Top 12 Alternatives to Smashwords for Self-Publishing Ebooks

Lily Polanco Follow Jan 21, 2024 · 5 mins read
Top 12 Alternatives to Smashwords for Self-Publishing Ebooks
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In the last decade, ebooks have fast transformed from niche to mainstream. Readers across the world consume digital books in unprecedented numbers today. This surge has enabled authors to self-publish and directly access a global readership.

While Amazon dominates the overall ebook publishing landscape through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), several other compelling alternatives exist allowing you to easily publish ebooks. They provide varying capabilities around - manuscript conversion, attractive formatting, distribution platforms access, sales reporting, and reader analytics.

Leading Ebook Distribution Platforms

1. IngramSpark

IngramSpark has emerged as a leading print and ebook publishing platform catering to independent authors and publishers. It offers seamless distribution to 39,000 retailers across the globe including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple Books. Easy access to such a vast network of book buyers provides great sales potential.

Other useful features include – global availability across bookstores, libraries, and online retailers, print book functionality, hardcover options, pro editing and design services, and sales analytics.

2. Blurb

Blurb focuses specifically on enabling individuals and authors to create aesthetically pleasing print books and ebooks. Key highlights:

• Gorgeous templates to design beautiful books and magazine • Hardcover and softcover binding options • Sell books through Blurb online bookstore • Retain 100% margins from books sold directly by you • Limited distribution to Amazon and Apple Books

3. Draft2Digital

Draft2Digital, as the name suggests, is dedicated to helping authors self-publish ebooks easily and widely. It aggregates major ebook stores like Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Scribd, OverDrive in one platform allowing simplified distribution.

Other useful aspects include – split royalty payments across marketplaces, tools for tracking daily sales, set own prices, schedule free promotional days, publish audiobooks in ACX, and website plugins to sell books directly.

India Focused Platforms

4. Notion Press

One of the largest self-publishing companies in India, Notion Press offers both print books and multi-format ebook solutions. Key highlights:

• Print books made available across all online/offline bookstores in India • Global ebook distribution across 4000+ ebook platforms including Kindle and Google Play Books • Upload edited manuscript and cover image, platform handles rest
• Built using latest technology for superior experience • Simplified sales tracking on online dashboard • Top rated customer support via Phone, Email, WhatsApp, Chat

Specialised Distribution Networks

5. StreetLib

As the name suggests, StreetLib offers a simplified multi-lingual platform for authors across the globe to self-publish and sell ebooks with greater discoverability.

It provides access to a network of hundreds of smaller online ebook stores catering to specific geographies and languages, which are typically hard to access directly. This opens up sales opportunities beyond mainstream stores.

Other key aspects are - free conversion and worldwide distribution in over 200 countries, multi-language interface allowing users to access the system in different languages, and sales analytics.

Assisted Publishing Services

6. Lulu

A well-established self-publishing website, Lulu empowers users to publish a range of titles beyond just books including – photo books, calendars, magazines, ebooks etc in both digital and print formats easily.

It offers standardized templates, guidelines and tools allowing you to prepare a polished book without intensive technical skills. Key features include:

  • Print book sold via online store and distribution channels
  • Multi-format ebook creation support
  • Global distribution of print books and ebooks
  • Ultimately can function as a self-serve or assisted service if you choose to access Lulu’s design services

Overall, for an author seeking convenience coupled with wider reach, Lulu is a reliable option.

7. BookBaby

Coming from CD Baby, they are a topnotch ebook conversion and distribution to leading stores assisting independent authors and publishers.

They have high-upfront fees, so it’s not an ideal distributor for new or casual authors.

8. PublishDrive

PublishDrive has positioned itself as an aggregator distributing ebooks and audiobooks authored by independent publishers and authors to a host of platforms and stores spanning over 400 channels globally.

Some major stores integrated include Google Play Books, OverDrive, Scribd, Rakuten Kobo to name a few. This gives authors instant access to rabid readers worldwide.

Useful features include - simplified rights management, promotional tools like setting special discounts easily across stores, sales analytics with insights on bestselling regions, countries and platforms. With DIY publishing tools coupled with such expansive distribution capabilities, PublishDrive offers compelling value.

9. XinXii

XinXii has positioned itself as one of the largest self-publishing platforms in Germany also catering to independent publishers and authors across Europe.

It offers access to thousands of smaller online stores and e-libraries that are hard to access directly. This focus on lesser known European ebook retailers makes Xinxii standout for maximising book discoverability and sales in Europe.

The site supports English, German, Spanish and French as the predominant languages. Key capabilities include free DOI assignment for research publications, multi-format ebook conversion and editorial services available to prepare manuscript for publishing.

10. eBook Partnership

eBook Partnership is a UK based provider catering primarily to independent publishers and authors based in Britain and Europe.

It provides end-to-end ebook production including - manuscript evaluation, editing & proofreading, ebook formatting, metadata creation and crucially access to leading ebook distributors in UK and Europe for increasing sales like Gardners and Overdrive.

This focused approach on the local UK/EU market lends additional discoverability for authors in the region looking for readership closer home before expanding internationally.

11. Selfmaker

Selfmaker brands itself as India’s first self-publishing site built using latest technology allowing Indian authors to publish both digital and print books with greater control and margins.

Useful capabilities include simplified uploading of manuscript, automated ebook conversion into MOBI and EPUB formats, local print-on-demand service, and distribution across leading Indian e-tailers and digital libraries.

12. Draft2Kindle

As the name suggests, Draft2Kindle offers a dedicated self-publishing solution only targeted at publishing ebooks specifically on Amazon’s Kindle Store catering to their proprietary AZW, MOBI formats.

This allows independent writers to tap into Amazon’s vast existing base of loyal Kindle device owners instantly. Useful features include book cover design templates, editing workflow, Amazon formatting styles pre-installed, KDP account creation integration and publishing guidance.

Written by Lily Polanco Follow
Junior News Writer @ new.blicio.us.