The Top 17 Best Budget-Friendly Self-Publishing Platforms for Authors 2023
budget-friendly self-publishing platforms

 In today's digital age, self-publishing has become increasingly popular among aspiring authors and seasoned writers alike. The traditional publishing industry often comes with numerous hurdles and rejections, making self-publishing a viable alternative for those looking to take control of their own work. However, navigating the self-publishing landscape can be daunting, with numerous options and platforms available. This article aims to provide a brief introduction to budget-friendly self-publishing platforms and highlight the importance of selecting a budget-friendly self-publishing platform.
Self-publishing refers to the process in which authors take on the responsibilities of publishing their own work, from writing and editing to designing book covers and promoting their titles. This enables authors to retain creative control and retain a higher percentage of royalties compared to traditional publishers.
When it comes to choosing a self-publishing platform, selecting a budget-friendly option is crucial for those looking to maximize profitability. With the rise of the internet, several companies offer self-publishing services, catering to various budgets and needs. This article will delve into the best self-publishing companies that offer affordable solutions and guide authors in making an informed choice that suits their financial constraints and publishing goals.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Budget-Friendly Self-Publishing Platform

When considering a self-publishing platform, there are several factors to take into account. Firstly, budget-friendly self-publishing platforms are a popular choice for authors who want to keep their costs low. Platforms such as Barnes & Noble Press and Apple Books offer competitive pricing options for self-published books. Secondly, it is important to consider the print options available. Some platforms may offer print-on-demand services, allowing authors to have their books printed only when an order is placed. This can save money and eliminate the need for bulk printing. Additionally, distribution channels are crucial for reaching a wider audience. Authors should choose a platform that offers distribution to major retailers and online platforms. Another important consideration of budget-friendly self-publishing platforms is the marketing and promotion features provided by the platform. Some platforms offer promotional tools, such as advertising options and email marketing campaigns, which can help authors gain visibility and attract readers. Lastly, royalty rates and payment options should be taken into consideration. Authors should choose a platform that offers fair royalty rates and provides flexible payment options to suit their preferences.

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Criteria for selecting the top 17 budget-friendly self-publishing platforms

When looking for a budget-friendly self-publishing platform, there are several important criteria to consider. First and foremost, affordability is key. You want a platform that offers competitive pricing and doesn't break the bank. Secondly, a user-friendly interface is crucial. As a self-publisher, you want a platform that is easy to navigate and doesn't require a steep learning curve. Additionally, a variety of publishing options is important. Whether you want to self-publish an ebook or a print book, the platform should offer versatile services to accommodate your needs. Trustworthiness and reliability are also vital factors to consider. You want to choose a platform that has a solid reputation and guarantees the safety of your work. Finally, positive user reviews are a good indicator of the platform's quality and customer satisfaction. Taking into account these criteria, platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing and other reputable self-publishing companies can provide you with the necessary tools and resources to get your book published while keeping your budget in check.

budget-friendly self-publishing platforms

The Top 17 Best Budget-Friendly Self-Publishing Platforms for Authors 2023

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a budget-friendly self-publishing platform that allows authors to easily self publish their books and reach a wide audience. With KDP, authors can publish their books in both eBook and paperback formats, making it accessible to readers all over the world. The platform offers numerous benefits for authors, including the ability to set their own prices, track sales and royalties, and make updates to their books at any time. KDP also provides tools and resources to help authors market and promote their books, further increasing their chances of success. However, one drawback of using KDP is that authors are responsible for all aspects of the publishing process, including the editing and formatting of their books. Additionally, since KDP is a self-publishing platform, authors may face challenges in gaining recognition and competing with books published by traditional publishing companies. Nevertheless, the budget-friendly nature of KDP makes it a popular choice for aspiring authors looking to self-publish their work and potentially reach a wide audience.


Smashwords is one of the most popular and budget-friendly self-publishing platforms available for budding authors. Unlike other platforms like Barnes and Noble or Amazon KDP, where authors have to pay upfront fees to publish their books, Smashwords allows you to upload your book for free. This makes it an attractive option for authors who are just starting out or are on a tight budget. Smashwords also provides authors with the ability to distribute their books to various online retailers, including Barnes and Noble and Kobo, in addition to Amazon. This wide distribution network increases the potential for book sales and reaching a larger audience. Another standout feature of Smashwords is the ability to set your own pricing for your books and receive a generous royalty percentage. This flexible cost structure allows authors to manage and control their earnings more effectively. With its user-friendly interface and the option to publish a book without any upfront costs, Smashwords is a fantastic platform for self-published authors looking to sell books and reach a wider audience.


