Smashwords vs Draft2Digital vs PublishDrive Review


In the self-publishing world, there are many different platforms on which you can sell your books. Most know about the uber-popular Amazon KDP, but what about the others?

As it turns out, there are over 55+ book retailers out there that sell self-published books like iTunes, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and a whole lot more.

But formatting a book and submitting it to all the different platforms can be tedious work.

Thankfully, this is where book distribution services like Smashwords,  Draft2Digital, and PublishDrive step in. These platforms will take your book and distribute it to a list of publishing retailers, control the analytics, collect royalties, and pay you in one lump sum.

This is incredibly efficient and helps to get your book out to more readers with little to no extra work.

Given that the three services are very similar, how do they stack up against each other? Which is the right option for you as an author?

In this article, you will learn:

  • When to use these services
  • Side-by-side comparison of Smashwords VS Draft2Digital VS PublishDrive
  • How I personally use distribution services for my books
  • My final verdict on the best distribution service

PS: If you'd like to skip the details and see who is the winner and who I WILL be using, click here to jump right to that section.

When to Use These Services

Let me be frank.

These services are for those of you who do NOT want to format and upload their book to each individual publishing retailer out there. They are for those who want to quickly and efficiently get your book on LOTS of different markets and just receive one royalty check a month (rather than a handful of checks from each platform every month).

For a small slice of the income you make through their services, the guys at Smashwords, Draft2Digital, or PublishDrive, will handle the distribution and admin side for you. This allows you to focus on the things that matter more to you as an author.

This is A-Okay with me because, remember, each publishing retailer has its own guidelines and required formats. Honestly, it can be a little confusing. Case-in-point: iTunes is way more strict on what you can say in the summary, while Kobo has different requirements for formatting.

And heaven forbid you are doing your own accounting…oy!

The Smashwords vs Draft2Digital Showdown: Which one is better?Click To Tweet

Can you make more money by not using these services? Yes.

But is it really worth all the time it would take to individually list your book on every platform? That depends on you, your budget, and your goals.

For me, I like the ease of these services and how many extra sales they have brought me by listing my books on all the other platforms.

But which one is the best?

In order to write this article, I submitted my books to all three and even went so far as to contact the CEOs of two of the companies. Many thanks to both Mark Coker of Smashwords and Aaron Pogue of Draft 2 Digital for your time. You guys are both super classy;  your hard work and effort are thoroughly appreciated.

Draft2Digital vs. Smashwords vs. PublishDrive: The Showdown

Essentially, Draft2Digital, Smashwords, and PublishDrive offer very similar services. Originally, Smashwords was the major player before Draft2Digital entered the market to provide some competition. Now, PublishDrive is taking on the established names.

Let’s check out some of the basic differences between the three companies:

SmashwordsDraft2DigitalPublish Drive
Upfront Cost$0$0$0
Accepted Book Formatsdoc, epubdoc, docx, epub.docx and epub
Their Commission*15% on Smashwords
10% Other Platforms
10% All Platforms10%
Who Does FormattingYouThey Do!You
Distribution SitesAmazon**
Barnes & Noble
Baker & Taylor
Biblioteca CloudLibrary
Mobile Phone Apps
Barnes & Noble
Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play Books, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Scrib,, Dangdang, CNPeReading, Playster,,,,, Perlego,,, bibliotheca,,, bookshout! Tolino, e-letoltes
Extras-Coupon Generator
-Adjustable Royalty
-Splits with Distributors
-Universal Book Links
-Preorder Setup with Most Vendors
Advanced Marketing Features Amazon Advertising Credit
WebsiteSee It Now!See It Now!See It Now!

*Remember that their commission is on top of whatever the platform's commission will be.  So, if you sold a book on iBook for $10, iBook would take $3 (their 30% commission) and D2D/Smashwords would take $1 (10% of their commission) leaving you with 60% or $6.

**Smashwords will only consider distributing your book to Amazon if you've earned over $2,000 on Smashwords retailers and you make the request through their support system. More info here.

Pros and Cons of Smashwords

Truth be told, Smashwords is the original ebook publishing platform for indie authors and the world's largest distributor of self-published ebooks. Currently, they distribute over 450,000 books from over 130,000 indie authors. That's pretty jaw-dropping when you think about it.

