by Tamara Merrill
For the first time, The Guided Pen 2023 Anthology will be distributed by Draft2Digital. This decision was made for several reasons. Primary among those reasons is the opportunity for wider distribution. But there are other important reasons. This move will allow all future Managing Editors to publish using one account; an account that is assigned to SDWEG. The formatting of the title, author, illustrator, cover designer, etc. will become standardized. The anthology will be published each year using the SDWEG logo as the imprint.
The board intends to move older editions of the anthology to Draft2Digital, thus putting all of our books in one basket. This is not a quick move but will take several months.
There will be no change for the purchasing public. Paperbacks and eBooks will continue to be sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., but our distribution will be much wider.
As this year’s Managing Editor, I thought you might like to know more about Draft2Digital and how it compares to Amazon.
Draft2Digital and Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) are two different platforms for self-publishing eBooks, and each has its own set of features and advantages. Here are some key differences between the two:
Amazon KDP primarily focuses on publishing and distributing eBooks through the Amazon Kindle Store. Amazon does have a wide distribution opportunity, but it is less complete, and many retailers and libraries will not purchase Amazon-distributed books.
Draft2Digital offers a broader distribution network. It allows you to publish your eBooks to multiple online retailers and libraries, including Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others.
Amazon offers different royalty rates depending on the pricing and distribution options you choose. For example, you can earn either a 35% or 70% royalty on Kindle eBooks, depending on factors such as pricing and exclusivity. Royalty rates for Amazon purchases are lower per book.
Draft2Digital offers competitive royalty rates and provides a single dashboard to manage your royalties, making it convenient for authors who publish on multiple platforms. They also provide a 60-70% royalty rate when distributing through various retailers, depending on the list price and the retailer's policies. Royalty rates for D2D purchases on Amazon are lower per book than the royalties from other “stores.”
Amazon KDP offers the Kindle Create tool and guidelines to help you format your eBook for Kindle devices and apps. You can also upload your own professionally formatted eBook.
Draft2Digital provides an easy-to-use formatting tool and offers automated conversion to multiple eBook formats (ePub, MOBI, PDF) for various retailers. This can save you time and effort in preparing your eBook for different platforms.
Marketing and Promotion:
Amazon provides various promotional tools and opportunities, such as Kindle Countdown Deals, Kindle Free Book Promotions, and advertising options like Kindle Ads and Amazon Advertising, to help you promote your book to a wide Amazon audience. Their advertising platform is limited to Amazon promotion.
While Draft2Digital doesn't have the same direct marketing tools as Amazon, it offers some promotional features, such as universal book links that make it easy to share your book across platforms. Additionally, you can use Draft2Digital's "Books2Read" service to create a reader-friendly landing page for your book, with links to various retailers. They have recently added multiple new, easy-to-use, marketing tools. The universal book link is easy to use in social media, newsletters, emails, etc.
Pricing and Fees:
In both cases, the author(SDWEG) sets the price for paperback and eBooks.
Amazon KDP is free to use. There are no upfront fees, but Amazon takes a commission from your book sales.
Draft2Digital is also free to use, and they also earn their revenue by taking a small percentage of your book sales when your books are distributed through their platform.
Draft2Digital is a much smaller company than either Amazon or Ingram Spark. Their publishing, reporting, and formatting functions are straightforward and easy to use. Customer service support is readily available.
Both Amazon KDP and Draft2Digital have their advantages, and the choice between them depends on your publishing goals and preferences. If you want the widest distribution, Draft2Digital might be the better choice. However, if you're primarily targeting Amazon customers or prefer Amazon's promotional tools, Amazon KDP may be the right option for you. Many authors also choose to use both platforms to maximize their book's reach.