[EBOOKS] New aggregators

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Michelle
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[EBOOKS] New aggregators

Post by Michelle » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:59 pm

I'm borrowing (and editing for clarity) the following from a post I found in a Facebook group. Someone asked for comparisons between Smashwords and Draft2Digital. In the reply, names of a few new players in the ebook distribution arena popped up, and they look to have some great options and reach.

- D2D is much easier and faster to use. Smashwords is a real pain unless you have your Word doc formatted exactly as they want it, or have an epub. Even then Smashwords are likely to reject it several times.

- Smashwords has better distribution options than D2D. Neither offer Google Play. Smashwords offers OverDrive, but not for erotica.

- Both offer free ISBNs, but having Smashwords as your “official” publisher may not be helpful. Best to use your own ISBNs if you have them.

- Draft2Digital is far smoother to use, has territorial pricing options, and various other attractions. Smashwords is a nightmare if you want to link series (open a separate page) and if you want to include multiple author names, each author has to open a Smashwords account.

- Pronoun is a better experience by far, at the user end, and is 100% free. No up-front fees (unlike Bookbaby, Ebook Partnership, etc) and no percentage deductions (This might be while it's still new and are trying to get books added to their catalogue. I suspect they will have to start charging at some point, and their fee structure is already available on their website). Pronoun has lots of great accessories like book pages. The downside is Pronoun is very US focused. In theory it offers wider-world reach but if you are serious about global sales, don’t bother. If you only expect to sell in the US it’s great. Pronoun only accepts English-language titles.

- Pay-up front options like Bookbaby can pay off nicely if you have a handful of titles that do well. You get 100% of the net revenue, and if you are selling well you’ll likely make far more because once you earn back the upfront fee per title it’s all profit. But if you sell slow, you may not earn out the upfront fee.

- For globally minded authors wanting to well in the US and UK markets AND around the world, the places to be are StreetLib and Publish Drive. Both have global distribution to die for, and both have fantastic sales analytics.

In every instance be aware of the following:
1) If you change distributors you will lose any sales momentum and chart position you have, and reviews etc may take a long while to transfer.
Shifting very slow or non-moving titles to another distributor is always worth trying. Moving a title that is steady is probably a bad idea because of the disruption. Moving a title that is selling well is crazy. Leave it where it is! (I'm going to leave existing titles where they are for now, but try out my new titles on one of these platforms. I haven't decided which yet.)

2) Going direct to Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Google Play (for those who opened an account when it was possible) is generally a far better bet. You get better promotion opportunities and generally better traction by going direct.

3) StreetLib, PublishDrive and Pronoun will all let you list to Amazon and again, while you should never remove a title from KDP that is doing well, going indirect to Amazon can pay off for slow and non-moving titles. StreetLib additionally lets you list free to Amazon at any time for as long as you like, without any five-days free KDP Select nonsense and without any price-matching nonsense.

- Be aware of the payment-receiving issues. Depending on where you are, receiving payment from retailers and aggregators can be painful. Smashwords for example only uses Paypal and US cheques. Draft2Digital offers only Paypal and US bank transfer. Pronoun only offers Paypal.

- StreetLib and PublishDrive offers a range of payment options, and StreetLib uniquely offers Payoneer. Get paid pretty much anywhere in the world with no thresholds.

- StreetLib also offers arrange of other tools, like POD, a personal shop for your books, and formatting and writing tools.

The person who posted this info followed up with recommending that CreateSpace is still probably the safest bet for POD. I still recommend IngramSpark hands down. I will follow up with any new info as it comes to hand.
Michelle (Forum Moderator)

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