Draft2Digital is one of the budget-friendly self-publishing platforms that can help you publish your book easily. They offer a range of services to assist self-published authors, including formatting, distribution, and marketing. One of the major benefits of using Draft2Digital is its wide distribution network, which includes all major online retailers such as Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and more. This allows you to reach a larger audience and increase your book's visibility. In terms of pricing, Draft2Digital operates on a revenue-sharing model, meaning that they take a small percentage of your book's earnings instead of charging an upfront fee. This makes it accessible for authors of all budgets. Moreover, their user-friendly interface and helpful resources make the self-publishing process much simpler and less daunting, especially for new authors. All these factors make Draft2Digital one of the best self-publishing companies to consider when looking for a cost-effective and efficient way to publish your book. 


Lulu is a budget-friendly self-publishing platform that offers a variety of services for authors looking to self-publish their work. With options to publish both print and digital books, Lulu provides a user-friendly interface that makes the publishing process simple and accessible. One of the main advantages of Lulu is its integration with various online retailers, including Amazon, which allows authors to reach a wider audience. Additionally, Lulu offers competitive pricing options, making it one of the best self-publishing companies for authors on a budget. They also provide valuable resources and guidance throughout the publishing journey, ensuring that authors have the necessary tools to create a professional and successful book. While Lulu may not have all the advanced features that some other self-publishing platforms offer, it remains a top choice for those seeking a cost-effective and efficient way to publish their work. Overall, Lulu is one of the best free self-publishing platforms available, providing excellent services and support for authors looking to bring their books to the market.

budget-friendly self-publishing platforms


Blurb is a popular self-publishing platform that offers budget-friendly options for authors looking to bring their books to life. As one of the best self-publishing companies, Blurb provides a wide range of book publishing services to ensure that authors have all the tools they need to create a professional and high-quality book. One unique feature of Blurb is its integration with online marketplaces such as Barnes and Noble Press, allowing authors to reach a wider audience. Blurb offers transparent pricing options, with no hidden fees or surprises. Authors can choose from different packages based on their specific needs and budget, making it an ideal choice for both aspiring and established writers. With Blurb, authors have the flexibility to create and design their books using user-friendly software, and they have full control over the publishing process. Whether it's a novel, a photography book, or a cookbook, Blurb provides a comprehensive platform for authors to fulfill their publishing dreams. 


BookBaby is a company that provides a wide range of services for self-published authors, making it easier and more cost-effective for them to get their books out into the world. With a user-friendly online platform, authors can easily upload their manuscripts and create their own professional-quality book covers. BookBaby offers a variety of services including editing, formatting, and distribution to major online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. They also provide options for printed copies, eBooks, and audiobooks. One of the major advantages of using BookBaby is their cost efficiency. Unlike traditional publishing houses that often require authors to pay upfront fees or take a large percentage of royalties, BookBaby offers a straightforward pricing structure with affordable upfront costs and higher royalty payouts for the authors. This allows self-published authors to retain more control over their work and keep a larger portion of the profits. With their comprehensive lineup of services and cost efficiency, BookBaby is a valuable resource for authors looking to take their budget-friendly self-publishing platforms. 

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IngramSpark is a self-publishing platform that allows authors to produce and distribute their books worldwide. It caters to both print and digital formats, including paperback, hardcover, and e-books. One of the standout features of IngramSpark is its extensive global reach, with distribution channels in over 100 countries. This ensures that authors can reach a wide audience and potentially expand their readership internationally. Additionally, IngramSpark offers a print-on-demand service, which means that books are only printed when they are ordered, eliminating the need for authors to hold inventory. This can be a cost-effective solution for self-published authors, as it eliminates the upfront costs of printing and storing a large quantity of books. As for pricing, IngramSpark charges a setup fee for both print and e-book files, along with a per-page printing cost for each book sold. The platform also offers services like cover design and marketing tools for an additional fee. Overall, IngramSpark provides a comprehensive self-publishing solution with its wide range of features and global distribution capabilities. 

Kobo Writing Life

Kobo Writing Life is a platform designed for authors to self-publish and distribute their books to a global audience. One of its unique selling points is the ease of use, allowing writers to easily upload and manage their content without the need for technical expertise. The platform provides a range of tools for formatting, cover design, and pricing, enabling authors to create professional-quality ebooks. Kobo Writing Life also offers a cost-effective solution for self-published authors. Unlike traditional publishing models that often involve high upfront costs, Kobo Writing Life allows authors to publish their books for free, receiving up to 70% royalties on each sale. This makes it an attractive option for both established and aspiring authors looking to reach a wide readership without breaking the bank. With Kobo Writing Life, authors have the opportunity to take control of their publishing journey, connect with readers worldwide, and monetize their creative work. 

