I recently started using a publishing service from Draft2Digital. You can find it here:
I’m sure a squillion of you already know about this service but I thought I would send this out in case anyone hasn’t discovered it yet.
Up to now I’ve put all my eggs in the Amazon basket, for the obvious reason that it is the biggest market place for self-publishers. However, it isn’t the only place, and I realised that I was just being lazy by taking this approach.
I looked at services like Smashwords and Lulu and Bookbaby and others, but the Draft2Digital proposition was the one that seemed to make most sense for me. That isn’t to suggest that the other offerings are inferior in any way, just that the offering from Draft2Digital was most appropriate for my circumstances.
The reasons I chose Draft2Digital are:
- Their low cost. Not only is there no up-front charge of any kind, their fee model is one based on units sold through them. In other words you only pay when you earn. Plus, their fees are just 10% of the cover price of your book, which is lower than Amazon and (I believe) lower than all the other publishing services.
- No contractual malarkey. The author keeps the rights to their work and can walk away at any time.
- The process is a piece of cake. You just provide a Word or RTF file with chapter headings to them and they take it and format it into a book structure. The process generates a title page and a contents page and a few other things like a dedication page and ‘about the author’ and ‘also by’. It even provides links back to your website if you have one.
- There are a range of pre-cooked formats to choose from. There are suggested formats for specific genres or types (fiction/non fiction) but you can pick and choose whatever you want.
- You need to provide a cover image, but you can do that yourself with Photoshop or Sketchbook or whatever if, as a startup author like me, you need to keep costs down. This is something you need to decide for yourself, though. I made my own covers, but I’m certain something more professional looking would help my sales.
- Once you’ve got your book in place and published, their sister service, (the book discovery service Books2Read) provides a handy little thing called a Universal Book Link for each book. This is a single link that will lead the potential reader to whatever their preferred store is – Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, whatever – where a version of your book will be waiting to be ordered. You can just plonk this one UBL on your website and it will take potential buyers to whatever site they prefer to use. If you want to see what a UBL looks like, click here to go to one for ‘A Midwinter Night Scream‘, a book of mine.
- Price promotions are easy. Pick a price, a date range, and make it so. No funny business with preconditions or constraints.
- There are links to partner organisations that provide services like cover design, editing, marketing and even Audiobooks. These are additional cost services, though, which I guess is fair enough. I’ve not used any of the additional cost services, so I can’t say anything about them yet.
The only thing I’m not too sure about in this proposition is in the area of marketing. The price promotions are okay, but there doesn’t yet seem to be a way of publicising or promoting your book in any meaningful way (other than through the MonkeyPaw or Creative Works partner organisations, or the Books2Read service.) The blurb on the Draft2Digital web site says that new features and support for authors are being introduced in the future, and I’m sure they will. Maybe some form of enhanced marketing support will be one of these – although, on reflection, I’m not sure what I should expect here.
Anyway – you will gather that I am a fan of this service. It’s worth saying that I didn’t ask for or receive any payment or recompense of any kind for this post. I just like the Draft2Digital setup, and I think most self-publishers will too.