tips on self-publishing books in China and beyond, read our article on How To Publish Internationally.
3. Access to analytics
For data-driven authors, comprehensive analytics is vital. You usually only see sales data for that specific retailer when distributing directly.
When switching to an aggregator, the situation is different: you can view analytics across all your sales channels.
PublishDrive offers real-time analytics, giving you an at-a-glance view of sales across various global stores. Such features are essential in managing your author business.
4. Marketing tools for book promotion
Marketing is often challenging for self-published authors.
Aggregators like PublishDrive offer built-in promotion tools to help your books gain visibility. Through the Promotions tab from PublishDrive’s dashboard, you can:
- Set up price promotions in various stores.
- Send free review copies through Apple Books and Google Play Books;
- Set up Amazon ads
- Apply for Sales Events available at various retailers
Note: This requires a discount or price change during the promotion period. The platform displays details such as the store logo, event description, application and campaign period, and discount requirements.
- Have your books featured in partner newsletters. This visibility can help your title gain faster recognition among readers. However, before submitting, authors must ensure their book is distributed to at least one of the stores associated with the campaign.
- Promote your free or discounted books on promotion sites from Written Word Media.
Additionally, you can check out numerous tips and tricks on book marketing by browsing the blog.
Switching To PublishDrive [A Step By Step Guide]
If you’ve made your decision and you’re ready to switch to PublishDrive, here’s your step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Withdraw your books directly from retailers
First, you must remove your books from sale at all retailers you distribute directly. Keep in mind that each retailer has different timeframes for withdrawing titles. This is what you can expect from the major retailers:
- Amazon: up to 48 hours
- Apple Books: up to 48 hours
- Google Play Books: up to 48 hours
- Kobo: 3-5 business days
- Barnes and Noble: 5-7 business days
Contact the store’s support team if your books haven’t been removed from sale after the above timeframes.
Step 2: Unpublish any books distributed through other aggregators
Unpublish titles currently distributed through other aggregators before uploading them to PublishDrive. To do so, log in to your account and remove the books from sale on your dashboard.
If the books are still live after about a week, contact the aggregator’s support team.
Step 3: Get back on the market with PublishDrive
You’re good to go once you’ve confirmed that your books are no longer for sale through other retailers or aggregators.
After you hit Publish, our team will quickly get to work, so your books will be live as soon as possible.
Keep your reviews & ratings
In self-publishing, most book sales happen online. Thus, reader reviews have a significant impact on driving book sales. It is essential to get them and equally important to keep them.
You can keep your reviews for Amazon*, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Before you withdraw your books for sale, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know you’re in the process of moving your titles to PublishDrive, and that you’d like to keep your reviews, and we’ll take care of it.
Note: Be sure to save your original ASIN to keep Amazon reviews. Also, remember that the buy links for your books must be changed when you switch to PublishDrive.
Keep your ISBN
If you can’t use your ISBN, no worries. PublishDrive will assign your titles a unique ID that most stores accept.
Switching To An Aggregator. Why Wait?
Why wait to elevate your self-publishing game? With ebook distribution aggregators, you can conveniently manage your book distribution, leaving more time to focus on what you love: writing.
The prospect of switching to an aggregator may seem daunting, but the benefits are considerable. In the debate of distributor vs. aggregator, the latter often prevails for its broad market reach, advanced analytics, and marketing support.
Not only does an aggregator provide an array of services under one roof, but it also simplifies the overall management of your digital sales. So why wait?