Besides being a fountain of knowledge, their website also houses an ebook store that allows Smashwords self-publishers to create coupons and even give their books away for free–no kindle select style contracts required either.

One of the strongest arguments for Smashwords is that they have a larger number of publishing platforms that they distribute to. Most interpret this as “more sales.” However, as you will see later in this article when I analyze a case study of mine, that might not be the case.

Smashwords has finally responded to the pressure of their competition and pays authors monthly now, instead of quarterly. So that's no longer a drawback.

However, to submit your book to Smashwords, you'll need to format your book as per their instructions–and the requirements for formatting are extensive.

How extensive, you ask?

They created a 27,000-word document to tell you all about it. Yup…27K. That’s basically a complete ebook on how to prepare your ebook.

Now, that being said, I will say that it really isn’t that difficult. But it is something to consider if you haven’t done it before…especially if you aren't very tech savvy.

Check Out Smashwords Here

Pros and Cons of Draft2Digital

Draft2Digital was the new kid on the block.  Adopting a new age platform, the Draft2Digital website is pretty sweet and the dashboard is very easy to use.  Honestly, comparing the two, Smashwords looks and operates like an early 2000's website, while D2D is modern, sleek and much more clear.

Oh, and did I mention the website and the author reports are a lot easier to navigate and understand?  Plus, D2D pays you monthly, and they always have.

But my favorite part is that they do the formatting for you for both ebook and print copies. Just send them your .doc or .docx and they will make it compliant for all of their platforms.  As they say on their front page:

“Your style guide is our style guide. And if you don’t have a style guide, that’s okay too. Just get us your manuscript and we’ll do all the technical stuff for you. It’s really that simple.”

Another thing I like about Draft2Digital is that they will email you each time a book goes live on a platform and keep you updated on the status of your book at the other retailers. That's what I call instant notification!

Finally, Draft2Digital helps authors sell more books by giving authors access to Universal Book Links (UBL). While Amazon is the most popular site for buying books, there are many people who buy from non-Amazon sites. If you don't have links to each customer's preferred book retailer, you're missing out on sales.

And instead of having to create and manage a link for every retailer, you easily make your book more discoverable by using one universal book link. Read more about how to take advantage of this savvy marketing tool here.

Ever heard of the phrase: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?” Well, the same goes with publishingClick To Tweet

In the past, one of my major cons for Draft2Digital was that they didn't distribute to as many markets as Smashwords.  That's no longer the case.  They do and more.  So, yay to their team for improving and growing.

Draft2Digital now offers a print option as well making it a solid choice for any author.

Check Out Draft2Digital Here

Pros and Cons of PublishDrive

Out of the three, PublishDrive is the latest to join the party of book distribution.

And I’m pleased to see that PublishDrive took the trend of D2D's sleek interface and experience and really ran with it.

The user interface is easy to navigate. The dashboard is really clear to use and the most important information, such as your copies sold and money made, is presented quickly and simply.

The user-friendly feel of PublishDrive is established from the get-go. When you first sign up for the service, you are lead through a checklist which establishes where you are at as an author, and what your goals are from using the PublishDrive service. This is a great landing point as it truly feels like they’ve got your back, and you don’t have to handle things alone.

Another advantage of using PublishDrive is the marketing services they provide. You can quickly and easily access functions such as Amazon Advertising and review copy generation from within the service.  Something you CAN'T do with the others.

Also, PublishDrive handles physical books now like D2D, while Smashwords does not.

A major downside to PublishDrive in comparison to Draft2Digital is the requirement to do your own book formatting. Many authors will be OK with having to format their books, but it’s nice that Draft2Digital offer this as a way of saving you time and effort.

Furthermore, I'm not a fan of PublishDrive's cost.  The other markets only cost 5% of sales, while PublishDrive will probably cost you $19.99 per month to us.

Overall, I feel PublishDrive has everything you’d look for in a book distribution service. I have a good feeling about the company and the people running it. I expect them to expand their marketing services over time, and I’ll update this comparison guide when they do.

