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Best Self-Publishing Companies to Keep an Eye on in 2024

Publishing, Marketing, & Writing Tips

New year, new publishing dream? We've got your look at the best self-publishing platforms and publishing companies to help you reach your new year's goals.

Best Self-Publishing Companies to Keep an Eye on in 2024
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Just because you're self-publishing doesn't mean you have to go about the entire process solo! 

This blog post includes a breakdown of the best self-publishing companies with the pros and cons to consider as you grow on your publishing journey. These offer various book marketing, distribution, and publishing services to increase your book sales with less friction, giving you more time and energy to invest back into your publishing business.

Wanna skip all the trial and error and just get started already? Head over to our free webinar to get an inside look at the best self-publishing process from cover to cover. You'll meet real people who have found life-changing success by self-publishing books on Amazon with no experience whatsoever.

What Do Self-Publishing Companies Do?

In this industry, a publishing company might refer to one of four things: Publishing Retailers, Publishing Aggregators, Full-Service Publishing, and Publishing Coaching.

Here's the difference:

Publishing Retailers

Publishing retailers include online bookstores that may or may not have a brick-and-mortar presence. These self-publishing companies offer you a place to host your book and make royalties calculated from your book sales. Many also take care of the inventory management and backend of distribution services for you so you can focus on publishing and selling more books.

Publishing Aggregators

Publishing aggregators help authors and publishers get their books in front of more readers by getting them in front of major retailers and other self-publishing platforms. You might have to pay these aggregators a small cut, but you’ll also reap the rewards of reaching new audiences.

Full-Service Publishing

There's an entire gambit of services that may fall under the "full-service" category.

A traditional publishing house may offer full-service publishing, including writing, editing, formatting, and designing, but you'll also be obligated to work with their preferred team and follow their team's vision for your work.

Some self-publishing companies offer help with book outlines, book descriptions, editing & proofreading, designing, and even email marketing. The difference is that when you choose to self-publish your book, you retain full creative control, and these self-publishing companies help you bring YOUR vision to life rather than pushing their own. 

Publishing Coaching

A publishing company might also offer coaching as a standalone offering or as part of their full-service publishing package to lend you guidance throughout your self-publishing journey. Think of it like having a personal Yoda. They'll often tailor their coaching to your specific situation and goals while also helping you avoid costly mistakes along the way.

For example, our self-publishing coaching services at Publishing.com are tailored to each author's specific situations and goals. Our coaches draw upon years of experience successfully guiding publishers to help you avoid costly mistakes along the way. Here's an interview with one of our co-founders, Rasmus Mikkelsen, of self-publishing mistakes to avoid you can check out.

Book Retailers: Direct Marketplaces for Your Books

Here are four of the most popular online book retailers on the market:

Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing is probably the most well-known self-publishing company in the world, and for good reason. It's one of the best-paying when it comes to royalties, offering self-publishers up to 70% of every book sale. It also completely eliminates the need for the traditional publishing model by making publishing accessible to anyone with a computer. You can read more about why Amazon publishing is worth it here.

Pros

  • Creating a KDP account takes less than 5min and is completely free
  • Uploading your book is also free
  • You can upload your book in eBook and print formats
  • It's easy to use with thorough support guides and email/chat support if you need it
  • Often ranks as the best print, audio, and eBook publishing platform

Cons

  • Figuring out their marketing services can be a bit of a learning curve
  • Using their cover design formatter can be tricky
  • You'll need your own ISBNs if you plan to distribute your books elsewhere

P.S. Enhance Your KDP Experience with Publishing.com! Our beginner-friendly publishing course offers practical guidance throughout the self-publishing process and has already generated over $50 million for students from all over the world.

Apple Books

Apple Books has grown to support more than 100 million readers per month, so it's no surprise that many self-published authors are eager to get their books on the platform. 

Here's a quick overview of Apple Books:

Pros

  • Seamless integration with Apple devices, providing a vast potential audience
  • No cost for uploading books
  • Offers a competitive royalty rate
  • It's easy to upload your book

Cons

  • Limited to Apple users
  • Requires an iCloud account
  • The interface, while user-friendly, can be less flexible than other platforms

KOBO

Kobo Writing Life is known for its global reach, especially in Canada, Japan, and other parts of Asia. It's a go-to platform for authors looking to tap into international markets, offering a straightforward publishing process.

