Top 15 Free Self-Publishing Companies For New Authors

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.

15 Free self-publishing companies you can choose

There are so many self-publishing services and choices today 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 to be 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.


The best choices for ebooks

The following companies offer free self-publishing for ebooks.

For new authors, it is the easiest way to publish a new book.

With these services, you are not charged to publish your ebook, and you will be paid royalties for every copy you sell.


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 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 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


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


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 also libraries.

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


8. 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


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 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.


10. 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.


11. Blurb

blurb self-publish

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

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

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


12. 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.


13. 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.


14. 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.


15. 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.



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 choices, you are sure to find a solution that works for you.

But for most new authors, you will certainly 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.

For paperback books, Amazon is probably the best free option 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 get 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 choice for free self-publishing, and you can trust the reputable 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

10 thoughts on “Top 15 Free Self-Publishing Companies For New Authors

  • Avatar for Leeann
    September 3, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    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.

  • Avatar for Nicole Eugenia Idlett
    July 11, 2021 at 1:32 am

    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.

  • Avatar for Richard L Rose
    July 10, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Good advice. Any links to e-book aggregators?

  • Avatar for Lara
    June 1, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    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?

    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      June 1, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      No Lara. Amazon does not take any form of ownership over your books. You are perfectly safe using a free ISBN.

  • Avatar for Colin Guest
    April 16, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    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.

  • Avatar for Steve Roche
    April 14, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    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


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