SF Nonfiction Books Blog/The 12 Best Platforms for Self Publishing eBooks

Sunday, July 16, 2023

The 12 Best Platforms for Self Publishing eBooks

Discover the top 12 platforms that empower aspiring authors to self-publish eBooks easily and seamlessly. Take advantage of user-friendly tools, comprehensive distribution networks, and supportive communities designed to amplify literary ambitions. From industry giants to lesser-known gems, this article presents an essential resource for finding your ideal platform and sharing stories with the world! Unleash your creativity and take on an unforgettable self-publishing journey!

The publishing environment has changed dramatically as we go more into the digital era. The days of large publishers dominating print media are long gone; nowadays, various self-publishing platforms allow authors to reach their audience directly via eBooks, eliminating traditional gatekeepers.

eBooks' digital nature provides several advantages - portability, adjustable text size settings, and instantaneous access to a large number of titles are just a few - while cost-effectiveness for both readers and writers makes eBooks truly revolutionary - not only influencing the industry but also shaping reading habits for future generations.

Platforms for self-publishing are growing as key participants in the digital literary revolution. From basic PDF uploads to advanced formatting services, cover design tools, international distribution networks, and marketing tools, these platforms now allow authors to focus on creating while easily reaching global audiences.

In this post, we'll review the 12 Best Platforms for Self-Publishing eBooks in detail, including their features, benefits, and why they've become essential resources for independent authors today. Whether you are an experienced author seeking greater control over your work or a beginner in publishing, there will surely be a perfect platform ready to convert your literary fantasies into digital reality!

Best Among the Rest

SF Nonfiction Books stands out among self-publishing platforms by catering specifically to non-fiction eBook authors. Not only can this platform streamline eBook self-publishing processes for authors but it also offers support and tools specifically tailored for non-fiction digital content creation.

What sets SF Nonfiction Books apart is their holistic understanding of eBook publishing as a journey, rather than just a digital conversion process. Their resources on vital aspects such as e-logistics, digital marketing strategies, and eBook cover design enable authors to make informed decisions throughout their eBook launch journey.

Explore your options by following this link: 


Why Ebooks for Self-Publishing

12 Best Ebook Self-Publishing Platforms

  • ​Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
  • ​Smashwords
  • ​Apple iBooks Author
  • ​Kobo Writing Life
  • ​Barnes & Noble Press
  • ​IngramSpark
  • ​Scribd
  • ​Draft2Digital
  • ​BookBaby
  • ​Lulu
  • ​Leanpub
  • ​SF Nonfiction Books

Tips for a successful Ebook self-publishing journey


Why Ebooks for Self-Publishing?

Digital reading and eBooks have grown in popularity as a result of technology advancements combined with people's need for quick and accessible material. eBooks are more than just a product of the digital age; they are changing the way we read literature.

eBooks are famous among readers because of their portability, accessibility, and personalization choices. With thousands of books that may fit on a single device, fast access to new releases, and adaptable reading preferences, it's ideal for modern readers - not to mention reduced paper use that matches with an eco-friendly approach!

Self-publishing eBooks allows authors to avoid the limits of traditional publishing while maintaining creative freedom, setting their own pricing, and securing authors royalties than ever before. eBooks and self-publishing platforms provide authors with unprecedented access and reader data, giving them more influence than ever before over the literary scene!

12 Best Ebook Self-Publishing Platforms

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is an ideal platform for self-publishing eBooks due to its wide audience, generous royalty rates, and user-friendly interface.


  • Massive Audience: Amazon provides authors access to millions of potential readers worldwide and provides unparalleled visibility.
  • Royalty Rates Are High: Authors can earn up to 70% in royalties through these alternative publishing routes, making this option significantly more profitable than its traditional publishing counterparts.
  • User-friendly Interface: Amazon KDP stands out as an intuitive platform with an accessible user-friendly experience for new authors.
  • ​KDP Select Program: This optional program offers additional income opportunities through Kindle Unlimited and Owners' Lending Library subscriptions.


  • ​Exclusivity with KDP Select: While Amazon may benefit from having exclusive distribution rights for an eBook in their KDP Select program, authors are limited in using other platforms for the distribution of their books.
  • High Competition: With so many books available on Amazon, it can be challenging for new authors to break through without employing an effective marketing plan.
  • ​Dependence on Amazon Ecosystem: Due to KDP's focus on Kindle eBooks, its reader base may be limited to those using either physical Kindles or the Kindle app.

