Top 17 Free Self-Publishing Companies For New Authors

15 Free Self-Publishing Companies

If you are a new author, you have plenty of choices of free self-publishing companies to publish your book.

There is also a lot of free book publishing software. So it is very easy to publish an ebook today and make it available to the world.

You can also publish a paperback book using print-on-demand services.

There’s nothing to stop you from publishing your new book, and yes, you can do it for free.

17 Free self-publishing companies you can choose

Self-publishing is not only Amazon today.

There are so many more self-publishing services and choices for new authors.

However, you need to be aware that there are not many truly free book publishing companies.

There are a lot of vanity press publishers that charge a lot of money to publish your book.

You need to beware of offers that seem too good to be true.

On top of that, there are also self-publishing services that charge a fee to help you publish your book.

These can sometimes become very expensive, especially if you have to pay a monthly subscription.

For new authors, the best advice is to use reliable and reputable publishing companies that offer free self-publishing with no strings attached.

In my list below, you will find the best choices for publishing ebooks as well as paperback books.

You can then choose the right option or options for your new book.

 

The best choices for ebooks

If you want to know how to publish a book for free, the following companies offer free self-publishing for ebooks.

It is the easiest way for new authors to publish a new book.

There is no cost to publish your ebook with these services, and you will be paid royalties for every copy you sell.

The best self-publishing companies also offer you a lot of assistance with publishing guides and how-to help pages.

If you have reasonable computer skills, it’s very easy to self-publish your first ebook.

 

1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

KDP self-publishing

Without a doubt, Amazon KDP is the first choice for most new authors.

KDP offers totally free self-publishing for ebooks, and it is very easy to use.

All you need to do is upload your manuscript file in Word docx and your ebook cover.

When your ebook goes on sale, you will earn 70% royalties for ebooks priced over $2.99.

But for books under that price, you will only earn 35%.

Because Amazon has the largest market share for book sales, it will almost always be your first choice.

 

2. Apple Books

Apple books for authors

Coming in at number two is Apple Books.

It used to be called iBooks, but the name change has made no difference.

Apple still ranks second for ebook market share.

Again, it’s easy to publish your ebook. If you are a Mac user, you can upload directly from Apple Pages.

Apple offers a few advantages over Amazon KDP.

Firstly, you will earn 70% royalties on all your ebooks regardless of the price.

You can also offer your ebook for free. This is not possible on Amazon.

Another benefit is for ebooks with lots of images. Unlike KDP, Apple does not charge a file download delivery fee.

 

3. Barnes & Noble Press

Barnes and Noble Press

Barnes & Noble Press is the new name for Nook Press.

It offers similar free ebook publishing conditions to Apple. You will earn 70% on your ebook sales.

If you used Nook Press in the past, you will notice a lot of improvements in the new platform.

It’s now much easier to use.

 

4. Kobo Writing Life

Kobo Writing Life

You have probably heard of Kobo Books. It is a popular ebook retailer, especially in markets outside the US and UK.

The big advantage of publishing with Kobo is that it says it distributes its ebook catalog to online retailers in 190 countries.

Kobo Writing Life is the self-publishing arm of Kobo Books.

It is free to self-publish your ebook, and the conditions are very similar to Apple and Barnes & Noble.

However, like Amazon, you will get reduced royalties for ebooks priced under $2.99.

 

5. StreetLib

StreetLib

StreetLib uses a slightly different pricing model.

You can self-publish your ebook for free, but StreetLib will charge 10% of the cover price for each sale.

But you will need to do your calculations to see if this is viable for you.

 

6. Xinxii

Xinxii

It might sound Asian, but Xinxii is a German self-publishing service.

Its royalty tiers are 70% for ebooks over $2.95 and 40% for lower prices.

One big advantage for some authors is that you don’t need a tax ID number to get paid.

You can also publish under various pen names and in different languages.

 

7. PublishDrive

PublishDrive

I have to mention PublishDrive, even though it offers mostly paid publishing packages.

But it does offer a free service called Abacus. With it, you can publish your first ebook for free.

Any additional titles will cost you $2.99 per month.

 

Ebook aggregators

If you want to avoid all the hassles of publishing on different retailer platforms, an ebook aggregator is the best solution.

You only need to publish once, and you can make your ebook available on many ebook retailers and libraries.

Generally, you will receive a slightly lower royalty rate of around 60% for the convenience of one-stop publishing.

 

8. Draft2Digital

Draft2Digital

If you want an easy way to self-publish your ebook, Draft2Digital will be for you.

