17 Best Self-Publishing Companies of 2020 to Start Your Publishing Journey

Discover the best self-publishing companies of 2020 to stay ahead of your writing game. Self-publishing companies are dime a dozen but not all of it will meet your publishing needs, so landing on the right publisher counts.

The start-up can get thrilling and nerve-wracking, but learning the ropes in self-publishing a book helps you take one step foot forward to your publishing goals. One of them is to work with a reputable publisher without compromising the quality of your envisioned story.

With different self-publishing companies advertising their services, it’s imperative to determine which publishers are in the conquest of ripping money off from writers. And which one is reliable and trustworthy. Right now, you must be wondering which best self-publishing company sees fits your book needs and budget.

Despite the bad apples, self-publishing increased to 40 percent in 2018 with zero red flags. It only goes to show how authors entrust their books with self-publishing’s strategy. It’s a matter of picking the right self-publisher that values your craft.

To top it off, self-published authors make 40 percent to 60 percent royalties annually compared to traditionally published authors. While there are factors that rely on how much authors make yearly, it goes to show the self-publishing doesn’t let you take complete ownership of book production alone but also offers remarkable royalty comeback.

There’s a lot in store for you when you decide to self-publish. More importantly, you get to work with the best publisher that are the best in what they do.

What are the types of self-publishing companies?

Before you jump into the process of looking for a self-publishing company, you should know that there are 3 types of self-publishing companies, and each of them has a specific use.

Aggregators serve as a bridge between the author and sales outlets. Through aggregators, authors will be able to distribute their work though a myriad of book retailers at the same time. You will no longer have to waste time and money going to a myriad of book retailers because they will do it for you.

Book Retailers serve as a kind of online bookstore and can be used as a marketing platform from where your book can be discovered and sold. Each book retailer has a publishing platform where you can upload your book. In many ways, book retailers are a lot more effective than traditional bookstores because they have a farther reach and more adaptable to the modern era.

Print on Demand Distributors offer the whole package. They will not only do the book publishing for you, they also offer a myriad of distribution options that you can choose from. Overall, print-on-demand distributors are quite multi-faceted and can help you reach your full book publishing potential.

Aggregators

PublishDrive

Founded in 2015, PublishDrive is relatively new compared to its competition. But what it lacks in age, it makes up for in innovation and a myriad of great services.

It specifically distributes eBooks. It has over 45,000 publishers and specializes in international distribution.

Should you choose to self-publish with PublishDrive? You should know that the company takes 10% of the retail price per copy or through subscription pricing,

Features:

  • Access to global eBook publishing to over 400 stores worldwide.
  • Intelligent platform where you can upload your book in the easiest and hassle free way possible.
  • It distributes to various retailers such as Amazon KDP, Apple Books, Google Play, Bookmate, Barnes & Nobles and a whole lot more.
  • You will have the option to keep all your book royalties, for a payment of just $100 per month.
  • You can track your book sales through real time sales data, with cutting edge data analytics to help you come up with a good eBook marketing strategy.

StreetLib

StreetLib is a well-established aggregator and has more than 50 retailers all over the world. It is particularly popular in Western Europe, but they are also used in other parts of the world. Because of their more established reputation and their more efficient global distribution, their international reach is quite expansive.

Features:

  • No upfront cost.
  • No subscription fee.
  • Free ISBN
  • StreetLib offers print-on demand without any upfront costs and paperback distribution.
  • Clients can check on their progress live and on a daily basis through the company website.
  • The site distributes to various online retailers such as Amazon KDP, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble to name just a few.

Smashwords

Smashwords is one of the very first aggregators and because of this, it has dominated the scene for a good number of years. And because of its pioneer status, it has connections to some of the most well-known and established retailers.

Their services are fast, free and easy. They also offer a global distribution to major retailers and a myriad of libraries.

Features:

  • Smashwords offers a catalog of over 400,000 vetted, well-formatted books from over 100,000 and publishers.
  • Over 135,000 authors, small independent publishers and literary agents publish and distributes with Smashwords.
  • Smashwords authors could check on their progress on a daily basis through the company’s website.
  • Although the company does not deal with Amazon, it still has a myriad of great online retailers to rely on.

eBookIt

Compared to the other aggregator companies, eBookIt is slightly more expensive. But it has very high standards and has a reputation of having better support, click tracking and UI. It has a slightly difficult learning curb, but their services are worth it because their expertise and design services are top notch.

