A Nitty-Gritty List of Ebook and Print Book Distributors

So this is my world right now: slogging through ebook distributor and print on demand websites to see who has what kind of distribution, how much they charge, and how much they pay. Seems simple enough, but there's quite a few distributors out there, all with different distribution channels, different royalty payout rates, and some that charge for the service. So, to keep things simple I ended up making an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the info. Then I thought (or actually Anders thought, so credit goes to him), that it would be cool to share the info with the world. Yay!

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of distributors. These are really only the ones I've heard about and/or been considering using. Also, they keyword here is distributor. There are a lot of retailers like Amazon, Kobo, Apple, etc. that you can distribute your ebooks to directly and effectively cut out any middlemen and their notorious sticky fingers. However, my goal is to get my book into as many retail outlets as possible, and I really don't want to mess with having a bazillion different accounts to do so. So, for me, I need that middleman. Also, some retailers just won't do business with indie authors/publishers, so for those a distributor is necessary.

Because there is so much information out there about who does what and for how much, I tried to keep the information in this list bare-bones so it's easy to read/understand. I've listed only the points that I found to be most important in order make a decision on who to go with. Each company logo will take you to their webpage, so if you'd like more information, just click on the logo and check it out. I've tried to be as accurate as humanly possible, but if you notice an error, let me know and I'll fix it. Also, if you know of a company that you think should be on the list, let me know and I'll look into adding it. Enjoy!

 

Fun fact: Katie Cross has a great list on her blog of ebook marketing websites. Kind of similar to this one, and there is some overlap, but she also includes retailers you can distribute to directly, as well as nifty organizations that can help you get your book seen, reviewed, etc. Check it out!

bookbaby-logo

Image source: http://www.bookbaby.com

  • Provides: Ebook publishing and distribution.
  • Cost: $0 - $249
  • Royalty Payout: 85 - 100% net royalties.
  • Distribution: 11 retail partners in 196 countries -- Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, PagePusher.
Image source: https://www.draft2digital.com/

Image source: https://www.draft2digital.com/

  • Provides: Ebook publishing and distribution.
  • Cost: $0
  • Royalty Payout: 85% net royalites.
  • Distribution: Amazon, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble.
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/eBookPartnership

Image source: https://www.facebook.com/eBookPartnership

  • Provides: Ebook publishing and distribution
  • Cost: $99 set-up fee per title, $40 a year per title.
  • Royalty payout: 100% net royalties
  • Distribution: Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Gardners, Google Play, Ingram, Kobo, OverDrive, Sony Reader,
Image source: https://www.publishgreen.com/

Image source: https://www.publishgreen.com/

  • Provides: Ebook publishing and distribution.
  • Cost: $199 - $1499
  • Royalty Payout: 100% net royalties
  • Distribution: 30+ retail partners. Here's a complete list.
Image source: https://www.smashwords.com/

Image source: https://www.smashwords.com/

  • Provides: Ebook publishing and distribution
  • Cost: $0
  • Royalty Payout: 70.5 - 85% net royalties.
  • Distribution: 51 countries through Apple iBooks, as well as Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader, Kobo, Flipkart, Oyster, Baker & Taylor, Diesel, Page Foundry, Smashwords.
Image source: https://www.createspace.com/

Image source: https://www.createspace.com

  • Provides: Print on demand book publication and distribution
  • Cost: $0
  • Royalty Payout: 40 - 80% minus print cost
  • Distribution: Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, NASCORP, libraries, and academic institutions.
Image source: https://www1.ingramspark.com/

Image source: https://www1.ingramspark.com/

  • Provides: Print on demand (POD) book and ebook distribution
  • Cost: $25 - $49
  • Royalty Payout: POD title - 45% minus print cost. Ebooks - 40% of List and Agency price.
  • Distribution: POD - 33 retail partners in the US, UK, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia (PDF list). Ebooks - 68 online partners in 21 countries (PDF list).
Image source: http://www.lulu.com

Image source: http://www.lulu.com

  • Provides: Print on demand (POD) book and ebook publication and distribution.
  • Cost: $0 - $219
  • Royalty Payout: POD - 40% minus print costs. Ebooks - 90% net royalties.
  • Distribution: POD - Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingram. Ebooks - Lulu, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble.
Image source: http://www.alpsp.org

Image source: http://www.alpsp.org

  • Provides: Print on demand (POD) book and ebook distribution
  • Cost: $0
  • Royalty Payout: POD: 50 - 65% minus print costs. Ebooks - 80% net royalties
  • Distribution: US and UK

14 Comments

  1. Thanks for the awesome shout out Sara!

    • Sara C. Snider

      My pleasure! Thanks for the awesome list! 🙂

      • Ralph Duncan

        I have written a book and it is available in Word digital version. I am interested in distribution in ebook
        form to several outlets

        • Sara C. Snider

          Hi, Ralph. Congratulations on your book! Some of these outlets will convert your Word document into an ebook for you, if that’s what you’re looking for. Smashwords has an automated conversion system (lovingly called the “meatgrinder”) that will do it for you for free. Others will do it for a fee, like Ebook Partnership. It’s worth checking out the different ones to see what they can offer you. 🙂

  2. Great info! And perfect timing–I’m looking into this for my own book right now. Thanks!

    • Sara C. Snider

      Glad you found it helpful, Katherine. Good luck with your book! 🙂

  3. THANK you for sharing the fruits of your research. MUCH appreciated!

    • Sara C. Snider

      You’re welcome, Rosanne! Glad you found it useful. 🙂

  4. I’m an author, cover designer and formatter. One of my clients requested information on distribution through Smashwords and Createspace, the two I recommend highly, along with Amazon’s Kindle program. I appreciate you providing this list for my client! He has been talking to representatives with Xlibris and I’m trying to give him alternate info and save himself about $15,000! You list makes it easier for the self-published author to make the right choices on where to list their books. Thanks so much…

    Laura Shinn

    • Sara C. Snider

      Glad to help! There are a lot better options out there than Xlibris, hopefully your client will find one that works well for him. 🙂

  5. This is a great post! I’m actually in the process of making my own selections, so thanks for this! Super helpful! =)

  6. You’ve done a great service to the growing galaxy of authors and small publishers. I found your list extremely useful. Thank you ever so much.

    • Sara C. Snider

      You’re welcome, Bob! Glad you found it useful. 🙂

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