Check Out PublishDrive Here

How I Use Book Distribution Services

Before I get into which one is the best, let me explain how I use book distribution services and why I think you should consider doing it the same.

When I publish my books, I personally upload them to Amazon, iTunes, B&N Press, and Kobo.  I do this because all four of them account for 99% of my sales.  Plus, when I personally do it, I get more options with each one and can make sure my books look their best on those platforms (which equates to more sales).  You don't have to put them on all four of those (it's actually a painful process), but I'd ABSOLUTELY recommend you at least put it on Amazon yourself.

Then, for the other 55+ book markets out there, use a book distribution service.  If you book happens to make a sale on those platforms, then awesome.  You just made a sale that you wouldn't have.  To me, that's when the book distribution services earn their money.

Okay, so with that in mind, which one is the best?

The Victor is Clear: Draft2Digital

I'm not a fan of Smashwords.  It's old and out-of-date.

While PublishDrive offers way more, like being able to do Amazon ads, and Abacus…I really don' t like their monthly payment plan.  Using the system above, I'd lose a LOT more money using them.  Over the past 5 years, I've made $7000 from those other markets.  Draft2Digital has earned $350 for their work of getting me those extra sales.  If I had used PublishDrive to do that, it would have cost me $1,200.  Plus, using it the way I do, all of PublishDrive's benefits wouldn't help me to sell better.

Perhaps with the physical book distribution it could be good.  But if I did that, it would cost me even more per month.

So, in the end, Draft2Digital is the winner and I'll continue to use them.  They are extremely well put together and have a track record of always improving.  Plus, I know they are currently working to include audiobooks in the future as well.




  1. Roxana on August 28, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Very grateful for this article, highly useful info.
    If I decide to use D2D services what do I need before publishing the book for copyright matters?
    I have done so far nothing but actually writing the book.
    How can I protect myself against theft and online fraud?

    Thanks a million in advance,

  2. Rebecca Amiss on July 30, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    This is awesome! Thank you, Dave! I am very interested in using Draft2Digital. I like the idea of them doing the formatting as well as distributing to multiple publishers including Amazon. I am also considering IngramSpark and Ebook Launch as well. Could you tell me on your thoughts of those two compared to Draft2Digital?

    Thank you!!

    • Dave Chesson on August 1, 2020 at 1:06 am

      Well, my biggest recommendation is to do D2D for all markets except for Amazon, and place it on Amazon yourself. By doing it that way, you’ll earn more money AND you can then do Amazon book ads. If you just put it on IngramSpark OR on D2D but for all markets, then you’ll lose that opportunity.

      • Rebecca Amiss on August 1, 2020 at 2:58 pm

        Awesome! Thank you so much for your advice! I’m just wondering can I still have D2D format for me and upload their Epub file on Amazon myself instead of them doing it for me? Or would I have to format for Amazon myself?

        Thank you again!

        • Dave Chesson on August 2, 2020 at 1:05 pm

          Yes you can.

        • Rebecca Amiss on August 3, 2020 at 2:41 pm

          Thank you so much!

      • Jennifer Thomas on August 24, 2020 at 10:47 pm

        But what about doing the combo of KDP & IngramSpark instead of KDP & D2D–I’m having trouble finding any articles that directly compare these two options. In my case, I already have my own self-generated ePub, and I have my POD distribution through both KDP & IS also. In this case, is D2D better than IS for eBook distribution for any reason? Thank you so, so much!!

  3. Charlotte Ashwanden on July 28, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Thanks for this really helpful article! I am new to the world of self-publishing and have a question which probably seems simple but which I am hoping you can help with.
    You say “When I publish my books, I personally upload them to Amazon, iTunes, B&N Press, and Kobo.”
    So does this mean that you keep the rights to your work even though you make them available on these websites? From reading about Kindle Direct Publishing it seems like Amazon owns the rights to your work if you publish with them – or is it just the files they own?
    Basically I am asking why it is OK to publish the same book on multiple self-publishing platforms considering the platforms have some kind of ownership of your work.
    Thanks so much in advance for your help. 🙂

    • Dave Chesson on July 29, 2020 at 9:43 pm

      No problem, and the answer is, they don’t have a right to your book. They are only saying they are managing the file. You own the copyright to your book.

