Everything Authors Need to Know About Book Distribution


How to Distribute Your Ebook

The easiest place to start is with an eBook because it doesn’t need to be printed, so you’re just left with distribution.

Should You Do an Ebook?

Yes, if at all possible. There’s almost no reason not to.

When eBooks first hit the scene, people said they’d be the end for printed books.

That future did not come, and according to recent numbers, it seems to be getting further away…depending on which part of the picture you choose to look at.

One report showed unit sales of eBooks dropped from 180 million units to 162 million from 2016 to 2017. Another report showed eBook sales decreased 4.7 percent in 2017.

Those numbers only reflect traditionally published eBooks, however. The indie eBook market is thriving, especially for genres like romance, sci-fi, and fantasy.

It’s tough to know the total number of eBook sales compared to print books, but estimates put it around 485 million eBook sales to 800 million print book sales in 2017.

Whatever is happening with overall sales numbers, almost half a billion sales show that readers still love eBooks. If you have the capacity to create an eBook version of your book, it’s definitely a worthwhile option.

TL;DR: Yes, do an eBook.

Ebook Distribution Factors

Amazon makes up 83 percent of eBook sales in the US, so it’s a must for authors looking to distribute their eBook. The only question is whether you should distribute solely on Amazon.

For the US market, 17 percent of 485 million eBook sales is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you’re looking to reach as many readers as possible.

Also, if you’re looking to sell your eBook internationally, keep in mind that other retailers hold significant market shares overseas. Kobo, for example, is tops in Canada and Japan.

You can get by just selling your eBook on Amazon—millions of authors do—but it shouldn’t be your only outlet if you have ambitions for your book.

TL;DR: Distribute on all eBook platforms.

How to Distribute Your Ebook

To sell your eBook strictly on Amazon, upload it through Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP. (Amazon provides directions for doing that through its KDP Jumpstart program.)

It’s free to set up an eBook title on KDP. You’ll need final book files that meet their quality and content guidelines, but assuming you worked with professional editors and designers who understand book layout and cover design, your final files should be accepted.

To sell your eBook everywhere else—Google Play, Apple Books, Nook, Kobo, and more—you have a few options. BookBaby is what we use for Scribe authors, and is a one-stop shop to distribute your book to all the major outlets. There are other options, like Smashwords and Draft2Digital, that you can use to accomplish the same goal.

For BookBaby, the cost to set up an eBook depends on how many graphics are in the book. A typical upload costs $249. For each graphic, figure about $2 additional cost.

TL;DR: Use KDP and third party platforms to distribute your book everywhere.


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