There are a lot of platforms out there but if you want your books to sell, then let me help you decide. Find out what are the best self publishing platforms 2020 now.
The Right Place To Start
Today's question has three answers and the third answer is a secret you're going to want to stick around for. Because if you choose the wrong platform, it's going to cost you a fortune.
I'm going to tell you exactly what you need to do here. So let's get into it. The question that was sent in today was, what are the best self publishing platforms 2020?
Now, this is a very good question because what was great 5 years ago, I can tell you is complete garbage today. If you choose the wrong platforms, you could find your sales to be small.
You'll just demotivate yourself. You'll make no sales whatsoever and you're just going to lose in the long run.
But before we get into the answers, check out my free Self-Publishing Checklist. It will help you get started on your journey. To make sure you are not missing any steps.
So, what are the best self publishing platforms 2020? Well, let me go to my story when I started back in 2015. That was when I first started writing books and started coming into the whole self-publishing environment in the self-publishing world.
Check out this related article: Can A Self Published Book Be Republished?
I started with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP. I wanted to have a Kindle book. I realized the advantages over the other options like in terms of having a pile of printed books in your garage and you're trying to sell them.
Who wants to buy them? And all of these sorts of problems that can happen. I realized this whole subject of eBooks was amazing because there is no limit to how many eBooks you can sell.
The same goes for Print On Demand where you put the digital stuff out there but then when somebody orders it, Amazon or the other fulfillment area centers, they can print out the book. They will then send it in the mail to the person.
As opposed to anybody setting on large quantities of books which is what I traditionally had thought about in the past, was the nature of it. But that has completely changed. In 2015 that would be an easy answer.
It was Kindle Direct Publishing was the correct place to start. And after that, you would maybe move on to the print and audiobooks and things like that. But that was the winning place.
As years went on, there were in fact some changes that happened. I experimented with other platforms and such. But then what happens now in 2020?
What are the best self publishing platforms 2020? The answer is Amazon KDP is still the clear winner. The reason being is because you have so many people who have their credit cards out and they are registered with Amazon.
When they want to find a book, they don't even necessarily go to Google. They go straight to Amazon. Everybody's been trained and they are ready to buy.
Don't Be Selective
It's so amazing with Amazon, with the Click To Buy button, in just one click it makes the purchase. There is no confusion. The person does a search that comes up with a book.
They see the Kindle book is very inexpensive between $3 and $10. Assuming the author wants to make money off of that book and they click Buy.
The transaction is completed and the person can change their mind if they want. But the fact is that it's just so simple that it's really hard to ignore the power that Amazon KDP has on the market.
Now, some people want to ban it because of monopolies or whatever the case would be. But there is an important point that I want you to get straight here in 2020.
It is that when we are trying to sell our books and trying to make a living off of books, it is unbelievably important that we make sure the books that we're producing are going to sell as many copies as possible. That we're hitting as big of an audience as we can.
So I wouldn't get so much into which companies we're going with or not going with. I would just say where are we going to make the biggest return on investment? Once you've made tons and you've got your books then you can be selective.
You can say, "oh I don't want to go with Amazon, I'd rather go with another indie like a smaller company may be a local bookstore". It doesn't even matter. The point is that until you're making a killing, I wouldn't worry so much about that.
Check out this related article: Can Self Published Books Become Bestsellers?
It's just about getting the sales in. That's a very important point that many indie authors don't understand the power of this particular game here. Instead of focusing on the sales, you have your art on the one side which is your artistic creativity.
We are making sure that we are optimizing it and then we're putting it out there. To maximize the number of sales that we're going to be getting and you combine those two.
That is going to give us the ability to make the best profit we can offer of the books that we have. So, the second one would be Lulu for our hardback books which is crazy enough.
I know it sounds completely nuts, some people just like hardback books. So, if they are going to buy a book, they want it in hardback. If your book is not in hardback, they will not buy your book.
Maybe the best book on a particular subject or particular genre is available in paperback. But that's not what they want, they want hardback. Then it gives us the ability to distribute our book to our digital book in EPUB format.
It goes throughout many other places including libraries and other sources like other outlets and distribution centers so far beyond just Kindle. So you would be able to get it into the Apple Store and some other ones.
I think Google does not steal Google books, they are not letting it. But many other locations like Ingram Spark gives us our extended paperback distribution.
Then we also have ACX where we are going to put our audiobooks through. To make sure they get out to all of the different places like Audible, iTunes, and such.
Then we go to KDP Print which is for our paperback versions that we're sending out through Amazon. It will distribute through all of its distribution channels. And you'll notice a little bit of a pattern here.
A Fantastic Tool
So you're looking at KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing as by far the best place you're going to want to start. But the majority of the money that I make is off of paper books. But you start with KDP and you can't even have an audiobook without having a Kindle book in the first place.
If you're going through ACX, you have to have that Kindle book in place. As you can see, you should use the right tool for formatting. I use a tool called Jutoh.
It gives you the ability at a single press, you have your EPUB. Hit it again, you've got your PDF for your paperback books. Hit it one more time and you've got your Mobi files.
It is just an unbelievably powerful program you pay one time. You don't have to do this annual licensing fee or anything like that. It solves all of those issues, it's just so powerful.
It's funny I almost wish I had created this program. It's so useful but it gets quite a little attention. I remember I tried Scribner and I had a lot of challenges with it especially the table of contents.
But when I came to Jutoh, it was just fantastic and I have written back and forth with the developer. He has helped me with all of the issues that I have had with this particular piece of software.
But then that brings us into the secret answer of the day. So, which one of these is the best? Well, I said it was KDP but what about the other ones?
The answer is you will lose money in the long run if you stick to only one platform. So, you need them. Which one do we need? We need them all, that's right.
We need to take our books and run them through every possible platform we can. To ensure it's in all of the formats people want as well as all the distribution channels. So, no matter which website you go to, I'm sometimes blown away seeing my books in libraries all over the world.
Check out this related article: What Is The Right Self Publishing Book Layout?
It's unbelievable that this is the idea that people are checking out your book. Now, in one sense, they are not paying you for it. But in other sense, if you're using lead generation, getting email addresses and stuff from your books, then it only amplifies that everybody checks out the book.
They want to get the free report. They want to get the things that you're throwing which you should include in your books. Something like a freebie that you're giving out in exchange for an email address.
And so the game goes on and on. These are just a few thoughts that I have regarding this whole issue of the platforms that we're choosing. So, what are the best self publishing platforms 2020?
What have you found? Have you found maybe you disagree with me? I love it if people can explain because I have made tons of mistakes over the years and even now I'm probably holding on to some things that are not true.
I can change my mind, you know if you convince me. So I'm very eager. So let me know if I said something may be wrong or maybe you agree.
Let me know below in the comments. I respond to all comments that come in. Check out my other blogs and videos that answer your self-publishing questions.