Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
One of the reasons why self-published authors don’t make a lot of money writing books is because of a lack of marketing. After all, no one is going to buy the book if they don’t know it exists. So, can Draft2Digital help you sell more copies?
In reality, there are a lot of cogs turning when it comes to marketing your book. Having a place where you can distribute the manuscript en mass is very beneficial.
However, a lot of getting the word out about your book is still your responsibility.
What is Draft2Digital?
As a self-published author, it’s often difficult to know what platforms to sign up for when selling or distributing your eBook. Draft2Digital simplifies much of this by automatically doing the legwork for you for free.
By submitting your manuscript, Draft2Digital will submit the book on your behalf. This is a collection of more than 12 platforms, and you can control which to use to distribute your book.
Draft2Digital also includes helping you distribute printed copies as well as audiobooks via Finadaway Voices.
You don’t have to worry about upfront fees as Draft2Digital only takes about a 10% cut from any sales you make. This is after the book platforms take their piece of the pie, though.
If you don’t have time to sign up with the various book-distributing platforms, this could be a quick and easy way to see your name across more than a dozen of them.
What Can We Expect from Draft2Digital?
Unlike other services out there, Draft2Digital doesn’t have a fee for submitting your manuscript. However, it doesn’t have the same reach that some of the other marketing platforms have, either.
Yet, there are quite a few things about Draft2Digital that I find interesting, both good and bad.
Difficult to Fine-Tune the Layout
I had the hardest time trying to get the platform to recognize A Freelancer’s Tale as I intended. Its automatic chapter finder tool was WAY off and I was unable to make any text adjustments within the system.
So, I uploaded the DOCX file of the original. Again, I was unable to justify submitting the manuscript in its current form. Just because a line was in bold, Draft2Digital assumed it was a chapter…when it clearly was not.
This meant I had to go into the file and reformat the entire book so that the chapters would be detected properly and it appeared well as an eBook. This also means that my eBook for the distribution platforms is going to look much different than the one I have currently available on Amazon.
It only took about 45 minutes to prepare the book as I wanted to see it. I guess it’s just one of those things self-publishers have to deal with when submitting manuscripts.
Previewing the Book
Although the book doesn’t have the formatting I wanted in the print version, I suppose it looks decent as an eBook. I don’t buy eBooks simply because I prefer to own printed copies. But I was assured this was how they all looked when reading from devices.
Overall, I suppose it looks OK. I’m not sure what I would have to do in Draft2Digital to make it appear nicer as a printed copy, though. It was hard enough having to deal with Kindle Create.
Still, I guess we all have to muddle through as self-published authors.
One of the things I really like, though, is that you’re able to choose a template. This means the book can take on varied appearances. You don’t have a massive selection, but there are enough to fit just about any purpose.
Overall, I was happy with the end results.
Downloading in Multiple Formats
Once your book is good to go, Draft2Digital gives you a few different download formats should you want to save your book. You can use the links for MOBI, ePub, or PDF file types.
You can also review the different formats using various tools, such as Kindle Previewer, Adobe Digital Editions, or the View Book page.
I decided to skip this part simply because I have a variety of saved files for my book already. I’d rather keep my files a bit clean and tidy. Nonetheless, these options are available to you should you want to see your book before publishing.
Since I can always come back to download the file, I didn’t really see a reason to do it immediately.
Several Services to Choose From
Draft2Digital lets you submit your eBook to a variety of services. This includes platforms such as Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and several library services that utilize eBook formats.
You can also submit the eBook to Amazon. However, with the way Amazon is set up and how it monitors submissions, you’re advised not to select it if you already have an author account on Amazon.
Since I have an Amazon Author Page, I am not going to opt into it through Draft2Digital. And I am a bit apprehensive about using Barnes & Noble until I can fix my bank account information.
This time around, I selected everything available except Amazon.
eBook, Print, or Audio
Draft2Digital helps with more than just eBooks. You can also submit files for printed books or audiobooks. The process for setting up a print book is similar with the exception of settings for matching the eBook version or using a unique printed interior.
Not to mention that you’ll need wrap-around covers for your book.
Setting up an audiobook is a bit different, though. Upon clicking the link, you’ll be sent to Findaway Voices. From here, you can hire voice artists to read your manuscript.
I suppose I’ll have to try this service out, that is once I have a book that I feel worthy enough for an audio version. Perhaps I’ll do it with my next book once I am ready to publish.
UBL for Sharing Your eBook (Author Page)
As your eBook is published across various platforms, Draft2Digital gives you an active UBL address. This is essentially a link to an author page that highlights the specific eBook in question while showing your “About the Author” section as well as any other books you publish through Draft2Digital.
So, you can use this link virtually anywhere online. For example, you can use the UBL:
- in a social media post.
- as a link within an email.
- in a link on your website.
- in pay-per-click advertisements.
- anywhere else you can add a link.
You can take a look at my UBL for an example of what it looks like online. Though, I suggest waiting to share the link until all of your selected retailers have published the book.
Sharing from Specific Distributors in Draft2Digital
During the publishing process, Draft2Digital displays the platforms that are either “Publishing” or “Published.” The ones with the share icon in the bottom right are those that will open up the page for your book on the specific platform.
