As we come to the close of 2020—a year we can all agree will live in the collective memories of the entire world—it’s a comfort to realize we have more to celebrate than we may have thought. In the self-publishing world, there were some remarkable and incredible things—the sort of things that can (and have) reshape an industry and individual lives.
Ebook sales and readership had an enormous spike, for some obvious reasons, in the middle of the year. That was to be expected.
What was not expected, however, was how these sales eventually settled at higher levels than we’d seen before the spike. Things calmed down… but they remained pretty “up.” Based on our sales data, internally, all retailers are up by an average of 16%, and libraries are up by over 119%, overall for 2020 versus 2019.
Those are really impressive numbers.
But those are just numbers. Authors are in the people business. And based on the buzz and chatter we hear online, it’s clear that books have become a life raft. Adults and kids alike are reading more, and it’s not slowing down. Now that people have discovered a love for reading, they’re hooked. Books are the new Netflix.
And for maybe the first time in history (at least at the scale we’re talking), indie authors, and the services that support them, are in a position to benefit more from these trends than any other part of the publishing world. We in the self-publishing business—with our ability to change direction on demand, to see trends and rush to meet them, to embrace creating work that readers actually want, in unending quantities—we own this industry now.
Basically, these days, self-publishing is publishing.
The fight is over, if there ever was a fight to begin with. The demand for new, interesting, engrossing books is too high for any single (or big five) publisher to fully supply. Independently published work is the only thing that can meet the demand and sustain it indefinitely.
So… congratulations! You are the future of publishing! And we here at Draft2Digital can not only say “we knew you when,” but can throw in a “we knew it all along,” just for grins.
While 2020 certainly had its rough edges, one of the things we learned, as a company, was just how resilient, resourceful, and faithful our authors are. Throughout the storm of this year, we asked on several occasions that you trust us, that you keep resolute and keep the faith. And you did. You did that, and more, going above and beyond, again and again.
And here all we are on the other side—Draft2Digital and the incredible authors we serve—still standing. In many ways, in better shape than when we started.
We are stunned by the trust you placed in us, and we are honored that we have had the opportunity to serve you. We’ve always known that without our authors, we’d just be another struggling startup, another flash idea, another company that might survive, but probably won’t.
You are the difference between Draft2Digital and anyone else out there.
As 2020 closes, and we start looking at 2021 with excitement and anticipation, we cannot fully express how grateful we are to be a part of your writing dream, your author journey.
And as we close the year, we wanted to look back at some of the things we’ve accomplished on your behalf, and with you in mind. We hope you enjoy this look back at 2020 Draft2Digital!
D2D Spotlight, D2DLive.com, and finally Self Publishing Insiders!
April was also the birthdate for something new and exciting in the self-publishing space—if we do say so ourselves!
In April, we decided it might be good for the author community if we did a series of daily livestreams, interviewing some of the biggest influencers in the business. For three solid months, every single weekday, we brought on a new guest, interviewing them live! We called the livestreams “D2D Spotlight,” and set up a special website at D2DLive.com to make it easier to find.
The daily livestream proved to be so popular, we decided to make it a regular thing. And thus, the whole. Show evolved into Self Publishing Insiders with Draft2Digital—a weekly podcast and ongoing, monthly livestreaming event that you can find and follow at SelfPublishingInsiders.com!
We’re continuing to talk to incredible authors, industry leaders, and other insiders and influencers for indie publishing, and we’re keeping up our monthly Ask Us Anything livestreams. So you can tune in live or catch us on replay!
Be sure to follow us and subscribe:
Vivlio—Tolino’s French-based distributor
We love seeing good kids get together, so when Tolino was acquired by Kobo, we expected great things. And we were not disappointed!
We’ve enjoyed great relationships with both brands, but the acquisition did necessitate a few changes to some of their expanded distribution channels.
As of April 2020 Tolino’s Belgium-based distribution channel, Standard Bookhandel, was be taken over by French-based book distributor, Vivlio.
This transition had no negative impact on Standard Bookhandel’s excellent history with distribution to Dutch markets. In fact, adding the French market meant that authors distributing to Vivlio could reach a whole new audience with their work.
Vivlio is now a full-fledged distribution option for D2D authors, and it is, how you say, trés magnifique!*
*Beret not included.
Kobo Plus Canada
In May 2017, we were excited to announce that Rakuten Kobo was rolling out Kobo Plus—a new revenue-sharing model for authors distributing eBooks to the Netherlands and Belgium.
