There are a lot of eBook platforms out there—how many do you know? I bet you haven’t heard of Kbuuk, PublishDrive, Scribl, or StreetLib but I’ll also bet you’ll want to try at least one of them by the end of this post. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your existing service (IngramSpark, Smashwords, Amazon KDP), but add one or more of these to the mix. Just remember to exclude distribution to retailers you’re already reaching. Here's the rundown in alphabetical order:
Kbuuk is an eBook platform and subscription service based in Houston, Texas. The monthly fee is $0 (2 books), $5 (unlimited books), and $10 (unlimited books) per month. Upload a doc file, and they export it to EPUB and MOBI for distribution conversion, sales in the Kbuuk store, and distribution to Amazon.com, iBookstore, Kobo bookstore, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook. You get 80% royalty, even at the $0/mo level. Premium and Pro plans include a book web page, in-store sales, comprehensive reader analytics, book sales analytics, and a channel tracking service that helps you build your author platform by showing you how customers read your book and how many sales you made.
PublishDrive is a Hungarian company that will publish your eBook in more than 400 stores including Apple iBooks, Google Play Books, Kindle, Scribd, Barnes & Noble, plus 240k digital libraries (schools, universities, public libraries) for 10% after net sales. You get paid monthly. You can upload an EPUB, or they’ll convert your book for you. Use them to reach the Spanish subscription service 24Symbols, TookBook, Casa De Libro, RedShelf, eSentral in SE Asia, and India’s Rockstand, as well as access to the OverDrive libraries and the Ciando libraries. If you don’t have an EPUB they’ll convert your Word doc to EPUB. Using their calculator, I figure conversion costs to be around $125 for a 60,000-word book, which is about right for a very simple eBook.
Scribl was “founded by authors and aspiring authors to solve the core discovery challenges new authors face.” Though still in beta, they are open for business and can distribute your eBook to Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and hundreds of others.
They offer your eBook and audiobook (and podcasts, too), in their store and others, to customers hungry for free and low-cost books using a CrowdPricing ($CP) system. $CP encourages readers to take a chance on a new, undiscovered authors with initial pricing at free or almost-free. Your book will be free for a brief promotional period, then rise in price along with its ratings. (Look out, KDP Select!)
Scribl claims that $CP produces 30 times more total revenue for content than with conventional pricing. They also report that most downloads are paid downloads—unlike conventional systems, where most of the downloads are free.
Their CrowdPricing Everywhere system distributes to retailers with your bookmarked as $CP. You earn 70% royalty on distribution, and in their store, you earn 75% (or 85% if you also provide an audiobook version) of gross revenue (not net), minus PayPal fees. You are paid every 48 hours.
Strength: Cloud-based book creation tool with formatting for comics, cookbooks, and poetry. Partnership with Perlego reader subscription books for professional and academic books. Book page and opportunity to create revenue via curation. Sales widget to embed on your website. Book translation services.
StreetLib is an eBook platform based in Italy (also in Turkey and Latin America, and just announced a deal with Libreka! reaching hundreds of new stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) with some unique offerings that any author, anywhere, will be intrigued with. But first, the basics. StreetLib Write is their free cloud-based book creation tool, with formatting for comics, cookbooks, and poetry. You can export to EPUB, MOBI, fixed layout, and PDF for print. Choose from a la carte formatting, editing, cover design, EPUB correction and validation. They distribute to Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and hundreds of other stores and charge 7%-10% of the cover price to US authors.
StreetLib has a partnership with Perlego, a subscription eBook platform that gives readers access to over 90,000 professional and academic books. You get paid depending on the number of pages read based on 55% of the membership revenues. (StreetLib keeps 65%.)
As an author on StreetLib, you can claim your book page, edit the content, and earn 15% of sales revenues. You can add other books from their large catalog to sell, also for a 15% commission. (Similar to Aerio.) This is a great way to offer a curated bookstore to make additional income.
A sales widget (similar to Gumroad) is also included to embed in your website, so you can ask your customers to buy direct.
Book translation services are available via a partnership with Babelcube. They don’t charge for translation but take a percentage of your translated book’s sales revenue.
Which of These eBook Platforms Will You Use?
How about you? Have you used one of these eBook platforms? Which ones are you attracted to and why? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section, below.
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