Distribution: PublishDrive

These guys are… new. They are super new. It seems to me that they were originally a service just for small press companies that has decided to now try to capitalize on the indie market. Which I have no problem with, given one of the more elusive locations that they distribute to.

File preparation

So here’s the thing about PublishDrive. They only accept ePub as a file format. If you want to give them a doc to convert, I’ve heard quotes at $180USD for it. It sounds like they are very manual about the whole thing1 so I’d suggest converting it yourself.

Now, I have two options here: Calibre or downloading a premade epub from one of the places I’ve already uploaded my book to. I try not to rely on Calibre too much2 so I opted for the latter. Nice and easy.

Except no. The problems:

  • The Smashwords epub has that Smashwords Edition page, so that was out.
  • The Draft2Digital epub that I made has links in it that will get stripped out because some stores don’t allow your books to have links to other stores in them.
  • The Kobo and Amazon epubs don’t have their required copyright page.
    In the end, rather than creating a fourth and fifth file3 for the fifth outlet in Calibre, I just uploaded my Draft2Digital epubs and let them strip out the links.

Distribution

Ah, the only reason I decided to try them out in the first place. They distribute to a lot of little, non-English markets, which is less ideal for me, an English speaker that knows tourist French and less than tourist Thai. They have exactly one outlet I’m looking for: Google. Since Google shut its doors to indie publishers ages ago so we couldn’t go direct, you pretty much have to use a distributor to get into this location. And since Draft2Digital doesn’t have them, I’m giving PublishDrive a chance.

The rest

Because I’ve been with them for less than a month and I’m still waiting for some of these books to process, I can’t say much about payment or extras or anything else. I don’t even know how my sales are because, despite being the first things I uploaded, I still haven’t gotten Syndicate or Return to Wonderland4 distributed.

They are new, so I’ll give them a lot of slack, but it feels really obvious that they weren’t quite ready to make the leap to indie pub at this point. The UI hasn’t been refined and, given what they said when I mentioned it, I think they are using a manual process for just about everything.5 Which is… concerning long term.

But that’s the end of the getting stuff into stores. Next, onto the thing I’m terrible at: Marketing.

  1. In a few ways… []
  2. Too manual, and generating new versions tends to do weird things for me []
  3. The doc and the epub []
  4. Or Backstreets for that matter []
  5. If it was automated, the day of the week would not matter []

One thought on “Distribution: PublishDrive

  1. Hi Tanya,

    Thank you so much for the mention! I can see that all of your books are already available on Google Play and other major distributors you chose, even the one uploaded most recently. (We don’t have the link yet, but the book is already live.) Google Play normally has the books live within 5 days. Other international outlets are far behind due the Christmas break and I would not expect them just yet.

    We do a lot of automated book review (eg. the links are found by a machine, a machine checks whether your language settings are right, and whether there is nudity on the cover, among other things), but there are things only a human can spot: we’re checking for typos in the titles (you wouldn’t imagine how many there are!), obvious quality issues (book is not readable) among other. That said, we have just hired somebody to help with this, so hopefully your future books will go live faster 🙂

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