  4. Russelin Kisiel on July 6, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Dave, is this article up to date now? I’m looking at a monthly fee of only 19.99 for up to 6 books for PD. They seem to have different tiers but for me, that seems like a great deal compared to the others who I thought take a cut of each book, after the retailers get theirs. Or am I missing something. I’ve had the pleasure of teleconferencing with Kinga of Publish Drive, and I found her incredibly personable and forward thinking. She was reaching out to indie authors of all levels and asking them what they needed most.
    While I do love D2D and use them, but I was about to try PD when I saw their flat monthly rate.

    • Dave Chesson on July 6, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      It was updated I think back in Feb 2020, so unless something happened since then. As for which one? Well, like I say in the conclusion, I personally put my books in Amazon, B&N, and iTunes and let D2D work to get the rest – which is best for me. But if you make more sales from all those other not so popular markets and 5% of sales is greater than $20 every month, then perhaps PD is better for you.

      • Jackie on July 27, 2020 at 11:43 pm

        I just signed up for D2D today, and they now have print books!

        • Dave Chesson on July 29, 2020 at 9:39 pm

          Yup – they’ve been working to improve. I better update the article to reflect that. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. cfrfgvetal on January 28, 2018 at 12:02 am

    According to Smashword’s website they do pay MONTHLY (not quarterly, as you state):

    • Dave Chesson on January 28, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Cheryl, yes, I’m super happy they finally changed this – a couple of months ago. When I wrote the article originally, that was something they didn’t do while D2D did. I jazzed to know that making light of that major difference probably propped Mark Coker and Smashwords to finally meet their competition head on. I’ve got it scheduled very soon to go through and update it. But a quick and easy is that D2D is still the better of the two.

      • Zsa Zsa Tudos on May 6, 2020 at 9:25 am

        Thank you Dave! You never disappoint me. I was just wondering about all those platforms and your article appeared out of nowhere. You saved me a lot of time and heartache. Take care!

        • Dave Chesson on May 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

          Awe, thank you. That means a lot to hear.

  6. Lorilyn Roberts on January 13, 2018 at 7:34 am

    I tried to download the book above and it said I was blacklisted. What did I do?

    • Dave Chesson on January 13, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      My free Kindle Rankings book? It shouldn’t be. Perhaps that’s a virus protector on your computer?

  7. Lana H Allen on January 12, 2018 at 4:17 am

    I was using Pronoun and they were great, but since they’re closing I need to choose an alternative. Do you have any opinion on ? I like that they also publish to Google Play Books. D2D sounds good but do they distribute to Google Play Books yet? Thank you.

    • Zsófia Machó on January 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Hi Lana, Thank you very much for the mention. We have built an importer for Pronoun users: there is no need to re-convert your ebooks, just bring your ZIP file and you are ready to go; for free, of course. We also guarantee that reviews transfer on Amazon, Google Play, BN and OverDrive.

      Regarding DRM: I’m not sure what you mean, we don’t add DRM to the books.

      • Lana H Allen on January 12, 2018 at 7:27 pm

        On KDP you can opt in or out of DRM as shown here:
        Digital Rights Management (DRM)
        Enable DRM on this Kindle eBook. How is my Kindle eBook affected by DRM?
        Recommended formats for Kindle eBooks: .doc, .docx, HTML, MOBI, ePub, RTF, Plain Text, and KPF.
        Does PublishDrive use DRM or not?
        Also what format is required to upload so that you don’t require ebook conversion?
        Can you publish directly to Amazon and CreateSpace, then use PublishDrive to distribute elsewhere?
        Is it exclusive if you go with PublishDrive or can you also use other distributors?
        If you want to make changes to your book are there any fees and how long would it take for minor changes to go through?
        Thank you Zsofia.

        • Zsófia Machó on January 13, 2018 at 1:45 pm

          Hi Lana,

          You are right about this one: we don’t add DRM to the books but don’t let the publishers decide. If stores offer DRM, publishers have to opt in; if stores don’t offer DRM, we don’t add it.