Amazon KDP is an impressive platform for self-publishing eBooks, offering access to an expansive audience while offering lucrative royalty rates. However, authors should take care to assess exclusivity and competitiveness factors so as to find an an arrangement that aligns with their publishing goals and successfully navigates self-publishing processes.


Smashwords, an important player in self-publishing, provides authors with a flexible platform with access to an expansive distribution network and comprehensive marketing tools.


  • Wide Distribution: Smashwords offers wide international distribution for books through major retailers like Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo as well as libraries - increasing your book's potential reach exponentially.
  • Generous royalty rates: Smashwords store sales generate up to 80% royalties while other platforms provide 60%. This offers authors substantial benefits.
  • Marketing Tools: Smashwords provides various promotional tools such as Coupons, Interviews, and its Affiliate program to help authors increase their marketing efforts.


  • ​Less User-Friendly Interface: Smashwords' user interface can be more challenging for nontech-savvy individuals than other platforms, making learning the system an additional hurdle for some users.
  • ​Quality Standards: Smashwords has specific formatting requirements that authors must meet to get their books approved for Premium Distribution, which may prove challenging to some authors.
  • ​Delayed Payments: Payments from third-party retailers may take several weeks or months to arrive, leading to cash flow issues for authors.

Smashwords provides authors with an all-inclusive self-publishing platform, featuring wide distribution networks, competitive royalty rates, and valuable marketing tools. However, its less user-friendly interface, stringent quality standards, and delayed payments should all be taken into consideration before choosing it as their platform of choice. While Smashwords provides extensive services for self-publishing authors, it is crucial that potential users consider both its benefits and drawbacks before deciding if it is appropriate for their author's career goals.

Apple iBooks Author

Apple iBooks Author is an ideal platform for creating and self-publishing eBooks that leverages Apple technologies.


  • Ease of Use: Apple iBooks Author provides an intuitive user interface and comprehensive design tools that make creating professional-looking eBooks relatively straightforward.
  • Multimedia Integration: Our platform makes it simple and straightforward to incorporate multimedia elements, such as audio, video, and interactive widgets, into eBooks in order to increase their engagement potential and drive further reader interest.
  • ​High-Quality Formatting: iBooks Author enables high-resolution images and multiple layout options, so your book always appears at its best.


  • ​Limited Distribution: Books published through iBooks Author are only available on Apple Books Store, restricting your target audience compared to platforms that distribute to multiple retailers.
  • Mac-Only Application: Unfortunately, iBooks Author is only available on a Mac, limiting PC users significantly.
  • Fixed Layout: While the platform provides multimedia eBooks with rich, interactive experiences, their fixed layout may limit flexibility or responsiveness compared to other formats of eBooks.

Apple iBooks Author is an effective, user-friendly platform for producing high-quality eBooks with multimedia elements. Unfortunately, its exclusive distribution to the Apple Books Store could pose challenges for some authors; but if your target audience aligns with Apple's customer base then this might be an excellent solution for self-publishing your work.

SF Nonfiction Books

SF Nonfiction Books stands as an impressive example of how dedicated, compact teams can transform digital publishing. This self-funded enterprise specializes in backing non-fiction authors while staying current with industry shifts to provide outstanding assistance and stay ahead of self-publishing trends for eBooks.


  • ​User-Friendly System: SF Nonfiction Books provides authors with an efficient yet simple system for publishing eBooks across various platforms.
  • ​eBook Formatting Services: They specialize in eBook formatting services to meet professional standards across various platforms.
  • ​Cover Design: This platform offers eye-catching eBook cover designs that capture potential readers right away.
  • ​Description Writing: At SF Nonfiction Books, our team excels in writing engaging eBook descriptions that enthrall potential readers while leaving lasting impressions.
  • ​Self-Publishing Education: Authors gain insights into the intricacies of digital publishing across numerous major eBook platforms.
  • ​Full Service: At SF Nonfiction Books, our services can be tailored specifically to meet the needs of your project - from managing its entirety to offering targeted support when necessary.


