Gone are the days of flakey literary agents, multi-year editing sagas, hefty printing fees, and penny-pinching publishing houses. It’s 2021 and things are much simpler now.
The rise of ebooks and online publishing platforms gives authors the freedom to self-publish quickly and easily. But you may be thinking, doesn’t publishing online mean a total forfeit of all marketing, chances of going big-time, and potential royalties
Not neccessarily! There are numerous trustworthy and well-curated online publishers that help your book gain popularity once it’s published on their site. Online publishing houses use the following tactics to help boost your ebook’s popularity
- Leveraging their social media following and highlighting new material and authors
- Running contests that give your novel a chance to gain more exposure
- Creating categories to help your target audience find your book
- Comment sections and rating systems, so readers engage more with your tex
The five online publishers listed below are free-to-use, offer different forms of in-house marketing, and give their authors generous royalties. Any one of these would be a fantastic option to publish your novel online.
One of the best-connected and well-known online publishers is Wattpad. This wide-sweeping digital library features a diversity of stories and is always on the hunt for material that could become the next big thing. In fact, Wattpad’s vision for a good story goes beyond internet virality (and beyond print too). Over 1,000 original Wattpad stories have been adapted to TV or film!
If you’re interested in introducing your novel to the masses, this platform has over 90 million users and helpful success guides. They also have different mechanisms for highlighting the most thrilling stories and freshest up-and-coming authors:
- Wattpad Picks is a round-up of particularly excellent literary adventures, curated by staff and revealed to the readership
- The Watty Awards are given to the winners of Wattpad’s annual writing contests (and winning authors typically skyrocket in popularity)
- Authors are able to use unique tags to enter their novel into various categories, increasing its searchability
Wattpad pays select writers for their content and allows all writers to keep the rights to their work. All authors also have the option to opt into Wattpad’s Paid Content program.
In a nutshell, Wattpad rocks.
If the title didn’t tip you off already, Fictionate.Me is the perfect online book publishing platform for fiction novels and short stories.
Fictionate.Me is designed with both authors and readers in mind and has a brilliantly simple user interface for both parties. One thing that really sets this platform apart is that authors can submit complete novels or upload their work-in-progress chapter by chapter.
Either way, Fictionate.Me supports its writers by paying them royalties. But unlike other online publishers, this online book publisher doesn’t take any money from authors! (The only cost you’ll see is the 2.9% payment processing fee.)
Fictionate.Me is a marvelous resource for fiction writers who are eager to introduce their work to the public, increase their fan following, connect with readers and fellow authors, and self-publish for free.
Calling all scientists, professors, programmers, historians, and leadership gurus! Write, publish and sell your instructive written work all in one place.
Leanpub offers a practical and straightforward solution for acadmeic or learned authors looking to share their knowledge and subject matter expertise with a larger crowds. Leanpub is an online publishing platform with an emphasis in STEM, though their website boasts 235 unique categories of ebooks.
Alongside ebooks, Leanpub also publishes online coursesfor authors who’d like to delve deeper into their topics. Subject matter experts are encouraged to create online courses that accompany, expand on, or branch off of their writing.
Ultimately, authors love Leanpub for its ease of use, upload simplicity, and 80% royalties.
There must be a reason why tens of thousands of authors have self-published books on Booksie’s platform over the years. It’s likely because Booksie offers a free, welcoming, and extensive platform for first-time and veteran authors to self-publish their novels, short stories, poetry, and even podcasts.
Booksie gives authors complete ownership of their books and has seen great success with certain authors. Readers greatly enjoy this site due to the social aspect, which involves profiles and commenting. The social feature keeps readers coming back for more, meaning authors have a ready audience each time they publish something new.
Other author and reader-friendly features on Booksie are the trending topics round-ups and flash fiction competitions. This past summer’s competition boasted a $500 grand prize and gave the winning author invaluable exposure.
Join a quickly expanding global community of readers and writers when you publish your novel on Sweek. Sweek is a free publishing platform that gives authors 38% of all earned royalties.
This platform is unique in that it is a mobile-first app, meaning your target audience is likely reading your story on their cell phone or tablet. Because of this unique feature, Sweek is a niche online publisher with a strong and loyal following. (Think Screenagers.)
Like other online book publishing platforms, Sweek offers its readers a much-desired social experience. Yet, they go a step further than comments—encouraging likes and shares and leveraging social media. Sweek even has its own ambassador program to help market novels like yours across social media!
Congratulations! You finished your novel. Now getting it published should be the easy part.
If you choose to go with one of the five abovementioned online publishers, it will be easy. We love Wattpad, Fictionate.me, Leanpub, Booksie, and Sweek because they make the self-publishing process approachable and straightforward.
These platforms stand with authors and genuinely care about sharing amazing ideas, characters, and stories with the public. That’s why they offer free publishing services and/or pay royalties. And when you partner with an online publisher, that’s how it should be.
Author’s Bio: May Gauthier is an Orlando-based freelancer, who feels exceptionally weird writing about herself in third person. She frequently collaborates with fictionate.me, an online book publishing platform, which features everything from vampires and zombies to evil koalas. She hopes you found this article helpful!