You can read my full review to find out why. You can distribute your ebook to a long list of online ebook retailers.

One feature I love is that you can use templates to style your ebooks beautifully.

 

9. Smashwords

Smashwords

As one of the pioneers of ebooks, Smashwords is a favorite of many self-publishing authors.

One advantage is that it has its own online bookstore that is popular with many readers.

But with its premium catalog, you can distribute your ebook to a long list of both ebook retailers and libraries.

 

Free social self-publishing

Social publishing is an option for new authors who want a simple way to self-publish.

If you want to find readers for your stories, it’s a faster route to take than setting up accounts with self-publishing services or aggregators.

It’s not for all authors. But if you want a quick, easy and free way to publish your book online, it could be for you.

 

10. Inkitt

Inkitt Color Logo 350

Inkitt is a community platform for authors and calls itself a reader-powered book publisher.

With around 75,000 authors, 230,000 stories, and 7 million readers, it’s a social publishing platform that might be worth considering.

When authors self-publish their manuscripts with this service, readers can read the stories for free.

Authors with high-performing books have the chance of a publishing deal with iInkitt’s sister publishing arm, Galatea.

It also offers new authors the chance to enter regular contests with prizes of a publishing contract.

If you are new to self-publishing, it could be an option for you.

 

11. Wattpad

Wattpad logo

Wattpad is a popular social publishing platform with a membership of around 90 million readers and writers.

That certainly is a lot of people. For new authors, it’s an alternative way to self-publish your writing.

Wattpad offers a lot of options to find readers, so you are sure to find one or two that might suit your aspirations.

You can publish any genre of stories, such as an essay, romance, teen fiction, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, or literary fiction.

Wattpad also partners with major publishers and studios. You never know; you might get lucky.

With so many readers, it’s not a bad choice to start self-publishing your stories.

 

Free paperback self-publishing

I have to start by saying that there can be some costs because a paperback book is a physical product.

But with the following self-publishing companies, it’s free to publish, but you will have to pay for physical proof copies.

You can refer to the FAQs for each service to find the cost of producing and shipping proof copies.

But you will have to either pay or be charged the production costs each time you sell a book.

 

12. Amazon KDP

KDP self-publishing

For many years, Createspace was the service to use for free paperback self-publishing.

However, Amazon closed it down and now offers print-on-demand paperback self-publishing from its KDP platform.

But the significant advantage is that if you want to avoid any costs, you can view an online proof of your book.

You can then approve it for sale without incurring costs for physical proof copies.

 

13. Blurb

blurb self-publish

You can create both paperback and hardcover versions of your book with Blurb.

Once your book is ready, you can make it available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

While it’s free to create your book, you will have to pay for the copies you want to sell.

 

14. IngramSpark

IngramSpark

Ingram is one of the biggest book distributors in the world.

IngramSpark is part of this group, so it makes sense to consider using it to self-publish your book.

There are lots of choices for book sizes, quality, and styles.

 

15. BookBaby

BookBaby

BookBaby has been around for a long while.

Whatever type of book you want to publish, it’s a great service.

You can publish children’s books, cookbooks, fiction, and nonfiction.

 

16. Lulu

Lulu logo

Lulu is one of the original print-on-demand services.

It offers similar services to Bookbaby, but you might want to compare.

 

17. Barnes & Noble Press

Barnes and Noble Press

Following the change from Nook Press, Barnes & Noble Press now offer print-on-demand self-publishing.

If you have a US readership, it might be a good choice.

 

Conclusion

If you only want to publish an ebook, you have plenty of choices of companies offering self-publishing for free.

For paperbacks and hardcover books, you can certainly publish for free. But you will always have production and shipping costs per copy.

With so many free book publishing companies to choose from, you are sure to find a solution that works for you.

But for most new authors, you will undoubtedly choose Amazon KDP to publish your ebook because it offers totally free book publishing.

You can make it available on the Kindle Store and perhaps on Kindle Unlimited by enrolling in KDP Select.

If you would like your ebook to be available on other retailers such as Apple Books, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble, it’s easier to use an aggregator.

Amazon is probably the best free option for paperback books if you choose to accept an online proof of your book before publishing.

But if you want to go wider and have your book available in as many stores as possible, IngramSpark is the best solution.

One final word of advice for new authors.

Be very careful if you receive an unsolicited offer from a publisher you don’t know.

There are a lot of publishing scams and sharks out there today.

