Self publishing can be challenging for the independent author—As if writing the book weren’t difficult enough, we have editing, formatting, covers, and distribution to deal with. Smashwords has knocked the socks off the traditional publishing route, and there are a few newcomers rising through the ranks of the search engines to give them some competition. In the following article, expert and indie mentor David Gaughran lays out some pros and cons worthy of our attention.
Since I started self-publishing in 2011, Smashwords has been the overwhelming favorite for savvy self-publishers who wanted or needed a distributor to reach non-Amazon e-bookstores. However, a new competitor called Draft2Digital launched a beta version of their service earlier this year and has been gaining popularity. In July, they hit 1,000 users, 10,000 titles, and 1,000,000 books sold.
I’ve been getting lots of questions about Draft2Digital, and experimenting with them myself, so I thought it was a good time for a side-by-side comparison as there are distinct pros and cons to each service. But before we get into that, let’s look at the question of whether you need to use a distributor at all.