Ebook sales will be $9.7 billion in 2016, more than three times this year’s $3.2 billion in sales, according to a recent report by Juniper Research. Online publishers and ebook distributors offer a growing opportunity to authors and small publishers, as well as affiliate marketers.
Here is a list of ebook publishing resources. There are mainstream ebook stores, as well as ebook aggregators, which provide a gateway to retailers. Aggregators may offer additional services besides distribution, such as design, formatting, and marketing.
Amazon Kindle Store. The Amazon Kindle Store lists over one million digital titles. It supports Portable Document Format (PDF), Amazon’s Kindle Format (AZW), and Mobipocket (MOBI). To publish books in the Kindle Store, access the Kindle Direct Publishing site. Royalty rates are 70 percent for titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99 that are at least 20 percent lower than the lowest list price for the title’s print version. For other prices, the royalty rate is 35 percent. Affiliates earn up to 15 percent commissions.
Barnes & Noble Nook Books. Nook Books offers over 2.5 million titles. It supports Epub Format (EPUB) and PDF. To publish in the Barnes & Noble store, access its PubIt! site. Royalty rates are 65 percent for titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99. For other prices, the royalty rate is 40 percent. Affiliates earn 6 percent commissions.
Apple iBookstore. The Apple iBookstore lists over 700,000 titles. It supports all formats. To publish in the iBookstore, access the requirements and application. The royalty rate is 70 percent. Apple does not pay publishers until they meet payment requirements and earning thresholds, which vary by territory. Small publishers may get paid faster using an ebook aggregator.
Sony Reader Store. The Sony Reader Store lists over 1.2 million titles. It supports the ePub and PDF formats. The Reader Store does not allow independent authors to publish directly. Authors and small publishers must go through an aggregator such as Smashwords. If you publish to Sony using Smashwords, your royalty will be 60 percent.
Kobo. Kobo lists over 2.3 million titles and focuses on mobile devices including cell phones. It supports the ePub format. To publish on Kobo, authors and small publishers must use Smashwords or eBookIt. In addition to royalty rates, Kobo charges a conversion fee that starts at $29. Kobo affiliates earn up to 25 percent commissions.
Diesel eBook Store. Diesel eBook Store lists over 2.4 milliion titles. To publish on Diesel, authors and small publishers must go through Smashwords. Diesel affiliates earn 10 percent commissions.
Google eBookstore. Google eBookstore lists over 3 million titles. It has an affiliate program based on Google Affiliate Network (GAN) and Google AdSense. Authors and small publishers can submit their books by joining the Google Books Partner Program. Google will upload a PDF and add books to search results for free.
Smashwords. Smashwords publishes and distributes ebooks to Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, Kobo, and Diesel. Authors and publishers retain full control over how their works are published, sampled, priced and sold. It offers a variety of tools to help authors market their ebooks. Smashwords pays a royalty of 60 percent of the retail price when the ebook sells. Payments are quarterly.
BookBaby. BookBaby publishes and distributes ebooks to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Apple. BookBaby offers a variety of services such as format conversion, cover design, and even custom book printing. BookBaby’s basic package is $99, plus $19 annual fee after the first year. The author retains 100 percent of royalties from online retail stores. Payments are weekly.
Lulu. Lulu publishes and distributes ebooks to Apple and Barnes & Noble. It offers authors a variety of editorial and marketing services such as cover art, formatting and editorial review. For a limited time, Lulu pays the author 90 percent of the royalties from online retail bookstores. Lulu pays monthly by PayPal or quarterly by check.
FastPencil. FastPencil publishes and distributes ebooks to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Apple. It offers add-on services such as custom cover, interior book design, editorial review, and formatting review. FastPencil charges a $149 fee and 20 percent of royalties from online retailers. Payments are quarterly.
eBookIt. eBookIt publishes and distributes ebooks to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, and Kobo. eBookIt provides file conversion and formatting review. eBookIt charges an upfront fee, starting at $49 if the ebook is provided in an ePub format, as well as 15% of royalties from online retailers. Payments are monthly.