Chris A. Baird | July 12, 2023
Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid and Ways to Spot Them

When you're getting ready to self-publish your book, there are a lot of different places you can do it, and a lot of the decisions involved in this can make the whole process very frustrating. That's what we're going to talk about in today's article. We are going to look at the 20 best self-publishing websites to publish your book, your new book in 2023.

Well, the first thing we should discuss is what self-publishing is. It's the process where an author takes the book that you've already written and goes through the process itself in terms of figuring out all of the details of it.

So you're not relying on a publishing house to do it, but instead, you're going to maintain control over the whole process, including the editing, cover design, formatting, pricing, and even picking the platform you're going to be publishing it on.

So there are a lot of decisions as a self-publisher that you're going to have to make, and you're going to have to do all of that in addition to marketing, distribution, and promotion. All of these things involve a lot of decisions to make, but the rewards can be worth it, which is what I'm always talking about on this blog.

What is an aggregator?

So what is an aggregator? Well, an aggregator is a service that collects together and distributes your books across multiple platforms. That's one of the things we do to save time instead of having to take our books and go to all of these different sites to publish them.

You can publish it at these key core locations, and then that ensures that the book is thereafter published across the board to all of these other sites, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple, just to name a few of the many different places a given book can be published.

These aggregators can also provide services such as formatting, metadata management, and other sales reporting to make it easy, so you don't have to be hopping around a lot of these different sites, and that's something you definitely should consider.

What is a distribution service?

But what is a distribution service, though? A distribution service is a company that ensures the book itself is distributed. They take care of the logistics, shipping, and fulfillment of orders that people come to you with, and then they ensure that people get those books promptly.

These services work with retailers, wholesalers, and other partners to get their books into physical stores, online marketplaces, and other channels, including libraries as well. Some distribution services also offer additional services such as warehousing, inventory management, and sales reporting.

Just to help authors out in getting an overview of exactly what's happening. So you can see that both the distribution services also provide a wide range of services that are offered there.

List of the Best Self-Publishing Companies

Now, let's move on to the list of the best self-publishing websites or companies. 

Amazon KDP

So the first on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is Amazon KDP, which is the go-to platform. You can publish your books for free, and you're going to get 70% of the royalties. KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing, and they have a huge audience that's bigger than any of the other platforms.

Check out this related article: Amazon Kindle Self Publishing Guidelines for Authors in 2023

That's one of the reasons why you're not going to want to ignore this. You can also get a 70% royalty rate, and you can set your prices. However, if you set your prices outside of what they like to see, then your royalty rate is going to take a serious drop. 

Apple Books for Authors

Moving forward, the next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is Apple Books for authors. Apple Books is a fantastic platform because of Apple's audience size. There are tons of people who own Apple devices that will be able to download and purchase your books from Apple Books.

They're going to give you a 70% royalty rate, and they also have formatting guides, cover design tools, and promotional opportunities available if you go directly with them. 


Next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is Kobo. Kobo is an ebook retailer and e-reader manufacturer. They offer a platform called Kobo Writing Life for authors to publish their books. Using Kobo Writing Life, you're able to publish and distribute your ebooks and also get a 70% royalty. They have promotions and all sorts of other ways they can help you with your book. 

Barnes and Noble Press

Then comes the next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites which is Barnes & Noble Press. This is a great platform because it's such a massive company in the United States. However, if you're looking to publish outside the United States, this may not be a good option for you. Authors will earn a 65% royalty.

I remember as a kid going into Barnes & Noble to check out their large supply of books in their physical bookstores, which is something you definitely may not want to miss out on. 


Next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is PublishDrive. But let's discuss Reedsy.


Next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is Reedsy. It is a self-publishing platform that offers a suite of tools and resources for authors and publishing. These include editing, design, and marketing services. The downside is that they can be a bit pricier compared to some of the other platforms. However, they allow you to produce high-quality books using their exact services to format and distribute your book properly. 


Next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is StreetLib which is another self-publishing platform. It allows authors and publishers to distribute ebooks and print-on-demand paperbacks to over 60 online stores. While the number of stores may be fewer, they do not charge for this service. You can get up to a 90% royalty rate as you choose the prices that work best for you. Like many others, they also provide sales reporting and marketing opportunities.


Moving on, the next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is IngramSpark, one of my personal favorites. The profits and book sales that come through them are massive, making this a platform I highly recommend. They have a massive distribution network and offer print-on-demand books, ebooks, and audiobooks to major online retailers and bookstores, including Amazon.

They provide tools and resources such as cover design templates, formatting guides, and promotional opportunities. You can earn up to a 70% royalty on the sales you generate through them. So there are a lot of different things you can do with IngramSpark. 


