When it comes to determining where and how to list an ebook for sale, there are two schools of thought: you either lock yourself in with Kindle Unlimited, or you go wide with your distribution. More and more, authors are discovering the benefits of going wide with an ebook for sale outweigh being committed to Kindle Unlimited. Let’s take a look at the best ways to list your ebook for sale.
Top 5 Places to Sell Your eBooks
Your own website. One of the best ways to have total control over your sales, pricing, and marketing is have your ebook on your own website. This is an ideal method for ensuring that your ebook gets in front of your readers, because in all of the marketing that you do – through social media, on book marketing sites, and through ads – you can list your website as the one-stop-shop to learn about you as an author and shop for your ebooks. In order to make this work effectively, we recommend building an ecommerce site using WooCommerce, Magento, Zapier, or Shopify. You can download the right plugin for your website from EditionGuard here.
EditionGuard’s fulfillment service works with any ecommerce site so that you can provide immediate delivery of your ebooks without sacrificing digital rights. You also have control over the level of Digital Rights Management (DRM) applied to your ebooks. You can learn more about the different DRM options by visiting EditionGuard’s website.
How to get started with your own website and EditionGuard:
- Purchase a domain if you do not yet have one.
- Obtain hosting services through Skystra, GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost, or something similar.
- Install WordPress and design your site (there are several themes available to make this easier)
- Install the necessary plugin or use our robust API for your own custom integration
- Upload your ebooks through EditionGuard and customize your ebook
- Market your ebooks
Bookbaby. Bookbaby is a book distribution service through which you can upload your ebook and have it disseminated to a variety of ebook sellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others. They offer a wide range of services to help you, from formatting and print-on-demand to marketing and advertising. While the service is fairly comprehensible, it is also costly. For the most part, you can only earn around 60% commission on your books.
How to get started with Bookbaby:
- Select whether or not you need distribution.
- Indicate whether you are providing an alread-formatted file or need formatting services
- Upload your cover or request cover services ($300-400)
- Upload your own ISBN or purchase one from them for $39
- Select dynamic or fixed layout
- Indicate whether or not your ebook has interior images; the cost is $2 per image
- Add additional services and marketing products, such as optimization, 11x17" posters, or custom printed bookmarks.
Draft2Digital. Draft2Digital is an all-inclusive publishing service. They say, “We distribute your ebook and paperback books to all the major retailers online, plus hundreds of storefronts worldwide. That's what we mean when we say ‘go wide.’"
How to get started with Draft2Digital:
- Set up an account with Draft2Digital
- Upload your manuscript
- Select the vendors where you wish your ebook to be sold
- Set your pricing
Top Platforms for Listing Your eBook for Sale
Whether you list with them directly or through your distribution service, it is recommended that you make your ebook available on the top platforms where readers will find you. Those platforms include Amazon, Nook, and Apple.
Sell Your eBook on Amazon
Amazon – Even if you do not enroll in KDP Select, having your ebook available through Kindle is a wise move. Amazon continues to be a popular shopping site for ebook readers in all genres. The easiest way to list your ebook on Amazon is to go through your selected indie distribution service, but you can also go to kdp.amazon.com and sign up for an account. Similar to the other distribution services, you simply upload your manuscript and cover art, select your price, and indicate whether or not it is part of a series or pre-order. Amazon maintains tight control over pricing, and the royalty you can earn depends on the price range you choose. You will also need to select the categories in which it will be sold. Amazon also offers print on demand.
Sell Your eBook Through Nook
Nook – As of February 2021, Barnes & Noble is offering indie authors new benefits, including a flat royalty of 70% regardless of sales price, faster payments (within 30 days, whereas Amazon takes 60 or more), and payments based on the calendar month in which the sale occurs. To list your ebook with Nook, you can either go through your distribution service or list it directly. Similar to Amazon, you simply upload your manuscript and book cover, set your price, and choose your categories.
Sell Your eBook through Apple
Apple – Publishing an ebook with Apple is easiest for Mac Users who write their ebooks in Pages, since it is a simple matter of uploading the file to Apple Books. Pages is available for Windows users as well, but there have been reported compatibility issues. This is a platform for which it can be best to publish through your distribution service; however, iBooks Author does accept the epub format, which is also what you will use for Nook. See our list of epub formatting services to determine whether or not you want to hire someone to format your epub file or use an online service.
It is our recommendation for most indie authors that you go wide and use as many of the above services as possible. Publishing, especially in fiction, can be highly competitive. Not every reader you want to reach is shopping on Amazon. By having your ebook (and potentially your print on demand books) available from multiple distributors, you can reach a wider audience and achieve higher sales.