In May 2020, we’re just as excited to announce that Kobo was bringing the same great opportunity to its home turf—with the launch of Kobo Plus Canada!
Not only is Canada the place Kobo calls home, it’s also their strongest performing territory, where they have the most reach. So opening up the program there was a huge opportunity for authors.
Reader focus means everyone wins
The Kobo Plus Payout Model is based on the number of readers subscribing and reading books through the service. This is a little different than some other subscription models you may have experienced. The revenue-sharing model is based on the number of subscribers that Kobo Plus gets.
Basically, the more subscribers the service has, the more revenue there is to share.
And now, with Canada joining the Netherlands and Belgium, the pool of subscribers has increased. More people to discover your books!
Here are some of the advantages of opting into Kobo Plus through Draft2Digital:
- No exclusivity—While you’re enrolled in Kobo Plus, you can distribute your books to any other online bookseller that you wish! There’s no exclusivity requirement to be in the program.
- Royalties— Royalties are based on the current Kobo Plus Payout, which increases as subscriptions rise. Your royalty share is based on a formula that takes into account the Minutes Consumed—the combined number of minutes read by paying subscribers in a given month.
- Reach an expanding market—Now that Kobo Plus is expanding into the Canadian market, you’ll reach English and French-speaking readers as well as the Dutch-speaking readers in the Netherlands and Belgium. This means more opportunities to reach more readers and to earn more revenue! All with no extra effort on your part.
Draft2Digital and Kobo have always had a great relationship, and we were thrilled to offer our authors this chance to reach even further. We can hardly wait to see what comes next!
D2D Payment Splitting
This could be the most-requested D2D feature of all time. If not the most, it’s definitely near the top.
In November 2020, a date that shall echo in the halls of history, Draft2Digital gave authors… D2D PAYMENT SPLITTING!
Imagine trumpets, big booming echo, applause.
Yeah—it’s kind of a big deal.
Whether you are co-authoring a book or building a collaborative box set, making sure all authors get paid what they’re due is now easier than ever!
D2D Payment Splitting is a simple, easy, and safe way for multiple authors to distribute collaborative work and be paid without hassle or worry! It allows a Collaborator Organizer to invite Collaborators to share in a percentage of royalties. Collaborators agree to their share before it goes into effect.
Easy, Simple, Safe
D2D has taken care of the challenging details of payment splitting, handling everything from the tax interview to payments based on your chosen percentages. It’s the simplest, easiest, safest way for co-authors and box-set contributors to publish their collaborative work worldwide!
We were very excited to offer D2D Payment Splitting as the newest resource for our authors, and we can’t wait to see all of the creative and incredible ways you put it to work for your projects!
Draft2Digital has always taken your account security very seriously, so in June 2020 we were excited to offer Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) as part of your account security options!
What is 2FA?
Two-Factor Authentication is a measure that helps to secure your account by requiring two pieces of verification (such as your password and a numeric token you receive by text or email) rather than just one (such as a password alone) before account access is granted.
By opting in to Two-Factor Authentication, you are making your account more secure.
How to get started
THREE WAYS TO 2FA!
You’ll be able to choose from one of three methods to authenticate your account:
That’s it! Depending on the method you chose, you’ll need to enter additional information and agree to certain terms. But it’s all easy and safe, and your account will be more secure afterward!
We think this new security measure will bring greater peace of mind to D2D authors, protecting you from scammers. The service is optional, but we highly recommend that you enable it for your account.
A final word
History records certain events, and we often come to think of those as the markers for human accomplishment. Pain and difficulty and tragedy tend to dominate the headlines, and there’s a tendency for us to think, “That’s what that year was. That’s what it meant.” But like most things, there is and will always be more to the story.
This year, 2020, has had its markers. It will go down in the pages of history, no doubt. For generations, the things we’ve experienced will be looked at, analyzed, scrutinized, written about. But we know that they’ll miss some details, because we have always, as a species, missed the details.
But we also know, we are those details.
We here at Draft2Digital want you to know that your life, and this work you’ve committed to, matters. Books change lives. Books influence thinking. Books can make the world a new place, by altering the landscape of it one reader at a time.
You are an incredible asset and resource to humanity. You matter. You always have. And we are honored to serve you.
From the entire Draf2Digital team, we welcome you to 2021.
We can’t wait to see the history that you make.
The Draft2Digital Team