          /Also what format is required to upload so that you don’t require ebook conversion?/
          We take in epubs: most publishers coming to us already have their ebooks (especially former Pronoun users). We direct newbies to Reedsy’s free conversion software or help them convert their own ebooks using Sigil or Calibre. We don’t think that we should force people to use one pre-decided format for their ebooks: we take in books independently from the formatting.

          /Can you publish directly to Amazon and CreateSpace, then use PublishDrive to distribute elsewhere?/
          Of course, you can switch off any channels at an imprint or book level. There are many publishers who go to Amazon KDP directly and use our service to reach international channels.

          /If you want to make changes to your book are there any fees and how long would it take for minor changes to go through?/
          There are no fees. You can make any changes to your book after publication (even changing your original epub file or cover). Changes take place within a few days, depending on the “responsiveness” of the store.

          I hope I answered all your questions.

          • Lana H Allen on January 13, 2018 at 5:18 pm

            Thank you very much Zsofia.

  8. Hank Eng on January 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Great article. Here’s an update- Draft2Digital now distributes to Amazon. I also use Draft2Digital services. Anyway, good article Dave! thanks.

    • Dave Chesson on January 8, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks. We’re actually going to update this article fully very soon.

  9. MMM-EXPRESS on December 21, 2017 at 6:51 am

    A friend recommended D2D to me. This article is great. It has cleared my confusion. I think I now know where to publish my upcoming books.

    • Dave Chesson on December 21, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Absolutely and glad you found this.

  10. Andrew Griffin on December 12, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I think this information is a little out of date. Normally I wouldn’t comment on an older article like this, but as people have posted as recently as 2 days ago, I thought that they should know. Things like payment frequency and other goodies have changed in the past two years (at least that the oldest comment I saw). Smashwords does pay per month now, and they have free conversion to e-book from a word document. Now I have had experience with neither of these two services as of yet, but I think there may be more changed that this article does not address.

    • Dave Chesson on December 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      Yes, we’re scheduled to update the article very soon. As for years…no. The frequency change happened in 2017 and I think that’s in part because of D2D and articles like this pointing out Smashwords inadequacies. But, we’ll get it updated, don’t worry Andrew 😉

  11. Savannah Goins on December 11, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Thanks so much for the detailed breakdown! Looks like it’ll be D2D for me!

    • Dave Chesson on December 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Absolutely and glad to hear it. This was written because I too was trying to figure out which would be best. D2D all the way for me.

  12. Kim Hornsby- Author on October 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Great comparison. I’m pretty sure Smashwords CEO is Mark, not Matt.

  13. Amos Obi on June 15, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Great information and vital indeed. Thank you sincerely, Amos at

  14. sherry gammon on May 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I could not agree with you more, except: Smashwords does NOT run like a “2000’s website, while D2D is pretty modern, sleek and much more clear,” Smashwords runs like a prehistoric website while D2D is pretty modern, sleek and much more clear 😉 No matter what, no matter who formats for me, Smashwords system has a hissy fit and kicks it out. So over Smashwords! Thanks for the info!

    • Dave Chesson on May 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      haha…yeah. I’ve had little to no problems with D2D at all – and still to this day.

  15. Sean Monaghan on February 27, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Thanks for this. I notice that Smashwords has just gone to monthly payouts. Yay 🙂

    • Dave Chesson on February 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Yeah, after all these years I’m starting to think they are feeling the squeeze of D2D into their bottom line. Competition breeds innovation and improvement 😀

  16. Richard Buxton on January 22, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Dave,
    Really useful article for a novice like me who’s trying to make sense of this particular universe.
    Laugh me out of court if need be, but how do Ingram compare for the digital market? They seem to have all the main suppliers + Amazon,
    kind regards,

  17. Jason on December 28, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I would recommend everybody to STAY AWAY from Draft2Digital. They are a scam company who will close your account without warning, with all your funds still in there and your books published on their distributors.

    • David on August 21, 2020 at 10:00 pm

      I was looking for this comment.
      Draft 2 digital did this shit to me because I delisted my books and participated in amazon KDP select. I tagged them on twitter and got blocked. It was really a battle.

  18. Sarah L Jensen on August 4, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Hi Dave!
    What are your thoughts on Kindle Select? – What they offer sounds good, but for 90 days it is not permitted to sell via other platforms. So I was just wondering if its worth to wait that long before uploading elsewhere? Is it a great start for a book to join kindle select?