You have no shortage of choices for free self-publishing from the publishers I have listed above.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

37 thoughts on “Top 17 Free Self-Publishing Companies For New Authors

  • Avatar for Kerry Swope
    September 23, 2022 at 5:54 pm
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    Mr. Haines..I am a comedy writer and have put together 305 animal pictures plus memes directly on the pictures, I have completed the book and tried sending it to Amazon Direct Publishing. They have rejected it five times in five days. They must be freaked out about so many images to begin with…I got all of my images from Pixabay which is a no attribution site. I saved them in my one drive but first put captions directly on the pictures from a site called IMGFlip. They all turned out great even though the pixel sizes are not all the same for all 305 animal pictures. Companies don’t want to deal with formatting for an ebok at all. I’ve gotten all kinds of excuses. I am really stuck here and in limbo. Honestly I don’t know where to turn. The story is longer but this is all for now.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      September 23, 2022 at 7:18 pm
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      Trying to publish a book full of free stock images is a recipe for disaster, Kerry. 305 images!! No wonder you’ve had problems. Even if you’ve added captions, they are still stock images that Amazon KDP can recognize very easily. You can’t expect to succeed by publishing freely available content like this.

      Reply
  • Avatar for Jean
    September 6, 2022 at 9:26 pm
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    I have a children’s book that I wrote. It is already illustrated and edited. When I chatted with Amazon publishing, they want $545 plus 30%. How is that free?

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      September 6, 2022 at 9:37 pm
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      All self-publishing services have add-on paid services.

      If you do the preparation work yourself, it’s always free.

      However, if you ask to have the work done for you, you can’t expect that service for free.

      It’s free self-publishing, not free editing, free formatting, or free file preparation.

      Reply
  • Avatar for Nikki
    August 29, 2022 at 2:05 pm
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    Can you recommend some author’s publishing assist services companies that are reputable and trustworthy?.
    There companies using offer editing, formatting help and help with publishing.
    I guess Book Baby is one of the best know. But I have found some unsavory characters in this business.
    Thank you .

    Reply
  • Avatar for Teresa
    August 19, 2022 at 11:03 pm
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    I want to get my husband’s book printed to give copies to family and friends. It was never published and he has passed.

    Can I do this easily through Amazon and inexpensively?

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      August 20, 2022 at 8:44 am
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      Yes, you can use Amazon to publish a paperback version. But I would also suggest Blurb if you only want to produce a handful of copies.

      Reply
  • Avatar for Lisa Manuella
    July 25, 2022 at 9:06 am
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    I published my first children’s book with a publishing company but it was a little pricey so I’m really thinking about self publishing but the one I already published is part of a series I have 3 more books with the same character if I ever choose to redo the first book could I do that and self publish it myself and another thing can I publish with multiple companies or just one

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      July 25, 2022 at 9:15 am
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      It’s best not to publish with more than one self-publishing service, Lisa. But you can use an aggregator like Draft2Digital to sell your books on different retailers. As for your first book, you need to have the rights to self-publish it. If your original publisher still holds the rights, you can’t publish the book.

      Reply
  • Avatar for Josh
    July 12, 2022 at 5:06 am
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    Any advice on the best publishers for sports related instructional books, e.g. How To Play Cricket? Would be looking to translate for Indian audience also.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      July 12, 2022 at 9:04 am
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      Sorry, I can’t help you with this one, Josh.

      The best would be to try to find a local publisher in perhaps either Australia or India.

      If you have any books on a similar topic, check the name of the publisher. That might give you some clues to get started.

      Reply
  • Avatar for Mike Champagne
    June 21, 2022 at 11:25 pm
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    I self published ‘The Last Circulataur’ many years ago with, Author House and wasn’t terribly happy. I have two more novels ready to go and I’m thinking Amazon(KDP), or Ingram Spark. Thanks for the above advice.

    Reply
    • Avatar for hilda st james
      July 9, 2022 at 4:15 am
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      Had a bad experience with Author House as well. Never got paid but my book is still on Amazon.

      Reply
  • Avatar for zoe foster
    May 11, 2022 at 7:47 am
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    Which self-publishing firm, such as KDP, publishes books in Chinese in the United States? I found mermaid publishers by searching they offer the same services, and need a recommendation

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      May 11, 2022 at 8:41 am
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      You might try Smashwords, Zoe. If I recall correctly, Smashwords offers the possibility to publish in Chinese or Mandarin.

