Self-publishing is a hot trend in the publishing industry. There are more tools to help published authors and indie publishers be successful. Self-publishing companies, distributors, and aggregators help in book sales with education, distribution, and publishing.
What is a self-publishing company?
A self-publishing company helps authors in different ways. Unlike traditional companies, they usually don’t ask for copyrights from authors. These companies give professional services like editing, conversion, formatting, creating marketing materials, book promotions, and more.
Some companies help with giving expertise in self-publishing. A big chunk of companies offer a self-service platform. This way, you upload and manage titles directly with the stores or through an aggregation model.
What is aggregated book publishing and distribution?
Aggregated book publishing is when you upload a book to a publishing platform to distribute to more than one store. They have multiple stores in one place. They give time saving benefits like handling marketing or sales in one place.
When to go with an aggregated self-publishing platform?
The 4 Ps of marketing are Product, Price, Place, and Promotions. In self-publishing, the publishing and distribution fall into Place. It’s where you set up your distribution strategy.
First, do you want to have an exclusive or inclusive distribution strategy? Exclusive distribution means selling your book on Amazon only in the Kindle Select program. Inclusive distribution means selling your book everywhere. More about both strategies here.
Note: If you enrolled in KDP Select and sell your ebook with Amazon Kindle in KU, keep reading. We go over the benefits of using a distributor like PublishDrive, for audiobooks and print-on-demand books too. PublishDrive Abacus is for KU authors in collaborative projects -- bestselling books author Michael Anderle loves it.
Next, decide how involved you want to be. You can do everything on your own if you want. But, you will need to learn a lot about publishing.
With learning and doing, don’t expect fast results. It’s the same as many professions and for many of us, a lifetime would not be enough! :)
Publish directly or with an aggregator?
Indies struggle with the decision to publish alone or with a partner. Many platforms publish directly to places like Kindle Direct Publishing. For more control, you can publish directly with retailers.
There are downsides when you publish directly to retailers. Time and energy goes into learning how to publish a book. A lot more time goes into managing everything. Also, you won’t reach your full potential by selling to only a few places.
Do your homework before you choose a self-publishing company. Authors have preconceptions about working with aggregator companies. Let’s go through these myths as a part of your homework.
The Top 5 Myths About Aggregated Book Publishing
There are common myths about self-publishing platforms that may not be so accurate. Here are the top 5:
You give up royalties.
Many aggregators have a business model that takes a percentage of authors’ royalties, so there is no upfront cost. This comes from traditional publishing, where everyone gets rich from royalties. Today, authors try to keep as many royalties as they can get. At the end of the day, you write, publish, and market books -- why should you give up royalties from the start?
Giving up royalties might sound good when you’re a newbie. But when you sell more than 20 copies per month, it starts to cost you a lot. Read more about how much ebook aggregation costs.
Good news, not all companies take royalties for their work. Make sure you know what they deliver. See if they are transparent about how much royalties you’d receive. (Many aggregators are not good at this.)
At PublishDrive, authors pay a monthly flat fee. They get the same royalties as they would by going directly with big stores. They reach other stores worldwide that are not open for indie authors (like Chinese retailers).
The best part is that authors can save dozens of hours on admin work. You should have more time to write, we believe that. With us you can save at least 14% of their royalties per month. One of our authors Lee Gordon Miller said his “pocket revenue is up 27% compared to distributing alone.”
You give up control.
Self-publishing is all about control, like with your royalties. Maybe you want control over the team you want to work with. It’s also about understanding your entire book publishing process. Aggregators act as a middleman to bigger retailers, so you do lose some control.
However, the myth that you lose control with an aggregator can be dismissed, thanks to PublishDrive. We handle direct publisher accounts with retailers like Apple Books and Google Play Books. Get benefits from aggregation and direct publishing, plus keep 100% royalties and your direct account. Manage all stores and everything you need with a PublishDrive dashboard.