    Ps. Thanks for recommending Hynek for formatting. Im very pleased to work with him.

    • kindlepreneur on August 4, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Hi Sarah! Kindle Select has its benefits, depending on your market strategy. When it is free, there are lots of promo sites and book Facebook pages that will promote it. Therefore, if you time it right, you can get a LOT of eyes to see your book. However, the downside is that you can’t put it on Smashwords or D2D then. Me personally, I never sign up for Kindle Select, but that’s because I don’t depend on KS free pushes as much as others. Plus, I see good income streams from the others.

      One final recommendation is that you can always test and see. Put it on KS, do your free period, get a LOT of downloads (which equates to a couple of reviews), and hopefully hit the bestseller mark. Then after your 90 days, remove it from KS and place it on Smashwords or D2D and see what happens. Compare your earnings and go from there.

      And yes, Hynek is the bomb.

  19. […] my article Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital, you’ll find that there is no ultimate clear cut winner.  However, there will be times when […]

  20. AC Adams on May 3, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I’m not sure, but for what it’s worth Smashwords seems to have a better presence in the book industry than D2D. I rarely see any book industry news from D2D. Mark Coker is always championing indies at various conferences etc. I personally believe Smashwords has a better relationship with vendors than D2D. Books I can’t get into some retailers through D2D, don’t seem to have any problems being submitted via Smashwords. But it would be nice to see Smashwords develop monthly payments and retail specific links.

    • kindlepreneur on May 3, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Yep, like I said, their the older distributer and Mark definitely is a presence. I think a lot of the “industry news” is because of Mark and his presence as well as it being the oldest. But that doesn’t necessarily mean better. Hopefully the growing presence of a legitimate competitor will force Smashwords to adopt a monthly payment scheme and links….competition breeds progress 😉

  21. Emmanuel Hermañez on April 30, 2016 at 6:06 am

    do you still prefer D2D now?

    • kindlepreneur on April 30, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Yup, absolutely. Smashwords hasn’t made any changes yet while D2D continues to grow the list of platforms they sell on. I’ve made some updates over the past couple of months to the article above every time I get wind of a change.

      • Emmanuel Hermañez on April 30, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        Have you tried pronoun? and if so, what is your opinion on it

        • kindlepreneur on April 30, 2016 at 8:03 pm

          Nope, not yet. But I’ll keep you posted if I do and whether or not its a winner…I like to give the new sites some time to mature…otherwise, I might give them the wrong review before they have time to fix their issues.

  22. mcmarais on April 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Hi, I found your article very interesting, but I disagree with your conclusions. A better designed web site does little for me as an author and I prefer the more “solid” feel of the Smashwords site which I have found pretty easy to navigate. I suppose it might be a little confusing at first, but that is because of the vast amount of information on it to support authors, including fora. Getting paid monthly instead of quarterly, should not be an issue for new writers, as the amount that accumulates is pretty small – I may feel differently when I’m famous and the money is pouring in (I wish), but then I am sure some arrange could be made. As a bit of a techy (well a scientist really) I was keen to understand the ins and out of what was needed to format my book – so I would have done it anyway and once you’ve gone through the process it’s pretty simple. All I can say is that I have only had great service from Smashwords, but I am sure the same can be said by those that use Draft2Digital. Having said that it is good to have more than one aggregator in the business – it keeps them all on their toes. Thanks for the article and the free book about Kindle rankings – looking forward to reading it.

    • kindlepreneur on May 3, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Hey, no problem. I completely agree that it is good to have solid competition. It will force Smashwords not to be complacent…not that Mark Coker would ever be complacent.

  23. Sarah L Jensen on April 8, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Hi Dave.

    Im about to publish my first e-book. There are quite a lot of pictures as it is an instructional book, and each chapter is followed up by pictures with caption. In my printed book it is all very colorful with matching headlines and text-boxes, and I would like to give my e-book the same look if possible.

    Since reading this article I would prefer going with D2D to avoid all the formatting. But is that a bad choice since I want a certain look/design? Am I better off giving myself a headache by reading Smashwords 27.000 word document?