That way, you can directly share the link of specific retailers instead of the UBL.
It appears that it takes longer for the more popular platforms to register your eBook. In any case, it’s nice that you’re able to see how your book appears on certain platforms without having to dig for it.
Setting Promotional Prices
One of the nice features of Draft2Digital is the automated promotional price. You can set discounts to run for specific dates or for specific territories around the world.
Since I’ve already set the book at $2.99, I’m not sure if I’d run a promotional discount. Perhaps at a later date, I might set it to $0.99. But the point of selling something is to make money from it, right?
This is something I can’t get in KDP.
In order to run promotions in such a manner on Amazon, your eBook needs to be a part of KDP Select. Unfortunately, this also means your book becomes proprietary to Amazon. In other words, you can’t sell it anywhere else.
In a couple of months, I’ll try the promotional tool. For now, I just want all of the platforms to publish the book.
The Reporting Screen of Draft2Digital
The reporting screen for Draft2Digital is a bit on the basic side. You have a view of the total books sold overall, books sold last month, books sold this month, and the royalties accrued.
However, you can pull up the Raw Sales Data. This screen depends heavily on the retailer and what data they collect before sharing it with Draft2Digital. Essentially, you’ll be able to see daily reports…if the retailer shares the data.
You can also print the data once it starts accumulating.
Various Methods of Payment Available
Draft2Digital pays its authors by using checks, direct deposit, PayPal, or Payoneer. However, there are minimum requirements for certain payouts.
For instance, international direct deposits need to have accrued at least $20 minimum in a month before payment is processed. Payoneer users also need a $20 minimum. If you want a check sent to you, though, you’ll have to rack up $100.
PayPal and direct deposits have no minimum requirements from Draft2Digital, which means you could see a deposit for $1.78 throughout a single month.
One thing you can implement for payment methods without a threshold, such as PayPal, is by setting your own before a payout occurs. This means that instead of seeing one or two-dollar payments, you can set it for something much larger to get your money in one lump sum.
Personally, I selected PayPal as my method with a $10 threshold. That’s because I know I probably won’t make a lot of sales with an extremely niche book. And there is a bit I can do with an extra $10 per month.
Submitting Tax Information
As a United States citizen, you will have to submit the standard W9 form. This is so Draft2Digital can send a proper 1099 at the end of the year for tax purposes.
It’s a quick form to fill out and must be done so to accept payments.
Getting Paid from Draft2Digital
Here is where things get a bit…well, annoying. It takes quite a while before authors are paid from Draft2Digital. Payments have to go from the retailer to Draft2Digital, and then be processed and paid to you.
So, if you sell a book on January 1st, you might not see a dime until March 15th. That’s roughly a two-and-a-half-month wait period. Then again, Amazon’s KDP platform isn’t much better. I usually get royalties from Amazon two months after a sale.
If you’re looking for a quick payday, being a self-published author isn’t the way to go.
Would I Suggest Draft2Digital to Self-Publishing Authors?
As I just started with Draft2Digital, it’s hard to say if it’s going to be a worthwhile system.
In total, I only spent about two hours setting up my account which included making alterations to the text file and submitting the manuscript to 12 distributors. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose that is much faster than creating 12 individual accounts and submitting the book one by one.
I find the selection of publication methods a bit limited, though. At least when compared to much larger systems like IngramSpark. However, the top three platforms I use are available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
I guess if you’re into Apple, it’s also available.
From the beginner’s perspective, it’s probably a good option to get your feet wet. Especially since you don’t have to worry about upfront costs and can see your book in a few of the biggest retailers within days of submitting.
I’m not sure about the quality of a printed book, unfortunately. While I do like Amazon’s print-on-demand service, there have been a few copies that were off-center on the spine. I hope Draft2Digital has a better printing process.
Once I start earning a few sales, I’ll update this review on Draft2Digital. But at the moment, I’m just getting started.
You Still Have to Market Your eBook
No matter what publishing service you use, a lot of the marketing behind your book rests squarely on your shoulders. Search criteria, descriptions, categories, and keywords can only go so far.
The bottom line is that if no one knows your book exists, no one is going to buy it.
Marketing is one of the biggest issues for many self-published authors, especially if you have little time available to invest in advertising. Not to mention that some marketing methods are going to cost you anywhere from $10 to $1000 per month.
Of course, the actual costs will vary greatly depending on how you market the book.
Sure, Draft2Digital can help you get the eBook in several retailers. But they don’t offer much outside of promotional discount management.
My point is that you can’t assume that just because your book is on Barnes & Noble or Amazon tons of people are going to buy copies. The more eyes you can get the cover in front of, the greater the chance someone will buy your book.
How Do You Market Your Book?
I haven’t done a lot of marketing for my first book. That is because A Freelancer’s Tale is exceptionally niche and doesn’t have a very large audience. You can bet that I plan on dumping a lot of money into promoting my next, though.
For now, I would have to say using my websites to market the first book has been the most effective. Well, that and building an audience on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thanks to those who follow my content, I sold six copies nearly as soon as it went live.
What methods have worked best for you when it comes to promoting your books?
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