  • Limited Genre Focus: SF Nonfiction Books' specialization in non-fiction may exclude authors writing other genres from utilizing their services.

Overall, SF Nonfiction Books are an outstanding option for non-fiction authors pursuing eBook self-publishing. Not only can they help publish your first or subsequent non-fiction eBooks; but also bring them to life across various self-publishing platforms using their experience as both authors and independent eBook publishers.

Kobo Writing Life

Kobo Writing Life has quickly become one of the premier platforms for self-publishing eBooks, recognized for its user-friendly experience and nonexclusive distribution model.


  • ​User-Friendly Interface: Kobo Writing Life provides a user-friendly dashboard to make uploading and managing eBooks simpler than ever before.
  • ​Non-Exclusivity: Kobo does not require exclusive distribution rights and authors are free to publish their work simultaneously on other platforms.
  • Global Reach: Kobo's partnerships with various international retailers give authors access to an international audience.


  • Smaller Audience: Although Kobo boasts global reach, its market share remains significantly smaller than Amazon, potentially leading to fewer sales and thus lower profit margins.
  • ​Delayed Reporting: Sales and royalty reports can take time to process, making it more challenging for authors to keep an accurate watch over their sales performance.
  • ​Less Comprehensive Services: Kobo Writing Life's primary focus is distribution; they do not offer additional services such as editing or cover design.

Kobo Writing Life provides an intuitive and flexible platform for self-publishing eBooks with international reach, yet may offer limited readership compared to other platforms due to delayed reporting and less comprehensive services. Still, this option may prove attractive to authors looking for global readers without exclusive distribution agreements.

Barnes & Noble Press

Barnes & Noble Press provides authors with an innovative platform to publish eBooks that may reach physical bookstores as well.


  • ​Potential Physical Store Presence: Barnes & Noble Press offers successful self-published authors the unique opportunity of getting their books sold in B&N physical stores.
  • Print and eBook Publishing: This platform facilitates both eBook and print-on-demand services to meet reader preferences in an affordable manner.
  • Easy-to-Use Interface: B&N Press' user-friendly interface makes publishing, editing, and managing books straightforward.


  • ​Limited International Reach: Barnes & Noble only operates within the US market, which may limit an author's global readership.
  • ​Less Competitive Royalty Rates: When compared with other self-publishing platforms, B&N Press has less competitive royalty rates, particularly for lower-priced books.
  • No Exclusive Marketing Programs: Unlike other platforms, B&N Press doesn't provide any exclusive marketing services or promotional opportunities that would entice potential advertisers.

Barnes & Noble Press offers many advantages to authors when it comes to self-publishing their books; its physical store presence supports both eBook and print-on-demand publishing, as well as more competitive royalties rates than some competitors and exclusive marketing opportunities; however, its limited international reach, less competitive royalty rates, and lack of exclusive marketing options may pose potential disadvantages for indie authors looking to use B&N Press as a self-publishing platform.


IngramSpark stands out in the self-publishing industry by virtue of its wide global distribution and comprehensive range of print and eBook services.


  • ​Global Distribution Network: With its vast distribution network encompassing more retailers and libraries worldwide, IngramSpark gives authors unrivaled reach.
  • Print and eBook Services: IngramSpark allows authors more publishing options by offering both print and eBook publishing platforms, giving them greater choice in terms of what type of book to publish.
  • ​High-Quality Print: This platform is widely renowned for producing superior print quality, making it an invaluable asset when choosing print-on-demand options.


  • Higher Setup Fees: IngramSpark charges an author additional payments for title setup and revisions, increasing his/her initial expenses.
  • ​Complex User Interface: Many authors find the platform's user interface less intuitive compared to other self-publishing services.
  • Lower eBook Royalties: IngramSpark eBook royalties may be lower than other platforms, which could reduce author earnings overall.

IngramSpark stands out for its international distribution and dual publishing options, but authors should take note of its higher setup costs, potentially complex interface, and lower eBook royalties when considering self-publishing options such as IngramSpark.


Scribd stands out as an innovative subscription-based platform, allowing authors to self-publish eBooks, documents and other written material without incurring incurring fees for doing so.


