As an aspiring self published author, one of the first things you’ll have to do before publishing online is to choose a particular platform you want to publish your book on.
Usually, a lot of people automatically choose Amazon as their preferred online publishing platform.
But besides Amazon, there are many other platforms you can publish your books and push it out to potential readers.
Now before we proceed, I want you to note that it is completely wrong to publish your book on just about any platform because those platforms are available.
You should have some background understanding of your preferred publishing platform and then choose the ones you want to publish on, based on your publishing goals and target audience.
I’ve had situations where people make a lot of complaints after publishing on Amazon and some other major publishing platforms, just because they didn’t understand the workings of those platforms.
Top Online Publishing Platforms
The following are the top online publishing platform you can publish your book…
Before i proceed to discuss about these platforms individually, I want you to know that beyond understanding your proposed publishing platform, you need to plan on publishing your book on a platform that has a good number of your target audience.
That said, let’s get over to discuss on these platforms individually…
Amazon is the leading online publishing platform around the world. With a very diverse audience, spread across almost all regions of the world, it controls more than 60 percent of the entire online publishing industry.
Publishing on Amazon gives you the chance to leverage on a very wide and diverse global audience.
Beyond publishing your book on their platforms, Amazon also publishes your book on third party platforms when you publish with them.
Besides the benefits I’ve mentioned so far, publishing on Amazon gives you the chance to leverage their large audience when it comes to book promotion and sales.
It also gives you a global reach. For instance, when you publish your book on Amazon, you have the chance to reach and sell your book to a global audience.
On the other hand, publishing on Amazon notwithstanding it’s benefits also has some down sides for some authors.
For instance, if you get to join the KDP Select program, you’re not allowed to publish your book elsewhere until after 90 days.
Within this period, your book can be available for reading and you’ll be paid a token, depending on how many times it’s read by amazon KDP subscribers.
Although I’ve had complaints of people downloading some books free under this program, this is yet to be verified.
Again, if you’re a non US citizen or you’re publishing from a country that has not entered into a tax agreement with the US, 30 percent of your profit will be withheld as tax by Amazon.
Also it might take a number of days for paperback copies of your book to be shipped to some countries. And with extra charges in most cases. These are some of the things you should consider while choosing Amazon
Above all, one of the important thing you should remember is that your target audience may not even be available on Amazon.
Especially if you’re writing a book that’s specifically targeted at a particular geographic area with very little coverage on Amazon, that book might not sell very well on Amazon without external promotion.
If you’re writing about such book, it would be best you also publish on other online publishers with your specific target audience instead of using Amazon exclusively.
Smashword is another digital publishing platform with a very decent audience.
Although Smashwords cannot be compared to Amazon Kindle, in terms of audience size and reach… It is still a good alternative platform to publish your book.
Publishing on Smashwords allows your book to be distributed to many other digital publishing companies like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple books, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor, Gardners, Blio, txtr, Library Direct, Baker-Taylor, Axis360, OverDrive, Scribd, Bibliotheca, CloudLibrary etc.
Of course this extended distribution may not necessarily translate to a higher collective sales for your book but it will definitely boost the exposure for your book, including search engine mentions.
With this in place, your book will also be indexed on the search engine via the individual websites of these platforms.
Notwithstanding, One of the challenges of publishing on Smashword is that your book will have to go through a rigorous vetting process before it can be accepted for distribution across other major publishing platforms.
Another thing you should observe about Smashword is that it hardly competes with Amazon in terms of overall sales volume. In most cases, you won’t sell as much on Smashword as you would, on Amazon.
Although a handful of authors have reported some decent sales on Smashword, that’s more of the exception than the norm.
Like Amazon, Lulu, is one of the top publishing websites you can publish your books, free. Publishing on Lulu allows you to reach out to a global audience.
Lulu happens to be one of my favorite publishing platform from way back, when i was about publishing my first book online. But a lot has changed since that time.
Although at some point, Lulu was one of the leading online publishing platforms competing fiercely with Amazon; right now, setting up and publishing your book on Lulu is quite different from Amazon.
The process over at Lulu can be somewhat technical and demanding but it is still doable when you understand the process.
Publishing your book on Lulu automatically allows you to publish on other third party book stores like Amazon.
However, what you want to with this is that these other platforms will take their own cuts from all sales you make via their publishing stores.
To avoid this, you can publish your book exclusively on the Lulu stores but, you might hardly make a decent sale.
In the end, publishing on Lulu demands that you set your list price a bit higher than what you’d have elsewhere if you’re expecting to get some tangible royalty from the book.
You can only go ahead with this if your audience is well able to afford the cost. And in today’s competitive marketplace, it might not be worth it. Especially for ebooks.
Okadabooks is one of the top online publishing platforms in Africa and the most popular indigenous online publishing platform in Nigeria.
It publishes content mostly targeted at African audience.
With over 200 thousand users as audience, okadabooks gives its publishers leverage to target a very young and local audience.
One of the advantages of publishing Okadabooks is it’s popularity for fiction books. It commands a large fanbase for fiction books.
This advantage can also be seen as a disadvantage especially if you’re a non-fiction author.
One thing you should note about Okadabooks is that it pays out when your sales must have reached about 10,000 NGN.
Also, to publish on the platform, you need to convert your book to the e-pub version before it can be uploaded to the platform.
Overall, the platform is quite popular around Nigeria and some other African countries.
If your book is primarily targeted at a Nigerian audience or African audience, you might want to consider publishing on Okadabooks.
Now, here’s where i’ll round up this post on the top online publishing platform you can use to publish your book in Nigeria or anywhere around the world.
So, which if this is your preferred Online Publishing Platform? Let’s hear you.