Barnes & Noble Press

Barnes & Noble Press is a platform that offers various highlights and benefits to self-published authors. One of the key advantages of using this platform is the wide distribution it provides. With Barnes & Noble being one of the largest booksellers in the United States, authors have the opportunity to reach a vast audience through physical bookstores and online channels. Another highlight is the flexibility offered to authors in terms of pricing and royalties. Authors can set their prices and receive competitive royalties on their book sales. Additionally, Barnes & Noble Press provides valuable tools and resources to help authors throughout the publishing process. This includes professional cover design, formatting assistance, and marketing support. The platform also allows authors to print and sell customized copies of their books, making it an excellent choice for authors who wish to sell personalized or limited editions. Overall, Barnes & Noble Press provides self-published authors with exceptional distribution, flexibility, and support to help them effectively bring their work to the market.


StreetLib is a global publishing platform that provides authors and publishers with a comprehensive solution for international distribution and pricing. With its international distribution network, StreetLib allows authors to reach readers across various regions and markets worldwide. This platform offers authors the freedom to publish their books in multiple formats, including digital and print, while also giving them control over the pricing of their works. StreetLib allows authors to set prices that are competitive and aligned with market trends in different countries, ensuring maximum visibility and profitability. Furthermore, StreetLib offers a range of additional services such as global marketing, metadata optimization, and royalties management, all aimed at supporting authors and publishers in reaching a wider audience and maximizing their book sales. With its user-friendly interface and dedicated support team, StreetLib empowers authors to expand their global presence and revenue in the digital publishing landscape.


PublishDrive is a leading digital publishing platform that offers a range of features and flexible pricing options for authors. One of the key features of PublishDrive is its ability to distribute ebooks to over 400 online stores and libraries worldwide, ensuring maximum exposure and potential profits for authors. The platform also provides comprehensive analytics and reporting tools, allowing authors to track their sales performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize their publishing strategies. Moreover, PublishDrive offers a user-friendly interface and intuitive book editing tools, making the publishing process seamless and efficient. In terms of pricing, authors can choose between different plans based on their publishing needs and budget. Whether they are just starting out or have an extensive catalog, PublishDrive offers cost-effective options that suit every author's requirements. With its range of features and flexible pricing, PublishDrive empowers authors to take control of their publishing journey and reach a wider audience with ease. 


Xlibris is a self-publishing company that offers a range of packages and pricing structures to authors looking to independently publish their books. With Xlibris, authors have the opportunity to choose from various packages that cater to their specific needs and budget. The basic package, known as the "Essential" package, includes features such as interior formatting, cover design, and online distribution. For authors who require additional editing and marketing support, they can opt for the higher-tier packages like the "Premium" and "Executive" packages, which offer services such as professional editing, book promotion, and author websites. Xlibris also provides add-on services that authors can purchase separately, such as translation services, audio book creation, and copyright registration. In terms of pricing, Xlibris offers flexible payment plans and the option to choose between upfront payments or installment payments. The specific cost of each package and add-on service varies depending on the author's requirements. Xlibris aims to provide authors with the tools and resources they need to bring their books to life while working within their budget.


iUniverse is a leading book publishing company that offers authors cost-effective solutions to bring their literary creations to life. With iUniverse, authors have the opportunity to publish their works in both digital and print formats. The company provides a variety of service packages, allowing authors to choose the one that best suits their needs and budget. iUniverse offers professional cover design, custom interior layout, and extensive editing services to ensure that the final product is of high quality and visually appealing. Additionally, authors have the flexibility to select various marketing and promotion options to boost the visibility of their books. iUniverse also provides distribution services, ensuring that the books reach a wide audience through major online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Through its cost-effective solutions, iUniverse makes it possible for aspiring authors to fulfill their dreams of becoming published writers without breaking the bank.

Outskirts Press

Outskirts Press is a self-publishing company that offers a range of services for budget-conscious authors. With a variety of publishing packages to choose from, authors can find a plan that suits their needs and budget. The company provides services such as manuscript formatting, cover design, and interior layout for print books, as well as eBook conversions and distribution to online platforms. They also offer additional services, including marketing support and book trailers, to help authors promote their work. Pricing options vary depending on the level of service desired, with packages ranging from basic to more comprehensive options. Outskirts Press aims to provide affordable self-publishing solutions for authors who are conscious of their budget. Their services and pricing structure empower authors to take control of their publishing journey without breaking the bank. Whether an author is looking to publish their first book or has previous self-publishing experience, Outskirts Press offers a range of options to help bring their work to life.

budget-friendly self-publishing platforms


Booktango is an innovative self-publishing platform that offers authors and writers a range of features to help them publish their own eBooks. One of the highlights of Booktango is its free eBook distribution service, which allows authors to distribute their digital creations to some of the most popular online bookstores, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks, among others. This feature is particularly beneficial for self-published authors who may not have the resources or connections to reach a wide audience independently. In addition to free eBook distribution, Booktango also provides tools for cover design, editing, and formatting, making the self-publishing process more accessible and user-friendly. Authors can also track their sales and earnings through the Booktango dashboard, allowing them to monitor their progress and make informed decisions regarding their marketing strategies. With its wide range of features and user-friendly interface, Booktango has become a popular choice for aspiring authors looking to self-publish their work and reach a wider audience. 