  • Diverse Content Types: Scribd is unique among platforms in that it supports an assortment of content types ranging from books, academic papers and magazines - giving authors greater flexibility.
  • Global Audience: Scribd provides authors with access to an international audience of millions.
  • ​Subscription-Based Model: Authors can make money whenever their work is read by subscribers, providing a potentially steady income source.


  • ​Less Control Over Pricing: With Scribd's subscription model, authors don't set their book prices directly, which may diminish revenue potential and decrease author control over pricing decisions.
  • ​Overwhelming Content: Due to Scribd's vast catalogue, new authors may struggle to gain visibility without actively promoting themselves.
  • ​Scribd Is Digital-Only: Scribd does not provide print-on-demand services like other self-publishing platforms do, meaning there are no printing options for self-published works on Scribd.

Scribd offers flexible publishing and global exposure, but its pricing structure, visibility issues, and lack of print services must all be taken into consideration before choosing it for self-publishing purposes. However, if your publishing goals align with its offerings and you prefer its subscription-based model then Scribd may be an excellent solution for self-publishing your book(s).


Draft2Digital has quickly become one of the premier self-publishing platforms due to its user-friendly experience, wide distribution reach, and exceptional author support services.


  • Wide Distribution: Draft2Digital's wide distribution options ensure your book reaches as many potential readers as possible, including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books - making your book's reach exponentially larger than it might otherwise.
  • ​User-Friendly Interface: This platform has earned praise for its intuitive dashboard, making the uploading, formatting, and management of eBooks simple.
  • ​Free ISBN: Draft2Digital offers free ISBN numbers to eBook authors - something not offered by all platforms.


  • Royalties may Be Lower on Certain Platforms: Draft2Digital offers competitive royalty rates; however, authors might see more profits by publishing directly with specific platforms.
  • ​Few Marketing Tools: In comparison with some platforms, Draft2Digital offers less marketing tools for effectively marketing your book.
  • Doesn't Support Print: Draft2Digital is an entirely digital platform, lacking print-on-demand services as offered on other self-publishing platforms.

Draft2Digital boasts a broad distribution network, user-friendly interface and supportive features like free ISBNs. But royalties may vary across platforms and marketing tools may be limited compared to print services - so take this into consideration before choosing Draft2Digital as your publishing solution. However, if your priority lies with having an easy publishing process with broad eBook distribution then it might just be suitable!


BookBaby has quickly earned itself a prominent place within the self-publishing industry by offering an array of services beyond eBook publishing, such as book printing, cover design and editing services.


  • ​Complete Publishing Services: BookBaby provides authors with complete publishing services, from formatting and cover design through editing and promotion of their books.
  • Wide Distribution: Our platform facilitates widespread book distribution to an array of online retailers, broadening your book's potential reach.
  • Offers Print-on-Demand: In contrast with digital-only platforms, BookBaby also provides print-on-demand services, meeting the needs of readers who prefer physical books.


  • High Costs: BookBaby offers comprehensive services at a higher cost compared to most self-publishing platforms, but its comprehensive services may come at a premium price tag.
  • Delayed Royalty Payments: As BookBaby only pays royalties quarterly, authors may have to wait longer before receiving their earnings.
  • ​Less Control: For some authors, BookBaby's full-service publishing model gives them less control over the publishing process.

BookBaby stands out for its comprehensive services that go well beyond eBook publishing, but these come at a higher cost. Additionally, with quarterly royalty payments and limited control options for authors to consider when choosing their publishing goals; BookBaby may be an ideal fit if authors require full service self-publishing platform handling everything from editing to promotion.


Lulu has made its name in self-publishing services by providing both print-on-demand and eBook publishing with an international distribution network.


  • ​Simplifying Print and eBook Publishing: Lulu's print and eBook publishing options accommodate a broad array of reader preferences.
  • Offers Broad Distribution: With Lulu's vast online retailer network and global reach, authors can reach an expansive international audience.
  • ​Publishing Is Free of Charge: Publishing an eBook through Lulu costs nothing, making it an attractive option for authors with tight budgets.


  • ​Shipping Costs: for print-on-demand books, Lulu's shipping costs can be prohibitively expensive - particularly international orders.
  • ​Limited Customer Support: Some users have reported experiencing problems with Lulu's customer support, which could prove detrimental for authors needing frequent help.
  • ​Complex Interface: Lulu's comprehensive publishing options may make the platform accessible, yet its interface can be complex for newcomers to navigate.

