Monday, May 05, 2014

Which eBook Distributor is Right for You? Compare the Costs and Benefits of the Three Biggest Distributors


Cost - Free

Pays quarterly when balance is over $10.00, keeps small percentage of sales (varies)

File requirements - Word file formatted according to Smashwords Style Guide

Distributes to:
Apple iBookstore
Barnes & Noble
Baker & Taylor

eBook Partnership

Cost -
For 1-4 titles submitted - set-up fee of $99 per title and an annual fee of $40
Can purchase a block of 5 Distribution Credits for just $199 for use later
5 or more titles - no set up fee - pay rate of $40 per title per year from the outset.

Pays monthly on balances over $30.00 and charges no commission

File requirements - ePub and Mobi

Distributes to:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play


Free Package - BookBaby retains 15% commission
Standard Package - $99.00, Includes ePub and Mobi conversion, BookBaby retains 15% commission
Premium Package - $249.00, 100% net sales paid

Pays based on a price point you set, as low as $10.00. Once that amount is hit, money is paid the following Monday

File requirements - ePub and Mobi

Distributes to:
Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble
Baker & Taylor

Which one is right for you?


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Nice roundup of options, Diane!

Hope you had a good weekend. Finally good weather for once, right?

SA Larsenッ said...

Great post! I've never compared the three like this. I'll share for you.

Have a great week!

Rhonda Albom said...

This one is bookmarked for future, when I will need it. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for laying this all out for us. I'll come back to this if I ever decide to self-publish.

Mason Canyon said...

I know eBooks are popular, but I just hadn't realized how many options there are for publishing. Good selection.

Jay Noel said...

I use Smashwords to distribute to Apple and others, but I went straight to Amazon and Nook.

Honestly, my sales at Smashwords (iTunes) and Nook are almost nil. Since last December, I've only sold 8 ebooks through those channels.

All my ebook sales are through Amazon for sure. I probably sell more physical books in person, actually.

Karen Walker said...

Very helpful, Diane. Thanks.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's good to know about!
I always thought authors just did smashwords and amazon to cover all their bases.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Happy to know this helps people!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good to know if I ever need it!

M.J. Fifield said...

This is a very timely post for me. I still have no idea which one is right for me, but it's great to see it all laid out.

Michael Di Gesu said...

This is great! You are the best at this L. Diane!

cleemckenzie said...

Great comparison, Diane. Last year I went with Amazon to save my sanity. I'll have to reevaluate and I'll be sure to use your chart. Thanks.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Smashwords would work if I decided to take the distributor route. I checked them out in the past. Nice list.

Tara Tyler R said...

excellent info for distributing books! you always have so much knowledge to share!

thanks! (i always point people in your direction with industry questions!)

Clarissa Draper said...

This is really interesting, I didn't know these sites existed. But why wouldn't we just publish directly with amazon?

Carol Kilgore said...

I participate in the KDP Select program. Works well for me.

J E Oneil said...

It's cool that you put up the options. I think it will take a lot of consideration before I decide which one is right. It seems like eBook Partnership is a lot of money--do they do anything to make it worth it?

Nicki Elson said...

I used Smashwords earlier this year for a novella, and I've got no complaints---though I went directly through KDP first, and their formatting instructions were much easier to follow than Smash's. Luckily, I only had to make a few tweaks to my Kindlized version, otherwise I may have become frustrated.

Donna Hosie said...

This is really interesting.

Jo said...

Didn't know there were so many options. Most of the books I get are through Amazon. Have bought from Smashwords though.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Mark Coker is going to be one of our main speakers (and is also presenting a master class and a couple of workshops) at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference in Westminster, CO in September. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I actually didn't even know there were others besides Smashwords. Thanks for the info. said...

Smashwords is a good option for folks who are tech savvy or willing to pay for help. I'm sticking with amazon/create space, since I'm so tech-challenged.

Be well, Diane.


Annalisa Crawford said...

I need to get my head around Smashwords. My publisher has one book on their, but because the other is self published, last time I looked, it got a bit awkward with using my own name. I may have tried to make it more complicated, so now I've got some time, I'll check it out. Thanks for the reminder :-)

debi o'neille said...

Great post. I'll share this on FB!

S.K. Anthony said...

This is awesome! Right now I'm on KDP and have used Smashwords in the past. I wasn't familiar with eBook Partnership or BookBaby though, once I picked KDP I didn't do any more research on it. Now I will, thank you!

Elsie Amata said...

This is exactly the kind of information I'm going to need one of these days. As for which one is right for me? I don't know yet. I don't want to put the cart before the horse. Edit first. Edit first. Edit first. Hmm, it didn't work…my book didn't magically edit itself? That's weird! =)


Mary Montague Sikes said...

Nice to have all this information. It sounds complicated though. Thanks!

Mary Montague Sikes

Jon Thompson said...

Great roundup of options, thanks for taking the time to put this out.

klahanie said...

Hi human, Diane,

As paw usual, you have comprehensive advice and options to choose from.

In my case, none of it right for me. My human and I are but amateurs.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

Anonymous said...

Interesting info. I learned a few things today. :)

Lynda R Young said...

This is the kind of stuff I'm not a fan of looking up, so it's awesome you have all the info in one place. Very helpful.

Southpaw said...

I like the Smashwords/KDP combo. Both free setup and you get all the distributors.

Gossip_Grl said...

I am looking at Smashwords right now and happy you posted this. Will definitely check out the other links suggested here.

Milo James Fowler said...

I've made 10X more $ via Amazon KDP than Smashwords, but I still keep a few of my titles available for B&N (as long as they're around) and iBooks. Haven't tried Book Baby or heard of eBook Partnership.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane - you're always full of informative posts - thanks for this .. and such a helpful reference place to visit .. cheers Hilary