I’m ambitious, honestly maybe too ambitious at times. I’ve always had an interest in writing, journaling and creating. (In the sixth grade, I made my own newsletter for the boy band fan club I created.) And that desire has only intensified as I’ve taken classes and matured as a person. In 2014 I started my blog, and that writing itch hasn’t gone anywhere, which is what led to wanting to self-publish. Today I wanted to share my self-publishing experience with Amazon Publishing vs. Blurb.
This post includes affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission from clicks/purchases, but all opinions are my own.
During the spring and summer of 2017, I set to work on my first book to share my travel tips but mostly to create something for myself. I had some friends who had used Amazon Publishing to market their short stories and thought I’d do the same. It’s a well-known brand, and people already have their credit cards saved on the account, making it easy to purchase. And who doesn’t love 2-day shipping?
But oh, my goodness — the fine print! In a massive corporation like Amazon, there are pages and pages of different things you need to know before publishing your book. It’s honestly a headache to find out what makes sense for your book from pricing to uploading the correct file types. Royalties depend on the book format, and even then, it can range from 35% to 70%. (Just scrolling through this page makes my brain hurt!)
I’d heard about Blurb and really liked the look of their brand. I wanted to experiment with a different publisher for my second book, and I fell in love with this smaller publishing company — so much so that I’ve decided to take my first book off Amazon Publishing. If you’re wondering the pros and cons of Amazon Publishing vs. Blurb Publishing, here are three reasons I recommend Blurb over Amazon:
Presentation is everything, and Blurb’s site is so much more navigable. It uses graphics to explain the fine print instead of just copying and pasting the info on an FAQ page. I also emailed customer service and had a timely response. The email answered my question, so I didn’t respond. But three days later I received an email checking in to make sure I had all my questions answered.
It’s better quality
I had a friend who ordered my book off Amazon, and I saw it sitting on his desk. I was so embarrassed to see the cover photo not centered (definitely not how I placed it). I’d seen my book in print before, and it always looked fine. Printing errors, even if off by a few centimeters, do not look professional and hurt the reader experience.
The listing price for my book on Blurb was less expensive than my book on Amazon, yet I was much more impressed with the glossy cover and beautiful pages of my book by Blurb.
It’s less expensive for readers and more profit for you
According to Blurb’s website, the list price is simply printing costs and whatever amount of profit you add. Amazon doesn’t make it that simple. My Blurb book’s listing price was lower than my Amazon book’s, yet I made much more profit. (Both these books have near the same number of pages, and the Amazon book’s size is larger.)
*Note: Blurb has several options for distributing, which means your book can still be listed on and sold through Amazon among other platforms. For all the nitty-gritty details boiled down, head here.
There are many self-publishing routes, and I’ve taken several. Although there are some great perks to Amazon Publishing, I enjoyed my Blurb experience so much more. I’d love to hear about your self-publishing experiences and Amazon Publishing vs. Blurb experiences in the comments!