Lulu provides an attractive platform for self-publishing with its dual publishing options, wide distribution and no cost eBook publishing; however authors should take note of its potentially high shipping costs, limited customer support services and complex interface.


Leanpub was initially designed to publish technical and programming books; however, over time it has become an ideal platform for self-publishing authors across genres due to its unique 'publish as you write' model.


  • ​Iterative Publishing: Leanpub's unique iterative publishing feature allows authors to publish their work iteratively as they write, gather feedback, and iterate, making it an excellent platform for works-in-progress.
  • High Royalties: Leanpub offers one of the most competitive royalty rates available to self-publishers at 80% royalty rates.
  • Multiple Formats: Books published on Leanpub are available in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats to provide readers with an adaptable reading experience across devices.


  • ​Limited Distribution: Since Leanpub does not distribute your book to other platforms or retailers, this could restrict its reach.
  • ​Learning Curve: Leanpub's writing and formatting tools may present a learning curve for nontechnical authors, particularly when first starting out.
  • Limited Design Options: When compared with other services, the design options for book covers and interiors on this platform are limited.

Leanpub offers an appealing self-publishing option due to its iterative publishing model, high royalty rates and support for multiple formats. However, its limited distribution, potential learning curve, and design limitations may limit its appeal; but if feedback during the writing process and technical aspects are no barrier then Leanpub could make an ideal platform.

Tips for a successful Ebook self-publishing journey

Beginning a self-publishing journey can be both rewarding and profitable, but success often depends on careful planning and strategic execution. Here are ten essential steps that will guide your journey and ensure your eBook resonates with readers while standing out in an increasingly crowded digital marketplace.

  • Identification of Your Readers: Understanding who your target readers are is vitally important when writing and marketing an eBook, to make sure it fulfills their expectations and needs.
  • ​Writing Consistently: Regular writing practice helps develop your writing skills, keeps content fresh, and builds reader interest and anticipation.
  • Get Feedback: Feedback can help improve your work and ensure it reaches digital shelves as the highest-quality solution possible.
  • ​Hire a Professional Editor: Even the best writers need another set of eyes on their manuscript to spot and correct any unseen errors that have crept through. Hiring an outside editor can give your work the necessary polish for publication.
  • ​Design an Eye-Catching Cover: An attractive cover can attract potential readers, instantly creating an impactful first impression and conveying information about its tone and content.
  • ​Invest in Proper Formatting: Accurate formatting will ensure that your eBook can be easily and enjoyed read on multiple devices, providing a seamless reading experience.
  • ​Finding a Fit Self-Publishing Platform: Each self-publishing platform provides different distribution channels, pricing structures, and publishing tools, making selecting one to meet your eBook publishing needs an integral factor to its success.
  • Price Your eBook Appropriately: An effectively priced eBook can draw more readers while providing fair compensation for all involved in its creation and distribution.
  • ​Create a Pre-Launch Strategy: Formulating an actionable pre-launch strategy can build anticipation, ensure a seamless release, and provide an immediate uptick in sales.
  • Promote Your eBook: Active promotion post-launch can keep your eBook top of mind with potential readers, increasing sales and readership over time.

Each step in creating and publishing a successful eBook requires careful thought, so make sure to devote adequate time and energy to this self-publishing journey.


As we come to the end of our in-depth look at the '12 Best Platforms for Self-Publishing eBooks,' it's evident that self-publishing has transformed the literary world, providing authors with unique creative independence, broad visibility, and the opportunity for rich rewards.

The beauty of these platforms is the freedom that they provide authors, from early drafts to finishing manuscripts and designing marketing and sales activities. This has created a platform where voices of all colors and from all corners of the globe may be heard, allowing for a wide range of stories to be shared.

Among these sites, SF Nonfiction Books stands out. It not only serves a wide range of authors, from novices to seasoned writers but also acts as an exciting community that helps writers to realize their literary ambitions. SF Nonfiction Books pushes the self-publishing bar to new heights with its user-friendly interface, broad distribution networks, competitive royalty rates, and dynamic community of writers and readers.

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