      Reply
  • Avatar for Patricia Montalto
    May 4, 2022 at 3:40 pm
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    I have an idea for a book. How do I get advice?

    Reply
  • Avatar for Connor Gannon
    March 24, 2022 at 11:21 am
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    I typed my book but I don’t have a phone and all of these need phone numbers!

    Reply
  • Avatar for Moe Kha
    February 12, 2022 at 6:04 pm
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    I am a new author live at outside of Thailand. Now I have a book to be published in Thailand region as I write in Thai language. I have published it at ebook platform. I have own ISBN and ownership registration for it. I would like to find the physical book publishers in Thailand. Let me know the good publishers in Thailand rather than other countries.
    Thanks and regards,
    Moe Kha

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      February 12, 2022 at 7:20 pm
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      I’m sorry, but I can’t help you with this, Moe Kha. You will need to do your own research into local publishers in Thailand.

      Reply
      • Avatar for Jomo
        June 30, 2022 at 5:11 pm
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        I have two books published on Amazon but there not doing well because of the lack of promotion, is there any company that would print and market my books and cover the cost and would recover the money from the sales of the book

        Reply
  • Avatar for Carissa Cook
    January 23, 2022 at 10:37 pm
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    I am writing children’s’ books based on my experiences as a child.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Michael Reed
    January 20, 2022 at 8:17 pm
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    Hello. Are these some of the sites that you posted on your blog that requires money for their services?

    Reply
  • Avatar for Liu
    January 4, 2022 at 2:19 pm
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    Which self publish company like KDP publish a book in Chinese language here in the US?

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      January 4, 2022 at 2:38 pm
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      Most self-publishing services provide publishing in different languages now. You will need to check with each one to see if you can publish in Chinese or Mandarin. But I believe Smashwords offers publishing in Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional) and Chinese (writing system unspecified).

      Reply
  • Avatar for Eric Thomsen
    November 25, 2021 at 9:05 am
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    IngramSpark and Amazon censor your books for political content they don’t like, and they will hurt you. They will cancel all your books like true cat stories and Cats in Art, if they find out just one of the other books contains a political view they don’t like. You don’t need to publish this, it is just a warning to others.

    Reply
  • Avatar for bill brady
    October 26, 2021 at 12:08 pm
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    I write books and articles on World war 2. please advise on free publishing

    Reply
  • Avatar for Christine Siessmayer
    September 12, 2021 at 7:37 pm
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    I am writing a self help book for addicts and their families. It’s made to be interesting and fun.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Leeann
    September 3, 2021 at 4:57 pm
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    Getting noticed on Amazon is like finding the holybgrail. Your book just gets lost in amongst thousands and thousands of other self published books. It’s a waste of time.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Nicole Eugenia Idlett
    July 11, 2021 at 1:32 am
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    I want my book published for free and I am not going to give no money unless I have a contract and u make money from me off the perectage u asked for when the book is in stores and u make a proffit.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Richard L Rose
    July 10, 2021 at 5:42 pm
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    Good advice. Any links to e-book aggregators?

    Reply
  • Avatar for Lara
    June 1, 2021 at 3:13 pm
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    Good morning Mr. Haines, I am an author from way back, but totally new to online publishing. When I was in a publishing summit years ago someone said, “He who has the ISBN owns the royalties”. I just started uploading low content books and will be uploading ebooks soon. Amazon gives you the option for them to create a free ISBN for you, but am I giving away my ownership of the book to them?

    Reply
    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      June 1, 2021 at 3:21 pm
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      No Lara. Amazon does not take any form of ownership over your books. You are perfectly safe using a free ISBN.

      Reply
  • Avatar for Colin Guest
    April 16, 2021 at 1:37 pm
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    Some great advice in this article that clearly shows the benefits of self publishing. As one who has his latest manuscript out seeking a publishing company, if I am not successful then I will most likely go with Amazon KDP. I have some of my books with two publishing companies as well as some with D+D who I have found most helpful.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Steve Roche
    April 14, 2021 at 7:58 pm
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    Derek, This stuff is pure gold, . I have been dreaming of writing “The book” for years. It’s a huge mountain to climb, with synopses to write publishers to find etc. I also have too much stuff for one book, which always seemed a problem. Self publishing in a series of novellas is the answer and you are showing me how. I have made the list of novellas and mapped out the contents. Now I have to write but in a series of short hops rather than an enormous leap of faith. I know you didn’t invent self publishing but you have opened it up and showed it to me.Thank you so much
    Steve

    Reply

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