How to Choose Your eBook Publishing Platform
The four most-popular eBook publishing platforms are:
- Google Books
For the most part, they are relatively similar in terms of offering the ability to publish and sell one’s eBooks online.
But there are a few differences so I’ve put this chart together to help you evaluate and understand why one may work for you better than another.
Publishing Platform Comparison Chart - General
|ISBN Required||No||Yes (ISBN is provided if eBook is accepted for premium distribution||No||No|
|File Types||MS Word (.doc and .docx), .zip, .html, .mobi, .epub, .txt, .pdf||.doc, .docx, .epub||MS Word (.doc and .docx), .html, .rtf, and .txt||.epub, .pdf|
|Book File Size Limit||50 MB||5 MB||less than 20 MB||20 MB|
|Choose Age Group on Upload||No||No||Yes||No|
|Description||4000 characters||4000 characters||5000 characters||not specified|
|Time to "Go Live" After Upload||12 hours||5 - 10 days||24 - 72 hours||1 - 2 weeks|
|Previewer Available||Kindle Previewer||Adobe Digital Editions||Nook Previewer||Adobe Digital Editions|
Each platform has a slightly different requirement when it comes to their eBook cover images. This table gives you the overview:
Publishing Platform Comparison Chart - Cover Images
|File Type/ Size||.jpg or .tif||.jpg or .png/ 20 MB||.jpg only / between 5 KB and 2 MB||.jpg, .pdf, or .tif|
|Image Size||For best quality, 1563 pixels (px) on the shortest side and 2500 px on the longest side||1600 pixels by 2400 pixels (min of 1400 px wide)||1333 x 2000 (sides must be between 1400 and 2000 long)||nor specified|
|Resolution||To future-proof content, save images in 300 dpi or 300 ppi resolution||96 dpi||100 - 150 dpi||not specified|
Platform royalty payments thresholds and timelines vary, but the majority offer electronic funds transfer (EFT) and will ask for your bank deposit information to enable direct deposits.
This table reflects the payment variances between platforms:
Publishing Platform Comparison Chart - Royalties
|Payments Threshold||No minimum for EFT payments; $100 in royalties accrued for check payments||$10 min Paypal; $75 for check payments||When $10 in royalties have accrued||When royalties of $1 accrued|
|Payments Timeline||60 days after close of calendar month in which sale occurs (i.e., the October payment is for August sales)||Quarterly pay periods||60 days after close of the calendar month in which the sale occurs(i.e., the October payment is for August sales)||2 days after calendar month ends|
|Payment Method||EFT or check||Paypal or check||EFT||EFT or check|
Like just about everything else in out highly technical world, these platforms make changes.
The latest caveat for Kindle authors is:
If your book is enrolled in the 90-day KDP Select program, Kindle Countdown, or Kindle Unlimited*, you may NOT publish the book to any other platform during the 90-day timeframe.
For Smashwords publishers:
In addition to publishing to iBooks (Apple), you can simultaneously submit to other online retailers: Nook, Kobo, Amazon (if you’re over $1,000 in revenue at Smashwords), Diesel, Foundry, Baker-Taylor’s, Blio, and public libraries.
*Inaugurated in July 2014