Review of Draft2Digital for Independent Author Self-Publishing

Disclaimer: The links to the Draft2Digital site include my affiliate link for their Refer a Friend Program.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links.

Logo taken from Draft2Digital Website. Affiliate Link.

I published my first two books (End of Imperium and Chieftess) under the pseudonym Delilah Bluette with Draft2Digital platform.  This review is based entirely on my own experience with their website and process I was not paid to write or post this review.  In complete honesty, I love Draft2Digital.  I spent years shopping around the various options for self-publishing before making the choice and there were three main factors in my decision.

Affiliate Link for End of Imperium.

Factor one, cost)  Draft2Digital is free for authors.  What that means is no up-front costs.  They get paid when your book is purchased.  So, if your book doesn’t sell, they don’t get money.  Unlike other popular self-publishing companies, Draft2Digital doesn’t charge you for the privilege of selling your books through them.  The downside of this is that, all they do is distribute your eBook to online retailers.  There is no advertising whatsoever though the company.  But they provide a list of their “partner” companies who also provide author support services like pre-made book covers to purchase, editing, advertising, and other services.

Affiliate link for Chieftess.

Factor Two, Reach.  As far as I’ve been able to see, Draft2Digital has the largest eBook distribution network available.  Amazon, Apple Book, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Playster, Scribd, Tolino, 24Symbols, OverDrive, bibliotheca, Baker & Taylor, Google Play Books, and Hoopla at the time of writing this post.  Hoopla, and Google Play Books were added after I had already published my eBook independently with Google.  I had been inordinately pleased when Google accepted my books as they had stopped accepting new self-published books for a while and I had been waiting on a review list.  But now Google Play distribution is part of the package which is good for anyone who hasn’t been able to get accepted to the Google Play Books Partner Program.  (UPDATE: Since publishing this post I have found that Smashwords has a slightly larger distribution which includes Gardners Library, Gardners Extended Retail, Library Direct, Cloud Library, and Odilo. It appears that Smashwords has a greater library distribution than Draft2Digital, but Draft2Digital has a greater retail reach for eBooks. I still prefer Draft2Digital’s process and how easily they transform documents into the various publishing formats.)

…any author who registers with Draft2Digital through my affiliate link and publishes with them will receive free advertising on my blog…for all books they publish through D2D for two years.

Affiliate Link.

Factor Three, ease of formatting.  Submitting an eBook through Draft2Digital is super easy.  They accept several formats; .doc, .docx, RTF and formatted epubs.  Additionally, the interior formatting requirements for books are simple.  The program they use finds where your major chapter headings are and just separates it out into chapters. One of the other self-publishing platforms I was looking at required that documents be cleared of all auto formatting and that A table of contents have links to the chapters in your document be manually entered.  Any links back to your table of contents had to be manually entered as well and wouldn’t just work with the built-in features for Kindle to find chapters and go back to the beginning. This is crazy to me as my second book, Chieftess, has forty chapters, a dedication, an introduction, a prologue, an epilogue, previews of three of my upcoming books (Empire of Man: Maker of Fate book 2, The Clan, and End of Imperium: Prequel to Chieftess.).  That would have been eighty-plus manually created chapter links and back links.  Draft2Digital makes it super easy.  Use the regular ‘Heading’ features of MSWord or Word 365 and presto, formatted chapters come out in the process.

Logo taken from Findaway Voices website.

Factor number four, Findaway Voices.  D2D has partnered with Findaway Voices (which sadly does not seem to have an affiliate or referral program *sad face*) to provide a pretty feasible way for self-published authors to have their books made into audio books. Best of all, Fidaway Voices is their own company and an author does not need to be signed up with Draft2Digital to use this audio book creation and distribution service.   While I haven’t taken the plunge myself yet, I’m really interested in giving it a try one of these days.  I’m not sure if I want to pay someone else to narrate my book or if I’m willing to make the effort to do the audio myself.