You have no promotions.
Traditionally, authors pass book proposals to agents or publishers. Indie authors learn to use social media and promotional tools. The best aggregator companies will give you great help with publishing a book.
Most stores give out sample chapters for customer reviews and ratings. For better visibility, we say more promo tools! PublishDrive is the only self-publishing platform with exclusive Promotional Tools.
See Featuring options available on one dashboard every week. These include stores like Apple Books and Google Books. Get Price Promo Deals with Kobo and other stores, or get in stores’ newsletters or book promotion sites.
Send free DRM protected review copies to friends and family or people with Apple and Android devices. That’s over 3.7bn people around the world. It can save you at least $20 a month too. :)
This is a safe way to send book reviews. Because of DRM technology, your book disappears from stores if you do not receive a review for 28 days.
Price promotions are effective for selling more. Schedule a campaign with PublishDrive’s Price Promotion tool. Reach more people by featuring titles with Price Promo Deals.
You have no visibility.
Transparency is a problem in e-commerce, especially for digital products. With the Kindle Direct Publishing platform you get real-time sales data, helpful for seeing analytics. But, many book aggregators are not able to provide complete transparency.
PublishDrive is an exception after releasing its sales feature in 2016. It tracks real time sales for bigger stores, a tool even big publishing companies love. Save more than 90 minutes every time your data is refreshed.
Filter based on what you’d like to see: author, title, category, country, or stores. Run custom reports and when monthly earnings come in, get refreshed data across all stores.
Below are some charts to help you analyze data. It’s important to make the best decisions in your marketing plan.
You cannot manage teams.
Writing a book can be a lonely process, but publishing doesn’t have to be. Still, direct publishing platforms and aggregators haven’t caught up to Shared Accounts. This is where you invite other members to your account. What other members would you need to add?
Many authors work in a publishing team sharing tasks. As an indie, you might hire a cover designer to upload the final cover. Or hire a virtual assistant to handle your operations. Or give your accountant access to earnings reports to deal with taxes.
You might need to give your marketing team access to run promotions. In some cases, literary agents want to see the author sales dashboard.
Do you collaborate with other authors? Many fiction writers share the writing responsibilities to co-write books. Co-authoring is becoming more popular with non-fiction writers who research topics together.
If you work in a team, you’ll love PublishDrive’s Shared Account feature. You can invite other members and select different access levels. This is how you encourage transparency and productivity.
On top of that, we have a tool for royalty splitting and management called Team Royalties. PublishDrive helps you report, pay out, and handle taxation for your team.
Extra Benefits When Publishing With PublishDrive
- All book formats: Publish and distribute ebooks, print-on-demand books and audiobooks.
- Open for KU authors: KDP Select authors can use PublishDrive’s print-on-demand and audiobook services (currently in beta).
- Ebook conversion for free.
- Exclusive stores: PublishDrive’s network includes stores that could not previously accessed directly. Stores like Scribd, Chinese retailers, Bookmate, and thousands of digital libraries.
- Time savings: Save at least 60 hours admin work per month by easily managing your books (upload and update). Track store links, realtime sales data, sales analytics, and get earnings reports.
- Smart charts: Track your sales with cool analytics to see the bigger picture.
- One price for all: There is no need to set different prices for stores. PublishDrive makes adjustments based on different models. See more about ebook pricing models here.
- Smart tools: Improve your book’s metadata. Use Savant, the AI tool for book categories or intelligent international pricing.
- Quality check for all books: Make sure that readers will get the best quality of your book.
- Publishing Strategy Consultation: We also give extra help for any of your more specific needs.
+1 PublishDrive is not just about Distribution. If you manage teams and royalties for ebooks, print books or audiobooks, see Abacus. It’s our royalty tool that works as a standalone for Kindle Unlimited authors.
How to publish a book with PublishDrive?
Sign up and upload your first book and also, check out our video about Why Publishing Companies love PublishDrive.