Features:

  • The pricing is slightly expensive at around $45-145 per service.
  • Its library distribution includes Baker & Taylor (USA), Bibliotech, Bibliotheca’s CloudLibrary, Bolinda, Borrowbox EBSCO, Feedbooks to name just a few.
  • Its Global retailers include Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Nobles, Baker & Taylor, Bibliotech, Gardners, Google Play, Kobo, Scribd to name just a few.
  • It offers Exceptional design services.

Draft2Digital

A perennial rival to Smashwords, this company has been very competitive in the eBook marketing arena. One of the best things about this company is the relative ease with which you can publish your eBook. It also has a simpler and more intuitive formatting process.

And because of the company’s partnership with Findway Voices, authors can now turn their eBooks into audiobooks in the most hassle free way possible.

Features:

  • The company does not charge for formatting or updating books.
  • Draft2Digital will take only 10% of the retail price for any book sold.
  • You can convert your book through various eBook formats.
  • Draft2Digital has retail partnerships with Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, Kobo, Tolino to name just a few.

Print on Demand Distributors

Writers Republic

Writers Republic is a relatively new self-publishing company. But what it lacks in age, it makes up for in ingenuity and great service. The company has a myriad of services that will answer most book publishing needs.

Features:

  • The prices for Writers Republic’s services differ. It depends on the publishing packages you choose and the services that it offers.
  • A roster of well-trained publishing professionals is available to help all client authors.
  • Writers Republic offers a myriad of great book marketing services such as social media marketing, book videos and more traditional book marketing services such as radio, TV and video advertising to name a few.
  • Writers Republic has an online bookstore for all its client authors.
  • The company also offers great book publishing and marketing tips through a myriad of blog post ideas.

CreateSpace

CreateSpace is a South Carolina based company owned by Amazon. It was originally called BookSurge but was acquired by Amazon in 2005. It follows a print on demand policy, so books will only be printed in response to an actual purchase on Amazon. In 2018, the company merged with Amazon’s KDP services. This move made it easier for authors, publishers and costumers alike.

Features:

  • CreateSpace will not charge you extra fees to sell your work through Amazon.
  • No shipping, returns or inventory costs.
  • You can offer Amazon costumers a wider selection of your titles and 100% availability.
  • Because of the merger with KDP, customers could now access the same features that they use on KDP.

Lulu

Lulu is based in North Carolina, and was founded way back in 2002. Lulu is a multifaceted self-publishing company that caters to a myriad of publishing needs. Through Lulu, you can publish a hardcover, softcover book and even a photo book or calendar. These services range from book publishing to book marketing, and are all created to make the book publishing process more effective and efficient.

Features:

  • Lulu can help you publish in various genres.
  • You can sell your book through Lulu’s Shopify store.
  • You can publish your book through various formats.
  • The Lulu website offers a blog full of book publishing tips and articles.
  • You can track your book’s progress through your Lulu account.

Blurb

Blurb is based in San-Francisco and has been in business since 2005. Although a great all around publishing company, Blurb stands out in one particular way. It is the sites vast array of online tools. This makes it easy to create highly visual works. This feature makes Blurb a great self-publishing resource if you are going to publish a photo book or magazine.

Features:

  • Through Blurb, you are given the chance to publish a magazine, trade book, photo book and so much more.
  • Blurb will give you the chance to distribute through multiple retailers such as Amazon, Ingram and Apple Books store to name just a few.
  • You will be given flexible creation tools. This will allow you to design and deliver your work often.

Lightning Source

Lightning Source is one of the oldest self-publishing companies, since it was founded way back 1996. It is based in Tennessee, and is considered one of the most efficient and effective print-on demand companies in the world. The company works with individual authors, small publishing companies and larger publishers.

Features:

  • Lightning Source offers a print-on–demand service to authors that can get orders printed and shipped within 48 hours.
  • The website offers calculators to determine the most accurate cost of printing and shipping your book.
  • Lightning Source could make your book available to over 39,000 retailers, libraries, and other points of sale.

BookBaby

BookBaby is a highly versatile self-publishing platform. Its services include book editing, book design and marketing services. It was originally founded in 2011 in Portland, Oregon. It offers a number of packages and individual services for self-publishing authors.

