When I wanted to publish my first book I was overwhelmed with the information, this is your quick guide to getting it done!
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So you want to hit publish on your first book, or maybe you’re just checking it out. There’s a lot of information out there on how to get your first book out there and where to do it, but these are the main platforms you can hit publish for free!
Something to note is that you may want to buy your own ISBN if this is a work that you want to own the rights to. If not, you can use a free ISBN from some of these platforms. If you don’t know, ISBN’s are how your book will be recognized by platforms and the government. It’s like your book’s social security card.
The only place in the United States to buy an ISBN is from Bowker. Why that is, I don’t know, and ISBN’s aren’t cheap but if you’re thinking on publishing more books, definitely get the bundle!
Publishing Platform Number One
Is of course the king of self-publishing, Amazon. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP is the place to publish your book if you want to do it for free. That is because Amazon is the only platform that is both free AND offers you a free ISBN.
Again, the catch is that you need an ISBN to publish your book, but Amazon is the only totally free way to do that. BUT if you do it that way, Amazon would ‘own’ the rights to your book. Yes, it’s your book, but if they don’t want you selling it on other platforms, you can’t.
Meaning that the subsequent platforms to sell your book would not be available to you if you used their free ISBN. Which is fine if that’s okay with you and fine if it’s a low content book that you only want to sell on Amazon. If not, these are the other platforms.
Directly To Apple.
Like directly to Apple Books. When I write my books I use my iPhone and I write on Pages, I can click the three dots at the top right, scroll down to Publish to Apple Books, and boom there you go.
While I didn’t publish to Apple Books myself using that method, you absolutely can. I think I didn’t because I needed to first create an Apple author account and so on, but it really was easy and free to do. Minus buying my ISBN, but if you didn’t know, you use the same ISBN for your book everywhere when you publish.
Where else can you publish?
Naturally, Google is the biggest resource available to small business owners if you know how to use it. Publish with Google Play and you may have a higher likelihood of ranking if you want to be found by new readers daily.
This is free if you use the ISBN you would’ve bought. But Google Play did not offer the use of a free ISBN.
Of course, you can and should also publish on Barnes and Noble. Following the same as above, it is free but you need an ISBN.
Finally, there is Ingramspark. While Ingramspark is not free to publish, it is $49, you can get a free ISBN AND it helps you get onto the other platforms mentioned.
You can accomplish this similarly with Expanded Distribution on KDP (as you publish you will see the option). KDP and Ingramspark use the same distribution channels but KDP takes a bigger cut of your money.
Both can get you into other platforms using keywords. Bigger retailers check these websites and can opt-in to add your ebook to their platform.
Ready to publish? Grab my Self-Publishing Toolkit! Your cover to print guide on publishing on KDP and similar platforms (even if you know nothing about self-publishing).