Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Basics of Online Ebook Retailers

by Miral Sattar •  February 25, 2014  •   Follow miralsattar

Published in Publishing Tips  •  4 comments



Thinking about self-publishing and wanted to know about the biggest retailers for your digital and print books? We break it down for you in our easy to navigate guide below.


A few years ago you had to use a distributor to get your books into all the major retailers.  Now, most retailers allow authors to directly upload their books. This is great because you can also maximize on royalties this way.

When uploading an ebook or a book for print on demand we recommend uploading your book to the following retailers:


As you might already know, different retailers require different file forms for readable conversion on their devices. The file conversions for each device are as follows:

  • MOBI/PRC:  Amazon
  • EPUB:  Barnes and Noble (NookPress), Apple iBooks, Kobo (also now Sony)
  • PRINT READY PDF:  CreateSpace

Here’s a little more info about the filetypes for each retailers on a previous blog post. 


  • Known as KDP, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (
  • Over 60% of market (guesstimate)
  • 25% of revenues on Amazon come from self-published titles in US
  • Royalties: 70% if your book is between $2.99 and $9.99
  • You need a PRC or MOBI file: 50MB
  • Cover
  • At least 1000px on longest size, JPEG or TIFF, 1.6 height-width ratio
  • Don’t hardcode page numbers
  • To sell your book you will need to submit tax and bank Information

Barnes and Noble

  • Known as Nook Press (
  • Formerly PubIt!
  • Roughly 25% of ebook market (guesstimate)
  • Royalties are about 65%
  • You will need to upload an EPUB File: 20MB
  • Cover size
  • Optimal: between 750px and 2000px in length, JPEG, 5KB to 2MB filesize
  • To sell your book you will need to submit tax and bank Information


  • Apple iBookStore
  • Roughly 25% of ebook market (guesstimate)
  • You will need to upload an EPUB File: 2 GB
  • Great for enhanced ebooks
  • Royalties are 70%
  • Cover size
  • Minimum 1400 px along smaller side, JPEG or PNG file
  • To sell your book you need to input your bank and tax information
  • You need a Mac and an iTunes Connect account
  • You will need to download iTunes Producer


  • Kobo Writing Life –
  • Market share is single digits in the US specifically but double digits elsewhere globally (Canada, Holland, Italy, Japan, France, and more).
  • Royalties are 70% for titles priced $2.99 and higher
  • You will need to upload an EPUB File: Max 100MB.  We also accept DOC, DOCX, OPF, and Mobi, and offer a free ePub converter.
  • Cover size:
  • Optimal: 600px x 860px, JPEG, PNG: For best results, your image should be 900 dpi and no larger than 1 MB, however, 300 dpi files should be just fine. 5MB is the maximum file size.
  • To sell your book you need to input your bank and tax information



If you want to just create one cover we recommend 1600 x 2400 pixels in JPEG.

What else would you like to know? Share with us in the comments below.



About Miral Sattar

Lover of books. CEO & founder of Bibliocrunch. Love storytelling in all its forms. Formerly TIME. I'm a new media entrepreneur who has worked in the media industry for 11 years. My mission is simple – to innovate the publishing industry with technology. My company has been featured in BBC World News, Money Magazine, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Forbes, WSJ, MediaBistro, PBS, Columbia Journalism Review, The Next Web, Publishers Weekly, and a bunch of other places. Bibliocrunch was also selected as The Next Big Thing in media by the Paley Center. I also used to run a popular South Asian culture blog called Divanee. Before I ran my own company and became a mom, I used to be on the board for several literacy organizations, and wrote a LOT more. Hopefully, when things are calmer I can go back to that! :)