Pros

  • Strong international market presence, great for reaching global audiences
  • User-friendly dashboard for easy navigation and book management
  • Competitive royalty rates, especially for higher-priced books
  • No exclusivity requirements, allowing authors to publish elsewhere

Cons

  • Smaller market share in the US compared to Amazon and Apple
  • The promotional tools offered are less robust than some competitors
  • Payments can be less frequent, which might be a drawback for some self-publishers

Barnes and Noble Press

Barnes & Noble Press is the self-publishing arm of the renowned bookstore chain. It's particularly appealing to those who wish to see their own books sold in a brick-and-mortar bookstore setting.

Pros

  • The potential for in-store print book placements
  • Competitive royalty rates and frequent promotional opportunities
  • User-friendly interface with straightforward publishing steps
  • No fees for book uploading and publishing

Cons

  • The online marketplace is not as extensive as Amazon's
  • Limited international reach compared to Kobo or Amazon
  • The platform is primarily beneficial for authors focusing on the U.S. market

Aggregators: Distributing Your Book to Multiple Retailers

Publishing aggregators simplify the distribution and marketing aspects of the publishing process by getting your book onto several other platforms all at once, saving you the time and energy of uploading your book to every platform individually. Many also offer universal book links, meaning you can share one link with your fans and readers as opposed to digging through separate sites and compiling a massive list of them.

Here are some notable aggregators on the market right now:

Draft2Digital

Draft2Digital has a solid reputation in the industry as an aggregator whose platform is easy to use.

Here are some other pros and cons:

Pros

  • Wide distribution network, reaching major eBook retailers and libraries
  • User-friendly interface with automated formatting tools
  • No upfront costs for eBook distribution

Cons

  • Lower control over individual retailer promotions and pricing
  • Their free ISBNs are limited to their service, like Amazon
  • Limited customer service options compared to some other services

PublishDrive

PublishDrive offers both aggregator and full-service publishing options.

Pros

  • Wide global distribution network, including hard-to-reach markets
  • Advanced analytics and marketing tools
  • The subscription-based model is beneficial for high-volume sales

Cons

  • The subscription model might not be cost-effective for authors with lower sales
  • You’ll have to format your own book
  • Distribution will cost you 

IngramSpark

IngramSpark is another well-known company with a good reputation that offers self-publishing services.

Pros

  • Extensive global distribution network for both eBooks and print
  • Print-on-demand services with high-quality printing options
  • Allows for potential placement in physical bookstores

Cons

  • Setup and revision fees for each title
  • More complex platform, requiring more knowledge of publishing processes
  • Royalties can be less competitive due to distribution and printing costs

Full-Service Publishing: Done-for-You and Done-with-You

Publishing companies might offer Done-for-You (DFY) or Done-with-You (DWY) services. This is the difference between having a task taken completely off your plate or collaborating with others and learning the process along the way.

Publishing Services

Publishing Services offers several Done-for-You options for works of fiction and non-fiction.

Pros

  • Easy to understand budget-friendly service menu
  • Quick and communicative
  • Women-owned

Cons

  • They don't offer ghostwriting services to complete a full manuscript
  • You need to have a book topic in mind already
  • They are a small team, and due to growing order demands, wait times may fluctuate

Urban Writers

Urban Writers is great for publishers who prioritize quality and comprehensive service in their writing and publishing journey and who are prepared to manage the publishing and distribution aspects separately.

Pros

  • Offers a range of services, including ghostwriting, editing, book cover design, and formatting, making it a one-stop shop for authors up to the point of actually publishing
  • Known for maintaining high standards
  • Services can be tailored to the specific needs and preferences 

Cons

  • The comprehensive nature of the services often comes with a higher price tag, which might be a barrier for self-publishers on a tight budget
  • While they provide one of the best tools for creating a book, they don't offer direct publishing or distribution services, requiring authors to manage these aspects elsewhere
  • Self-publishers might have to align their schedules with the availability of Urban Writers' team, which can impact project timelines

BookBaby

BookBaby is another publishing company that offers various publisher and author services.