FastPencil is a comprehensive platform that offers a range of features and tools for self-publishing authors. One of its key features is the ability to create and edit books online, making it easy for writers to collaborate with editors and designers to produce a polished final product. FastPencil also provides a variety of formatting options, allowing authors to customize the layout and design of their book. In addition, the platform offers a wide range of publishing and distribution options, including e-book and print-on-demand services, ensuring that authors can reach their target audience in multiple formats. As for the pricing model, FastPencil offers both free and premium plans. The free plan allows authors to use basic features, while the premium plans come with additional benefits such as enhanced collaboration tools and promotional services. Overall, FastPencil is a user-friendly platform that empowers authors to independently publish their work while providing a range of features and pricing options to suit different needs.


CompletelyNovel is a platform that offers unique selling points and affordability for authors. One of its standout features is the ability to self-publish both print and digital books, giving authors a wide range of options to showcase their work. Another advantage of CompletelyNovel is its commitment to providing a user-friendly experience. With a simple and intuitive interface, authors can easily navigate through the platform and manage their publishing process. In addition, CompletelyNovel offers affordable pricing plans that cater to different needs and budgets. Authors can choose between free and paid options, allowing them to control their expenses while still benefiting from the platform's services. This affordability aspect is particularly attractive for independent authors and those just starting their writing career. Overall, CompletelyNovel provides a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for authors looking to self-publish their books. 

Features to Look For in Budget-Friendly Platforms

 When searching for budget-friendly self-publishing platforms, there are several essential features that new authors should look for. Firstly, it is important to find self-publishing companies that offer a wide range of services, such as editing, formatting, and cover design. These comprehensive packages can save authors both time and money, as they eliminate the need to hire multiple professionals. Additionally, the best self-publishing companies provide extensive marketing and promotion tools. This includes the ability to create author websites, access to social media promotion, and distribution to various online retailers. These features can greatly aid in the publishing and promotion process without breaking the bank. By utilizing the platforms offered by these companies, authors can take the next step with their books and reach a wider audience. When considering the perfect self-publishing option, it is important to prioritize both affordability and the array of features provided.

Tips For A Successful Self-Publishing Journey

 Self-publishing has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing writers to have complete control over their work and reach a wider audience. To ensure a successful self-publishing journey, it is important to consider a few key tips. Firstly, research budget-friendly self-publishing platforms or companies that suit your needs. There are various options available, such as Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords, that offer easy-to-use tools and a wide distribution network. It's also beneficial to look for the best self-publishing companies that provide additional services like editing, cover design, and marketing support. These companies can help enhance the overall quality and marketability of your book. Once you have chosen the perfect self-publishing platform or company, the next step is to focus on the publishing process itself. Ensure your book is professionally edited and proofread to avoid any errors or inconsistencies. Moreover, invest in a captivating cover design that will catch the attention of potential readers. Lastly, consider marketing strategies to promote your book, such as building an author platform, utilizing social media, and engaging with your target audience. With careful planning and consideration, your self-publishing journey can be a rewarding experience and can be budget-friendly self-publishing platforms.


In conclusion, there are numerous budget-friendly self-publishing platform and companies available for aspiring authors in 2023. It is essential to research and choose the best self-publishing company that fits your needs and goals. The top 17 budget-friendly self-publishing platforms include a wide range of options, from well-known companies to up-and-coming platforms. By selecting the right platform, authors can have access to the best resources, marketing tools, and distribution channels to reach a wider audience. As the next step in your book publishing journey, it is crucial to evaluate the options and make an informed decision that aligns with your vision for your book. The perfect self-publishing company for one author may not be the same for another, so it is important to consider your own goals, budget, and preferences. With enough motivation and encouragement, aspiring self-published authors can achieve great success in 2023 and beyond. No matter the challenges or setbacks you may face, remember to stay dedicated to your craft and believe in the power of your words.

For those aspiring to self-publish, the options can be overwhelming, but your success hinges on making the right decisions from the start. Want expert guidance tailored for you? Turn to Authors On Mission, where we're dedicated to helping authors find their unique path in the publishing world. We understand the challenges of the self-publishing landscape and can provide the clarity and direction you need. Don't embark on your publishing journey alone.




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