Next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is Lulu, which is the platform I've previously used, specifically for my hardcover books. Lulu allows publishers to create, publish, and distribute print-on-demand books, ebooks, and audiobooks, just like the other platforms mentioned.

They even offer royalty rates of up to 90%, which is fantastic because it's the highest number among the platforms I'm going to mention today. Additionally, they provide formatting guides and promotional opportunities like many of the other platforms.


Next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites is Draft2Digital, which provides massive distribution of your books to Amazon and Apple Books, among others. They offer up to a 70% royalty rate for books sold on their site and provide similar formatting and conversion services as other platforms. Draft2Digital is particularly useful for converting your book from a Word file to an Epub format, so it's worth considering.

Check out this related article: Apple Self Publishing


Then comes the next on the list of 20 best self-publishing websites which is Smashwords, which has been acquired by Draft2Digital. It's a fantastic platform known for its wide distribution, high 80% royalty rates, and formatting and conversion tools available on-site. This is another platform you should consider when you're getting started. 


Lastly, we have XinXii. It's a self-publishing website / platform that allows authors and publishers to distribute their ebooks to major online retailers, similar to others, including Amazon, Apple Books, and Kobo.

This platform offers authors up to 85% of royalties and provides tools and resources for formatting and conversion services, an author dashboard, real-time sales data, along with other features.

Self-Publishing School

Next is Self-Publishing School, which is a platform that provides education and coaching on writing, publishing, and marketing your books. It can be a useful tool, although it's a pricier option compared to the ones mentioned earlier. Still, it's worth considering.


Then we have BookBaby, a self-publishing website / platform that allows authors and publishers to create, publish, and distribute print-on-demand books, ebooks, and audiobooks to major online retailers and bookstores.

One notable feature of BookBaby is that authors and publishers can set their prices, and you can even earn up to 100% royalties. They provide powerful tools for cover design templates and formatting guides, which can be quite helpful. 


Lastly, there's Blurb. Blurb is a self-publishing website /  platform that allows authors and publishers to create, publish, and distribute print-on-demand books and ebooks for personal or professional commercial use.

Blurb offers flexibility when it comes to your book's cover and trim size. The type of paper you're using and it has the same set of tools that you would expect from KDP Print and all of these other platforms. 

KDP Print

Then you have KDP Print, which I highly recommend. With KDP Print, they don't make you buy a copy or pay for preparation and checking costs. They also don't charge for the ISBN, so it's something you should be using if you're not already.

With KDP Print, authors can design their books with a whole range of options. However, I recommend using Jutoh for formatting your book. You can find my affiliate link to Jutoh and also check out my formatting course if you want to learn how to do it yourself. 

Check out this related article: How To Format Your Books For Amazon KDP

It will work perfectly on all of these platforms, both in the ebook version and the standard version. Okay, so KDP Print provides a bunch of tools, but I wouldn't rely too much on other tools. I would use my own. 


Next is BookBub. This is more of a discoverability platform where new books can be featured. The downside is that it's really difficult to get selected to have your book shown on BookBub. I did manage to get one of my books featured, but I didn't make my money back, so it was a bit unclear if it was worth it. However, BookBub has millions of subscribers in its audience, which allows you to highly target your audience for the books you're releasing. 

Reedsy Discovery

Then we have Reedsy Discovery. It is a curated book review platform that helps readers discover new and upcoming books in their favorite genres. It offers a suite of promotional tools and services for authors and publishers to ensure that your book gets out onto the market and reaches a highly engaged audience of book lovers.

This kind of audience is something that you can't buy; it's difficult to attain and requires a lot of time and effort. Using these sites gives you the ability to jump ahead in the game.

Written Word Media

Next is Written Word Media, a book promotion and advertising platform that assists authors and publishers in reaching readers and boosting their book sales. Written Word Media offers a range of promotional services, including targeted email campaigns, social media advertising, and book deal promotions. The key point here is visibility. 

MindStir Media Publishing

The next platform is MindStir Media Publishing, a full-service self-publishing company that provides a range of publishing, printing, and marketing services. It offers a comprehensive package for authors and publishers. So it gives you this personalized approach to book publishing, which is something you didn't get with the others.

Instead of forcing a specific publishing style on you, MindStir Media Publishing allows authors and publishers to choose from a range of services, including editing, design, distribution, marketing, and printing.

This enables them to create and publish their books professionally and cost-effectively. With MindStir Media Publishing, you get both professionalism and flexibility in how your book is handled.

Wrapping Up

In wrapping up, my question to you is: Have you tried any services behind the ones I mentioned? If you have used the ones I mentioned, what was your experience? Feel free to check my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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