    • kindlepreneur on April 9, 2016 at 2:05 am

      Hey Sarah – I bet that’s a great feeling. While D2D does the auto format for you, I’d still recommend a professional formatter take hold of it…especially with extra design elements and aspects. There’s the cheap option of Fiverr peeps or there are the professionals like Hynek Palatin (on Facebook) which is who I use for all of my books – when they have advanced formatting features like that.

      • Sarah L Jensen on April 9, 2016 at 7:35 pm

        Thank you, will get in touch with him.

  24. Emmanuel Hermañez on March 18, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Whats better KDP select or Smashwords or D2D?

    • kindlepreneur on March 19, 2016 at 5:23 am

      If it’s between D2D or Smashwords, the above article will show you why I think D2D is better. But whether or not you give Amazon exclusivity over your book with KDP Select, that depends on your book and the market.

  25. Matt on March 9, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    You need to make a correction to the table listed. Draft2Digital does accepted epub files. I got this directly from Draft2Digital’s website:

    “What if I don’t need conversion? Can I just upload a formatted epub?
    If you already have an epub of your own, we’ll accept
    that as well. We won’t make any changes, but we’ll gladly distribute it
    to all our digital stores for you.”

  26. Rick Freeland on January 20, 2016 at 1:12 am

    There’s a newer kid on the block now, called Pronoun. So new it’s still in beta. Looks promising, though.

    • kindlepreneur on January 20, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      I’ll have to check that out.

    • Bradley on February 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      I’ve read about Pronoun and it is newer, shinier and … has newer sneakers. I need a table to compare the three. Hmm, where would I find such a thing? 😉

      • kindlepreneur on February 27, 2016 at 11:21 am

        I’ll add it to my list to try out when I launch my next book. I want to get the experience of ‘slogging’ through it first hand.

    • Emmanuel Hermañez on April 30, 2016 at 6:59 am

      have you tried it?

    • Rohvannyn Shaw on December 26, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      A friendly note to other latecomers to the party – Pronoun was awesome but have just stopped their publishing business. Too bad. I liked them. Great article!

  27. Benita J. Prins on December 11, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I’ll admit it. I’m confused.

    The D2D site FAQ currently says they’re only working on a distribution agreement with Amazon. But this and a couple other articles I’ve read on D2D vs. Smashwords imply that publishing with D2D already does get your book on Kindle. At the same time, your chart doesn’t list Amazon/Kindle as a site that either service distributes to.

    So… does it? I’ve been thinking to use one of these two instead of Lulu for my second ebook, but, unsurprisingly, no-Kindle-distribution is a dealbreaker for me.

    • kindlepreneur on December 12, 2015 at 2:01 am

      Hey Benita! While D2D doesn’t do Amazon, don’t let that be a detractor. In most cases, Amazon KDP makes a LOT of sales. Because of all those sales, it is worth the extra time to submit your book to KDP separately so that sites like D2D and Smashwords don’t get a ‘cut’ of your profit. The idea between these two is that they make it SUPER easy for you to also distribute to other sellers that individually wouldn’t be worth your time. I hope that helps.

      • Benita J. Prins on December 13, 2015 at 3:29 am

        Thanks for the info – I’ll check out KDP.

  28. Michal on November 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I totally agree with the final conclussion. I have experience with both services and D2D simply rulez.

  29. Edward Antrobus on November 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I’ll be trying out D2D before too long, but the fact that they the formatting is actually a con for me. I LIKE designing ebooks.

    • kindlepreneur on November 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      well, the good news is that you can still format it yourself and upload it….They’ll do it automatically if you upload a .doc. So, no issues there.

      • Edward Antrobus on November 22, 2015 at 3:26 am

        You had listed epub as a format for uploading for Smashwords, but not for Draft2Digital, so I was confused.

        • kindlepreneur on November 23, 2015 at 12:26 am

          ah…good call. I’ll make that edit.

          • Matt on March 9, 2016 at 3:52 pm

            You still haven’t edited it, it’s been 4 months.

          • kindlepreneur on March 10, 2016 at 12:17 am

            thanks for the catch…done.