Pros

  • Offers a full suite of services, including editing, book cover design, and marketing
  • Print-on-demand options available
  • Direct distribution to major eBook retailers and access to BookBaby's online bookstore

Cons

  • Higher upfront costs due to the full range of services
  • Royalties can be lower when using additional services
  • Complexity of services might be overwhelming for new authors

Upwork & Fiverr

Upwork and Fiverr are both freelancer platforms where you can connect with creative professionals from all over the world. Although they are not necessarily a specific self-publishing company, many self-publishers find luck with hiring additional support to get them through the publishing process.

Pros

  • You can connect with professionals who speak and write in multiple languages
  • You can find a span of budget-friendly to premium talent
  • You can find people who have experience and have already made a self-published book

Cons

  • Like any platform open to the public, you need to be cautious of scams
  • Outsourcing the various parts of the book publishing process can get tedious
  • It's always possible to run into unexpected delays when working with freelancers and independent contractors, though you won't have to worry about this with most people

Publishing Coaching: Guiding and Scaling

Investing in a publishing coach is like time-traveling straight to the future. With their guidance, something that might have taken 90 days might only take you a week. Here's where to find 'em:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the perfect hybrid between business networking and social media. You can connect with other self-publishers all over the world and keep an eye on trends within the industry.

Pros

  • Creating an account is free
  • There are plenty of courses, articles, and posts to help authors and publishers get ahead in their journey
  • You can connect with professionals who speak multiple languages

Cons

  • The premium account is a bit pricey
  • There's so much content to sift through that it can be overwhelming
  • You'll be competing with other self-publishers for attention

AIA

The AI Publishing Academy is a legit way to help you get your book published with the least amount of friction.

Pros

  • You don't need any experience with self-publishing to join
  • The course walks you through the various publishing companies, aggregators, and distributors with a plan of action for each
  • The course has already generated $50 million in revenue for its students with their books published according to the AIA framework

Cons

  • A certain level of motivation is necessary to succeed
  • The coaches don't offer services like ghostwriting but can point you in the right direction
  • It's more for those looking to grow a self-publishing business than hobbyists

Making the Right Choice: Which Platform Suits You?

The best self-publishing company is the one that best supports your personal and publishing goals. To recap, here's what you might consider assessing when it comes to finding the right place for where to self-publish.

  1. Royalty Rates: Different platforms offer varying royalty structures. Consider how much of your book's retail price you'll keep as revenue.
  2. Distribution Reach: Look at where and how widely your book will be distributed. Some platforms have a broader global reach, while others are more niche.
  3. Additional Services: Evaluate the range of services offered, like formatting, cover design, marketing, and customer support. These can greatly influence your book's success.
  4. Costs and Fees: Understand any upfront costs, ongoing fees, or percentages taken from sales. This can impact your overall earnings.
  5. Ease of Use: Consider how user-friendly and accessible the platform is, especially if you're new to self-publishing.
  6. Print vs. eBook: Decide if you need print-on-demand services, eBook distribution, or both. Some platforms specialize in one format over the other.
  7. Control and Flexibility: Assess how much control you'll have over pricing, promotions, and updates to your book.

How to Sell More Books on Amazon: Self-Publishing Case Studies

Before our students join AIA, their biggest question is, "How do I make money with Kindle online?" Then, once the royalty checks start hitting their bank account, they start asking, "How do I sell even more books?" 

These students have your answers:

Richard Bump found branding and community building to make the biggest difference in his book sales. His brand is now making him over $3k/month in true passive income from Kindle. And he built it all himself, despite also dealing with cancer.

Kamille Kessel has a background in health and wellness. She talks about overcoming life's trauma and self-doubt and how following the Mikkelsen Twins' process helped her make $1k from her very first book in just one month.

Many self-publishing companies promise the moon but fail to deliver. That was Renee Puvvada's experience. Although she learned about writing, editing, and formatting, she never learned how to spot the most profitable niches on Amazon and spent years trying to figure it out. After switching to AIA, she made more money with her first book than she had in the three years with the other program. Her highest month in royalties almost hit $10k!

An Award-Winning Self-Publishing Company with Heart

We know we're not the best self-publishing company for everyone, but our students are our family. Our private Facebook community has grown to over 31k members who lift each other up and hold each other accountable. You just can't find this level of support and community with a traditional publisher these days.

Positivity + Accountability = Becoming Unstoppable

Dip your toes in the publishing pool with our free webinar and see our proven process in action!

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