Amazon KDP, formerly known as CreateSpace, is the most widely used print-on-demand service for self-publishing authors. It is relatively user-friendly and free to use. Books, both print and ebook, on KDP are easily accessible for most readers.
Amazon KDP does, however, have a reputation for inconsistent print quality, especially for authors printing high-resolution illustrations and graphics. Cuts made during printing are sometimes off, though most of the time they are correct.
Apple iBooks is for ebooks only and is associated with younger readers. It has good distribution, as it can get your book in front of people around the world, however, keep in mind that Apple isn’t a bookstore. It’s a tech company. It’s not set up for book distribution.
BookBaby is a print-on-demand service that offers cover design, formatting, editing, printing, global distribution, and multi-store publishing and ISBN acquisition.
Draft2Digital is a digital self-publishing platform that distributes ebooks only. It makes your ebook available on Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
Google Play Books
While Amazon KDP is the biggest self-publishing platform in the U.S., it doesn’t have the reach that Google does. Google Play Books makes your books available on Android devices.
IngramSpark is Amazon’s enduring rival. IngramSpark also provides POD services in a wide variety of trim sizes as well as ebook services. The company is known for printing high-quality materials and has an extensive distribution network of brick-and-mortar stores.
IngramSpark, however, can be quite difficult to navigate and its customer service is left wanting. The company’s ebook distribution service is not as vast as KDP’s. As of May 2023, authors can list both print and ebook titles for free and revise files for free until they approve of the eproof. Once that’s been approved, “revisions or resubmissions for completed print and ebook titles are subject to a $25 revision fee” (IngramSpark User Guide, Version 2.3, August 29, 2023, p. 10-11).
Kobo Writing Life
Kobo focuses on the publishing and distribution of ebooks worldwide.
Lulu is a print-on-demand platform for self-publishing and global book distribution. It not only prints books, but other marketing materials such as calendars, journals, postcards, etc.
Distribution Services To Avoid
Owner/Editor of Emerging Ink Solutions, avid YA/NA author, adamant supporter of the Oxford Comma, anime and music enthusiast.