What exactly is an ebook platform? An ebook platform is effectively an electronic bookshop. They will stock your ebook for you digitally. They will market it for you (to some extent, this varies according to the platform). They will process sales for you – when a customer orders your book they will collect payment for you and make a download available to the customer who will then be able to read your book on their computer, tablet, ebook reader or even a phone.
Here’s a little more about some of the main ebook platforms you might want to sell your book on:
Amazon’s Kindle is an ebook reader. It is also probably (Amazon don’t release figures) the biggest selling ebook reader worldwide. Using it customers can download and read ebooks from Amazon’s massive and growing range of Kindle books.
Using the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) system you can publish a Kindle version of your ebook and sell it on Amazon. Amazon handle the sales and delivery process and pay you a commission on every sale.
Here’s a useful article from Make Money Writing giving more information about Kindle: Self Publishing On Kindle: Tips For Getting Started.
Apple iTunes Store
This is the place to publish your ebook to if you want to make it available specifically to Apple mobile devices which can be used for reading digital content – namely the iPod Touch, iPhone and particularly the iPad.
Note that to publish to iTunes and some other platforms you can also use a third party service, known as an aggregator, who will do the job for you. More details of these coming up.
Nookpress – Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble is a massive US bookseller (the world’s largest so they say) and so a very good way to target the US market.
More details here: www.nookpress.com
The Kobo eReaderis an ebook reader produced by the Canadian company Kobo (Kobo is an anagram for book.). Kobo books are sold all around the world and the platform has 190 million customers. In the UK Kobo’s partners are WH Smith.
Smashwords is an ebook publishing and distribution platform specifically for independent authors. As well as selling your books from its own sites Smashwords distributes books to many major ebook sellers include the Apple platforms, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
BookBaby is what is known as an aggregator. Using it you can self publish and sell on Amazon, Apple’s platforms and Barnes & Noble. Aggregators charge an additional fee for what they do but reduce the time and work involved for you.
ePubDirect is another aggregation platform. They can convert your book into the main ebook formats, submit it to retailers, collect payments and handle all the admin. for you.
Tip. Before choosing an ebook sales platform to sign up with check their royalty rates. As a general rule of thumb ebook platforms will list your book for free. However they charge at least 30% of your cover price for selling your book, although it can vary depending on your cover price and your sales volume.