Features:

  • It has approximately 8,000 users in 2018.
  • It distributes to various retailers such as Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books and Barnes & Nobles in over 170 countries.
  • BookBaby offers a myriad of great book publishing packages for your needs and budget.
  • It also provides a handful of free resources for self-publishing authors such as formatting templates and easy to understand guides for the entire publishing process.

IngramSpark

IngramSpark is one of the more popular publishing platforms out. One of the main reasons why IngramSpark is so popular is because it is part of Ingram Book Group’s global distribution network for print and eBooks. And seeing as IBG is the largest book distributor and wholesaler in the US right now, this gives IngramSpark a lot of clout.

Features:

  • The setup fee usually cost around $49 for printed books and $25 for eBooks.
  • You will have the option to publish your book in hardcover, softcover and eBook format.
  • It is a well-connected publishing resource and it is one of the few companies that can get your book into more traditional bookstores.
  • You will have access to around 39,000 retailers, libraries and major online retailers.

Book Retailers

Apple Books

Apple books is an eBook retailer and it could provide you with a myriad of great books to read. This is Apples self-publishing arm and was founded 2010. The retailer distributes both printed books and eBooks, and can be used on your IPad and IPhone.

Features:

  • Royalties rate is usually around 70%.
  • It can be used in eBook and audiobook format.
  • Supports various document formats.
  • Books are easy to purchase through this site.
  • Be reminded though that the app will only work for iOS devices.

Amazon KDP

Amazon KDP was released in 2007, and is one of the most well-known book retailers in the publishing business. Through KDP, independent authors and small publishers can list and sell e-books to readers using Amazon Kindle devices. Aside from eBooks, Amazon KDP users can also sell, print-on-demand books and audiobooks.

Features:

  • Membership is free.
  • The royalties paid to authors ranges from 35% to 70%.
  • KDP users could only sell their eBook on amazon for Kindle device users.
  • Amazon KDP, provides discounts, coupons, free reads and an author page.
  • You can offer potential readers a print version of your e-Book.

Barnes and Nobles Press

Barnes and Nobles is a very well-known book retailer, so it makes sense that they create a self-publishing platform of their very own. It is one of Amazon’s biggest rivals and it quite easy to use and upload your book through this site. One of the best things about Barnes and Nobles Press is the fact that it does not rest on its laurels. And the company always tries to create new features and services that will help self-published writers.

Features:

  • Membership is free.
  • You can publish your book in eBook or printed format.
  • Royalties vary, with 65% on books priced between $2.99 and $9.99. It is around 40% for books priced below $2.99.

Rakuten Kobo

Rakuten Kobo is a Canadian company and is one of the biggest retailers out there. It is fairly easy to use and has a very strong reach in the international market.

Features:

  • Membership is free.
  • You stand to receive 70% on books priced more than $2.99 in the US. If it’s outside the US the percentage depends on more specific pricing rules depending on the country.

Powell’s Books

Although it is not as established online as its contemporaries, Powell’s Books is still a viable online retailer. It is based in Portland Oregon, and has both Physical and online presences. It sells both new and used books, as well as various software, CDs and DVDs. Overall, the best thing about Powell’s Books is that it has the best of both worlds. You can sell your printed books through their Portland stores. And if you are not based anywhere near Portland you could still sell it through their websites.

Features:

  • They predominantly sell printed books.
  • They have a vast inventory of books that mostly consist of new, used and out of print books.
  • Their stores are predominantly found in Portland Oregon.

Which is the best self-publishing company for you?

You have now been given a vast selection of self-publishing companies and what they have to offer. So the main question now is, which one should you choose? Well, it really depends on you. It all really depends on your needs and your budget.

So before you take the next big step and choose a self-publishing company, you should ask yourself. What is it that I really need? What kind of help do I need? How much can I afford to spend? You are given a vast array of companies to choose from, and they are all fantastic in their own way. But the final choice is all up to you.

1 thought on “17 Best Self-Publishing Companies of 2020 to Start Your Publishing Journey”

  1. My sister has been looking out for companies for quite a long time, this article will surely help her in selecting the best self-publishing company for her book, will surely share it with her and also with my other friends as well.

    Reply

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