While those were the main reasons, I chose Draft2Digital, there were other features they offer that I came to appreciate after the fact.  The automated end-matter feature contains things like publisher bio, author bio, a catalog of other books by the same author.  It is automatically updated by Draft2Digital every time you update it on the website.  When new stores are added to their sales channels your book isn’t automatically added, you have the choice over which of their sales channels your book is sold on and are notified when new sales channels are added. 

Affiliate Link

The service now has print book options and is in the beta phase.  However, the royalty rate is lower than Amazons KDP print options and you have to charge as much for your paperback as a traditionally published hardcover book to get much return on it.  My favorite feature is that you can schedule promotions ahead of time.  Set the start date, end date, and the reduced price on your book and they will make it happen.  However, you still have to advertise that promotion, or it won’t do you any good. 

There is also the super cool Books2Read universal book link.  My link includes my affiliate codes for the various sellers I have affiliated with which carry my book. One link you post which will allow your buyers to choose which digital store they want to purchase your books from.  Good news is that it works with authors affiliate link information for the various eBook stores you might be affiliated with so you can get your royalties and affiliate payments when others purchase your books through the universal link.  Just remember not to put it in any emails if you are an Amazon Associate as that violates Amazon Associates rules about affiliate links

Thing I don’t like about Draft2Digital:

  • No advertising
  • Print books too expensive.  (Which isn’t a big deal because they will provide you with a free ePub of your book that you can have printed by any book printing service you want.
  • Long turn around for payments
  • Can’t participate in Amazon Kindle Unlimited (Amazon’s fault not D2D’s)
  • Can’t set books as free on Amazon (Also Amazon’s fault)
  • Can’t set book prices as high as you might like on Amazon (Again Amazon’s fault as they set maximum price per page limit for eBooks.)
  • Payments can take months to receive.  (My first sales from September of 2018 were not paid out until January of 2019.  Which was awesome because I didn’t need to claim it on my taxes for 2018.)

It can take up to a week for all stores to publish which means any corrections you need to make because they got missed the first time around will also take up to a week to go live.  (Currently have a six-month promotion running which has a typo that got missed in the book description.  The book is fixed now, the ad campaign which pulled its information from Amazon book page is still going.  *Sigh*)

My book End of Imperium was published through Draft2Digital. Affiliate Link.

Overall, I can’t really complain.  The service is amazing and better than I’ve seen with most self-publishing services.  And my goodness the price is right.  While I wonder daily if it would have been more economical to have gone with a paid service which would have done all of the editing, formatting, distribution or print and eBook as well as the advertising; I am happy with the service I have received so far.  Do I recommend Draft2Digital?  It may not be for you.  Read up on it.  Check out their Terms of Service which you don’t have to be signed up to read.

The Refer a Friend Program is truly awesome.  Basically, if an author signs up to Draft2Digital using your affiliate link, you receive 10% of D2D’s portion of sales from that author’s books published through Draft2Dgital for the first two years they are registered on the platform.  I love this program.  The new author receives all of their regular sales and only D2D’s cut is used to pay the affiliate. 

Because I do like this service and intend to use it again, I’m giving it the status of something which Definitely Delights Delilah.

My book Chieftess was published through Draft2Digital. Affiliate link.

In that vein, any author who registers with Draft2Digital through my affiliate link and publishes with them will receive free advertising on my blog (review and purchase links), website (recommended books), and blurbs, reviews, and purchase links on all my social media and author accounts for all books they publish through D2D for the two year period I receive affiliate income from their books. This is not an offer which was set up by Draft2Digital. This is not intended to incentivize anyone. If after evaluating all of their options an author decides to use my affiliate link when signing up for Draft2Digital, I’m just willing to provide free advertising to people who trusted my evaluation of the business enough to allow me to benefit from their registering with the website and selling their books with Draft2Digital. Contact me at contact@delightingdelilah.blog for more information.

Disclaimer: The links to the Draft2Digital site include my affiliate link for their Refer a Friend Program.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All book links in this post are affiliate links.

Affiliate link.

Looking for more reviews and free info about writer resources?  Make sure you subscribe to my blog.  Writing information will usually be posted on Thursday mornings.  Or head over my to Writer Resource page for links and downloads of free resources.