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10 Best Self-publishing Companies for New Authors

Vasylysa
5 minute read
11.08.2023

You’ve poured your heart and soul into your manuscript, and now you’re ready to join the world of self-publishing. With numerous options available, choosing the right self-publishing company can be a daunting task.

To make your journey smoother, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best self-publishing companies for new authors. Let’s discover them in more detail.

What should you consider when choosing a self-publishing company?

First, there are some factors you should consider before turning to this or that self-publishing company. What are they?

1. Type

This factor depends on your primary goal. Do you want only to publish your book or promote it? The answer to this question will help you to decide whether you need a retailer, aggregator, educator, or a company that provides extra self-publishing services.

To make you feel more confident, let’s take a look at these most popular types:

  • Book retailers sell your books on branded retail platforms like Amazon, Apple Books, or Kobo.
  • Book aggregators deal with different online retailers, simultaneously distributing your books through several channels.
  • Self-publishing educators don’t publish books but offer courses and resources on succeeding as indie authors.
  • Other author services include editing, formatting, book cover design, illustration, etc.

By the way, self-publishing companies often combine several types, which is convenient for authors.

2. Cost and pricing

Budget plays a significant role in your decision. Be sure to consider upfront costs, ongoing fees, and any hidden charges. Make sure the services offered align with what you’re willing to invest.

The good news is that most popular self-publishing companies do not charge directly for publishing stories. They usually charge a percentage of the books already sold.

3. Book format

As a rule, most companies publish both printed and ebooks. However, not all of them provide audio versions. Therefore, it is worth considering what formats you want to see your story in and whether a particular company can fulfill your request.

4. Royalty rates and payment terms

Some people may write books just for the sake of the soul, but most authors would not mind if their great stories also brought in profit – royalty. It determines how much you’ll earn from each sale. Understand the royalty rates and the company’s payment schedule before choosing.

5. Reputation

Research the company’s reputation within the self-publishing community. Read reviews, testimonials, and ask other authors about their experiences. We also recommend using a guide by ALLi containing all the best and worst self-publishing companies.

6. Publishing rights and ownership

Ensure you retain the rights to your work. Some companies might require exclusivity, while others allow you to maintain more control.

What are the 10 best self-publishing companies for new authors?

Today, we want to focus on retailers, aggregators, and mixed-type companies. Thanks to these companies, you will be able to publish your book. Some of them also provide extra marketing services.

1. Kindle Direct Publishing

Type: Retailer

Price: Free

Royalty: Up to 70%

Pros: 

  • Massive audience
  • Amazon’s ecosystem
  • Publication within 24-48 hours 

Cons: 

  • Limited distribution outside Amazon.

2. Barnes & Noble Press

Type: Retailer

Price: Free

Royalty: Up to 70%

Pros: 

  • Big customer base
  • Online calculator for royalties
  • Extra marketing services

Cons: 

  • Smaller market share compared to Amazon.

3. IngramSpark

Type: Aggregator

Price: Fee – $49 for print and ebook, $25 for ebook only

Royalty: Up to 45%

Pros: 

  • Wide distribution network, 
  • Professional quality

Cons: 

  • Initial costs.

4. Draft2Digital

Type: Aggregator

Price: Free

Royalty: Up to 90%

Pros: 

  • User-friendly
  • Broad distribution

Cons: 

  • Lack of automatic paperback distribution.

5. Smashwords

Type: Aggregator

Price: Free

Royalty: Up to 80%

Pros: 

  • Extensive distribution options

Cons: 

  • Formatting challenges
  • No preview option.

6. Kobo

Type: Retailer

Price: Free

Royalty: Up to 70%

Pros: 

  • Exclusive promotion services
  • Big market in Canada

Cons: 

  • Long waiting for payment.

7. Lulu

Type: Mixed

Price: Free, but extra services are paid.

Royalty: Up to 90%

Pros: 

  • Diverse services
  • Different print options

Cons: 

  • Some services can be expensive.

8. Apple Books

Type: Retailer

Price: Free

Royalty: Up to 70%

Pros: 

  • Apple’s ecosystem
  • Broad and premium market

Cons: 

  • Limited to Apple users.

9. Publish Drive

Type: Aggregator

Price: Free

Royalty: Up to 90%, or 100% if you pay $100 monthly

Pros: 

  • Global distribution
  • 24/7 support
  • Extra services

Cons: 

  • A monthly fee might not suit all authors.

10. Blurb

Type: Mixed

Price: Depends on book format

Royalty: Up to 75%

Pros: 

  • High-quality print options
  • Online creation and sales tools

Cons: 

  • Higher prices
  • Limited market reach.

Summing up

Choosing the right self-publishing company can significantly impact your book’s success if you’re a new author. Consider your priorities, budget, and goals when making your decision.

But you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one company. At the beginning of your career, you can try different options and decide what works best for you.

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Vasylysa In her spare time, Vasylysa likes reading books, writing fiction, gardening, and walking. She hopes to publish her own book and become a famous author one day.
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