        • Dennis on April 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm

          Good info on D2D a big thank s
          I have some books to publish and I think am okay with D2D. But I couldn’tn’t see where to upload my manuscript on there platform.
          Kindly assist me on that.

          • Dave Chesson on April 27, 2020 at 10:10 pm

            Once you sign up with a free account, the ability to upload is right there.

  30. Eric Z on November 14, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Thanks again Dave – I just tried it! You are right D2D is much MUCH easier than smashwords!

    They published it in 12 hours to kobo and iTunes. -BUT- one caveat, I still had to use Calibre and make my own Epub to take full control of the Table of Contents. I will be using D2D from now on for sure:

  31. Kitty on November 13, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Great post, Dave!
    I was wondering if you’ve heard of Pronoun. It’s a new site similar to smashwords/draft2digital, but it says it’s 100% free and doesn’t take a commission. Any thoughts?

    • kindlepreneur on November 14, 2015 at 3:49 am

      Thanks and no I haven’t. I’ll check it out but I would be weary about something that does all that work for free. I’m not opposed to the 10%-15% paid to have dependable and legitimate companies handle my works of art (or at least that’s what I like to call them 😉 ).

      • Kitty on November 14, 2015 at 6:31 pm

        Thanks! I thought it might be shady at first, but I looked around their website and it seems legit. They even have a whole manifesto about changing the publishing industry here:
        I feel like NaNoWriMo wouldn’t want to associate their name with anything shady though, so that’s a vote in their favor.

  32. Vicky on November 12, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Great article Dave! Made me think that diversifying my publishing income (so far I have all my eggs in the Amazon basket) is easier than I thought. My question is: ok, you gained an extra $800 from 1 book. But how much did you lose having opted out of the kdp select (payment for Kenp?)

    • kindlepreneur on November 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

      Hey Vicky, thanks for the read. I actually don’t sign my books up for Kindle Select. So, nothing in that case. I think the best idea though is to test it out and see if it works for you. Sometimes the other platforms are really hot for particular genres, and sometimes they aren’t.

  33. Eric Z on November 11, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    There’s only one problem I have with D2D, they make it so darned EASY that it’s too easy for the plagiarists to publish YOUR book! I know I know, that’s possible with all platforms but it’s more prevalent with D2D.

    • kindlepreneur on November 12, 2015 at 7:01 am

      hahaha….yup, but man do I love them for my purpose.

  34. Don on November 11, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Great article, but can you clarify, both of these distributors do not publish to Amazon? I’ve seen Smashwords on Amazon as publisher, how does that happen? Thanks for the great content.

    • kindlepreneur on November 11, 2015 at 5:33 am

      Neither publishes to Amazon KDP, but Draft2Digital will be publishing to CreateSpace very soon.

  35. Chris Backe on November 11, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Also, for clarity, D2D retains “15% commission on net royalties (which is approximately 10% of the list price)”.

    • kindlepreneur on November 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

      Yeah, I saw that too but I didn’t want to get too technical and bogged in numbers. Short a simple: they take 10% of the listing price.

  36. Chris Backe on November 11, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Smashwords still lists Sony and Diesel on the backend, but if memory serves both of those shut down quite some time ago. I’d be surprised if either of them has been open in 2015. As for the other platforms Smashwords reaches… well, they *sound* good, but the proof is in the sales. Great post.

  37. Hynek Palatin on November 10, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Another reason for using an aggregator is that some platforms don’t accept international publishers, but the aggregators do.

    • kindlepreneur on November 10, 2015 at 10:56 am

      NICE! I never thought of that. I’ll make an update to reflect that!

  38. Kay Franklin on November 10, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Over time I think D2D will be including more and more platforms for distribution. I’ve been impressed with them so far but I have to say that I haven’t used Smashwords so I can’t really compare them. This is a brilliant comparison though. Thanks Dave!

    • kindlepreneur on November 10, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Yeah, I’m really liking D2D after having been with Smashwords for a while. Thanks for the read and comment!

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Hey Guys, I’m Dave and when I am not sipping tea with princesses or chasing the Boogey man out of closets, I’m a Kindlepreneur and digital marketing nut – it’s my career, hobby, and passion.


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