If you want your ebook to be available on online ebook stores. In that case, one option is to visit each ebook store, create an account with them, and upload your files, which can be time-consuming and not to mention the administrative task of analyzing reports and managing your account on each of these stores.
Another option is to find an ebook aggregator who will distribute your ebook to several ebook retailers. The advantage of ebook aggregators is that you get to maintain one account and access to one dashboard while your ebook is available in several online ebook stores.
Let’s look at some of the top eBook aggregators.
Since its launch in 2012, this platform has allowed writers to focus on writing while taking care of the rest. The website’s call-out message lets authors catch their breath because they take care of the layout, publishing, distribution, print-on-demand paperbacks, etc. Some of Draft2Digital’s highlights are as follows:
- Their timeline, from book publishing to release, is quick and smooth.
- Since their formatting needs are straightforward, they offer a wider distribution experience.
- Authors can earn up to 60% of their eBook’s listed price since the stores retain 30% and Draft2Digital charges a mere 10%.
- Some additional services they provide include conversion of eBooks to audiobooks, daily book sales reports, and a pre-order facility before finalizing your book cover.
Ebookit was launched in January 2011. Today it brims with hundreds of publishers and thousands of authors. By mid-2020, they formatted 10,000 books and converted them to their credit. They also listed approximately 5,000 books with important retailers. Their offerings include:
- Ebook publishing (creation, formatting, and distribution)
- Print-on-demand services
- Audiobook creation and distribution on audible.com
- Book marketing/promotion
- Tracking monthly sales and reporting
- Online courses designed to help authors make their books bestsellers
Ebookit is user-friendly, provided you’ve read and understood their user manual. They offer better assistance, a great user interface, click tracking, and more. Their expert design services help the authors focus on writing than areas where they are newbies. However, a word of caution: they are costlier, and authors get paid less when they sell on their stores compared to selling to retailers.
PublishDrive is a Hungary-based aggregator that helps writers tell their stories with the greatest ease. They facilitate authors and publishers with state-of-the-art publishing tools in the industry and access to global and niche markets. Their services include:
- Ebook promotions through special marketing efforts
- Free review copies
- Live sales reports detailing the volume and territory of sales and monthly royalty
- Invoice management
PublishDrive has flexible payment options. Subscribers can choose between a monthly subscription plan or revenue sharing. They were the leaders in introducing a flat monthly fee in the eBook aggregator space. So, if you are an author selling a minimum of $1,000 a month, you can retain 100% of your royalties by paying a monthly fee of $100, irrespective of the actual sales amount. In an effort to make their site more user-friendly, PublishDrive launched eBook, audio, and print distribution in March 2020, making them the only aggregators to handle all three formats for thousands of book channels.
Perhaps the first ones in the aggregator landscape, Smashwords launched in May 2008 and published 140 books from 90 authors in their first year. Their book catalog stands at over 500,000 titles as of 2018. They enjoyed a monopoly for a major part of their existence because they connected authors to retailers while providing them a platform to sell their books.
Unlike the other players in the ecosystem, Smashwords earns by selling eBooks to readers, i.e., they charge a commission only when the books sell. This model helps them take care of their stakeholders’ (authors, publishers, and retailers) interests. Their offerings include:
- Multiple free marketing tools to help authors and publishers connect with readers
- Distribution and daily reports from Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, and the Smashwords store
- Special promotional campaigns by conducting events like Read an eBook Week and the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale
- Facilitating conversion of eBooks into audiobooks
- Publishing pre-order books to Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo
Smashword adheres to best practices to sell many books. They help authors by providing free marketing and promotional tools that enable their books to be discovered and purchased by potential readers.
Streetlib came out in 2006. Their corporate mantra is “Our strength is in our team.” They are based in Italy and have their presence across Europe, Africa, and North America. They have offices in New York and India too. They are leaders in global presence among their competitors. They aim to provide all possible assistance to local and international authors and help them succeed in the dynamic digital publishing ecosystem.
Some of their offerings include:
- Managing weekly promotional campaigns through esteemed partners like Amazon, Kobo, and other retailers
- Provision of reports and invoices from StreetLib and retail partners
- Print-on-demand without any advance payment
- Provision of editorial and distribution facilities for small to medium publishers
Streetlib accords personal care to each account and provides them with quality analytics. Getting started with them is simple: you need to create an account with your billing details and upload your books. The aggregator earns a distribution commission on the actual sales, ensuring a win-win for all stakeholders.
IngramSpark is one of the largest distributors of paperback and ebooks. If you are looking for one aggregator who can distribute paperbacks, hardcovers, and ebooks, then IngramSpark can be an option. They cover most retailers.
Lulu is one of the oldest distributors of paperbacks. They also offer an option of distributing your ebooks. It’s an option authors use if they want to use one aggregator to take care of both paperbacks and ebooks.
Most ebook aggregators are similar to each other, and they have a reasonably identical reach. However, you may want to choose one where you like the user interface and has good customer support.