Writing a Successful Book: Top 2 self-publishing platforms. Publish your books worldwide.

“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” – Sylvia Plath.


- Hi, my name is Elena Nikitina. A few years ago, I wrote my first book - Girl, Taken. I self-published the book and promoted it to the media using my own system – System of Actions. It worked out pretty well for me: Girl, Taken became a bestseller and won a literary award.

Girl, Taken was featured on pages of magazines, talked about on TV, and discussed on radio shows. On my blog I share tips for writers and discuss book marketing tips. I talk about my own experience in book writing, publishing and marketing.

I want to share with you everything that worked for me. If you want to learn my System of Actions and move your book to a bestselling list, then simply follow my blog or purchase this self-help guide - From Zero to Self-published Hero.


(More info about Girl, Taken and From Zero to Self-published Hero can be found in the bestselling author store).






Top 2 self-publishing platforms for books. Publish your books worldwide.


Most likely, you already know where you are going to publish your work. For my own books I use two of the biggest and most well-known platforms: Smashwords and Amazon.


Both platforms let you sell e-books online. Additionally, Amazon allows to sell print-on-demand paperback books and audiobooks.

Amazon offers a self-publishing service called Kindle Direct Publishing, where you can create and publish your Kindle e-books, paperbacks, and audiobooks, and sell e-books to readers who use Kindle devices. Amazon KDP is available in the countries that have access to the Kindle store. There are no restrictions so you can have your book available for sale on other platforms.


Smashwords is an e-book distribution platform. Once published, your e-book will be available in different online stores such as Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo at a price you set. After you have your manuscript uploaded to the Smashwords website, you convert it into a number of different formats. Being published on Smashwords makes your book available for sale around the world.


Smashwords allows authors to publish in different languages. Unfortunately, Amazon does not support the Russian language, so I was not able to publish Неволя on Amazon Kindle. I used Smashwords for it.


Besides the above-mentioned, Smashwords gives you the option to create coupons that you can use for advertisement, or for offering your book to family and friends at a discounted price or for free.


Amazon offers the KDP Select program, where your e-book can be sold on Amazon exclusively. This means that it should be removed from being sold on any other platform, including your own website or blog. KDP Select includes a number of tools such as free e-book days, countdown deals and participation in Amazon Kindle Unlimited.


Enrolling your book in the KDP Select program allows you to earn a share of the KDP Select Global Fund, when customers read your book from Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. Kindle Direct Publishing Select is a 90-day commitment. After this period, authors can decide if they want to renew or opt out of the program.


On both Amazon and Smashwords, authors can order print-on-demand copies.


Smashwords will redirect you to a third-party website to do so.


On Amazon, you can now order copies of your book on KDP. Two years ago, when I published my first books, I used CreateSpace – a printing company that allowed authors to self-publish paperback versions of the book and print author copies on demand. Recently, CreateSpace merged together with Amazon.


Listing books on Amazon and Smashwords is absolutely free. Both platforms let you set the price for your book. Authors receive a percentage of the sale price each time the book sells, which is called a royalty.


Amazon pays royalties monthly, making automatic payments to your bank account.


On Smashwords, royalties are paid quarterly.


For both platforms – Amazon KDP and Smashwords – you will have to create new accounts and fill out information forms.


To create your Kindle Direct self-publishing account on Amazon, you have to visit https://kdp.amazon.com/, and sign up with either your existing Amazon account, or create a brand new one using an email address. It is pretty easy – you will have to fill out personal information, provide details for receiving royalty payments and submit tax information. Once it’s completed, you press Finish and ta-da! You have your account.


To create your free account on Smashwords you have to visit https://www.smashwords.com and register for a new account. It takes just a few minutes, after which you receive an account activation email with further instructions.


Once you set up your KDP account, the next step is to Create a New Title. Click on plus Kindle eBook or Paperback and add a title. On Smashwords you will click on plus Publish a New Book on your dashboard and follow the steps.


If you need help with book publishing, Belka Books Press is here to help!

Belka Books Press is happy to offer a 25% discount on any service or package.




Next blog: how to publish a book with KDP and Smashwords.Tiitle. ISBN. Choosing categories. Pre-order.



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As always, thank you for your time, and stay awesome!

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