Self-Publishing Platform Easy Checklist

A question you may hear often (and something that sometimes turns into an argument in the industry) is 'which is the best self-publishing platform and why?'


  • Createspace* (my 'middle' platform)

  • KDP (currently using)

  • Ingramspark (currently using)

  • Lulu (where I started!)

  • Draft2Digital (currently using) a selection of the individual e-book platforms such as Kobo and Nook.

*Createspace was an Amazon-owned company and has recently merged with KDP, so this platform is no longer available.


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I've had a mix of experiences with them all. After many years in the industry I've written up a useful checklist for you to help with the all-important decision... which one should you choose?. Here are some questions to ask yourself and things to consider:

  • Do they offer e-book options?

  • Do they offer a variety of dimensions?

  • Can you publish a hardback with them?

  • Will they offer a free ISBN?

  • Is it free to upload your files?

  • Do they allow retailer returns?

  • Do they allow you to set a retailer discount?

  • Can you give the book away for free?

  • Is there a choice of cover finishes and paper qualities/colours?

  • Is there a variety of delivery options and printing speeds?

  • Is the printer based in your country?

  • Can you privately publish your book?

When you have some time, set up an account with a few of the companies and explore their systems in-depth. At this stage, you don't need to complete any payment or set-up details, but you can still access their help pages and tools. Be aware that each platform's features and prices may change, but research should give you an overview of each.

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This advice has been adapted from The Universe Doesn't Give A Sh*t About Your Book, my independent publishing guide available in hardback or e-book.

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