Indie authors often consider the valid option of going wide and publishing on other platforms beyond Amazon. But with it comes a lot of work adapting your book formatting and spending time uploading to multiple platforms. At least, it used to.
Draft2Digital is a self-publishing aggregator, allowing authors to publish a book automatically on multiple online retailers. Instead of creating an account and uploading your book to each individual site, you can let Draft2Digital do all the hard work for you, including managing all the different formatting standards for each distributor.
Sounds positively magical, doesn’t it? And by and large, for authors who want to publish wide, it is. Below, we’ll talk you through just some of the features of Draft2Digital that help increase sales, save time, and make author life easier. You’ll then have the needed information to decide whether D2D is the best option for you.
1) Publish across Multiple Platforms
Without getting into an exclusive-or-wide debate, suffice it to say that Draft2Digital can get your books—both e-book and print—into a whole slew of online stores, as well as libraries and physical stores. As the author, you also get to choose where your book is distributed, so you have complete control without spending hours uploading your books to multiple individual sites. That might be fun when you’re all excited over book one, but it can get old really fast by the time you’re uploading book number thirty.
Pro Tip: With Draft2Digital, you can set the price for your book to zero dollars. This is really helpful if you want a perma-free book on Amazon as you can now get them to price match.
2) Quickly and Easily Format for E-book and Print
Use Draft2Digital’s formatting tool to produce a high-quality copy of your book that’s ready for both e-book and print. The platform doesn’t have any formatting restrictions, and it can work with almost any layout you have. The program does have guidelines, such as using the same formatting every time you do a chapter heading so it stands out but is simple to use.
The program offers several options for the final layout and allows you to choose between PDF and EPUB file formats. You can also preview the work before you publish to make sure it looks right. And if you already have a formatted copy of your book, the program will accept that too. It’s all very straightforward.
3) Save Money when Starting Out
When using Draft2Digital, you don’t pay a subscription fee, and there are no hidden charges. Draft2Digital simply charges 10 percent of your royalties on each book you sell in addition to whatever cut each online store takes. You’ll usually end up with around 60 percent of royalties for your e-books and 45 percent royalties for print. In effect, you don’t pay until you’ve made a sale.
This can be a cost-effective way to get started if you’re new to self-publishing. You don’t have to pay a formatter. You don’t have to pay for distribution. You just upload and publish, then get paid each month, depending on your payment settings, minus the online store’s and Draft2Digital’s cuts.
4) Create Universal Book Links
If you sell books in multiple stores, you want every reader to be able to choose the best store for them. You can either attempt to list all the links to every store individually, or you can use Draft2Digital’s Universal Book Link (UBL).
Paste a link to your book on Draft2Digital (https://books2read.com/links/ubl/create), and Draft2Digital will search for every instance of your book on every online store. It will then create a single link for your book. Change the name of the link to your book name to remove the string of random characters and make the URL easier for readers to remember. When readers click on it, they can then choose which shop they want to buy your book from, giving you a greater chance of making a sale at their preferred outlet.
5) Promote Yourself with Your Author Page
Every author who uses Draft2Digital gets an editable author page where readers can find your bio, photo, and all of your books with a UBL to every distribution channel.
You can also include your social media links, and there’s a button for readers to sign up for your mailing list or get new release notifications.
You can customize your author page to suit you, and it’s entirely geared to selling your books. Although you may already have a website with this information, it never hurts to have another place where you can show off your books.
6) Highlight Individual Books with Book Tabs
Book tabs give readers all the information they need for a single book. The customizable tab includes the book cover, blurb, series title, and your author image and bio.
Even better, the webpage includes a UBL that lets readers choose their preferred store, thumbnail covers for the rest of the series, a link to more of your books, and links to follow you on social media, sign up for your newsletter, or get new release notifications.
This could be a really useful page to share on release day and in ongoing promotions.
7) Set up Preorders
You can set up preorders for both e-book and print books a year in advance on every store except Amazon, where it’s not possible to do a preorder for e-books. You don’t even need to have your cover or a placeholder file to do so. In fact, Draft2Digital recommends that you don’t use a placeholder file at all.
You’ll just need to upload your cover and final file ten days before your release day at the latest.
8) Split Royalties Automatically
If you’ve ever written with a co-writer or organized an anthology with several writers, you know what a challenge it is to keep up with the royalties, split them equally for each author, and manage your accounts. This is especially true if you’ve published on multiple platforms.
Save yourself a lot of work by getting each co-author to sign up with Draft2Digital, and then you can specify what percentage of the royalties each author gets. After that, everything is automatically paid for you, and you’ll have only one platform to look at when it comes to your company accounts.
9) Create Automated End Matter
How many times have you formatted a book and had to recreate the front matter and back matter from scratch?
With Draft2Digital’s formatter, you won’t have to worry about it again. You don’t need to include a title page or a copyright page as they’ll automatically set that up for you. Save your back matter when you set up your first book, and every time you release a new book or update your bio, you can update your back matter too. The site will carry over the update to every book you’ve published. For authors who have published several books, this is a massive time saver.
If you’ve yet to publish, start off by saving your back matter and then keep updating it. You’ll thank yourself, and Draft2Digital, every time you have a new release and don’t have to repeatedly update your end matter for every book.
10) Watch for New Features in the Coming Year
In March 2022, Draft2Digital acquired Smashwords, another large self-publishing aggregator. Although the companies are still working on integrating, the general consensus within the indie author world is that this could be great news for authors who use the platforms.
So far, the companies have announced that Draft2Digital authors will be able to publish in the Smashwords Store, which pays 80 percent royalties, once the integration is complete. You’ll also be able to issue Smashwords coupons and use book marketing tools from Smashwords, including the Smashwords presales tool.
These are just some of the benefits of using Draft2Digital. But is the site right for your author business?
Certain online stores offer better options to authors that publish directly with them rather than through an aggregator. You may want to publish directly with Kobo, iTunes, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, then publish through Draft2Digital for every other store so that you still have access to smaller distributors without uploading each one individually.
Here’s what to think about:
How long will it take you to manage all the formatting requirements and publish directly to those four platforms along with Draft2Digital? Are the extras and options you get on those platforms worth that extra effort to you? Or would you rather skip the options, save the extra time and energy, and publish to all platforms via Draft2Digital? Only you know what you’re prepared to do and which option will best suit you and your author business.
Great news! Draft2Digital gives you some excellent options, and you get to choose what’s best for you.