This past week the indie-friendly aggregator PublishDrive became the first in the US to offer distribution across ebook, audiobook and POD formats.

Said PublishDrive CEO Kinga Jentetics,

As pioneers in self-publishing, we’ve done it again. We’ve expanded PublishDrive’s capacity and added print books plus audiobooks to the platform. Indies can cater to readers’ needs and reach new audiences!

Achieving this makes us the only publishing platform out there doing this. Authors and publishers can easily manage ebook, print, and audio under one roof. So for our indies, that is simple and effective digital publishing. Get customer support and tools in distribution, marketing, sales reporting, and more for all formats you’d like.

Jentetics adds,

These are lucrative formats to get into. Print-on-demand services are estimated to be $150 billion dollars by 2022 (Gen Z loves print!). Audio is the fastest-growing format in online publishing.

PublishDrive kicks off its audiobook reach with Storytel, Kobo, Google Play, OverDrive, CNPeReading (China), Bookmate and Findaway. No direct access to Apple and Audible yet, it seems, but presumably authors will be able to access these platforms via PublishDrive’s Findaway partnership.

For POD the list is smaller, but covers the all-important option to get onto Amazon without using KDP Print (formerly CreateSpace), and a surprise bonus outlet – China’s CNPeReading platform.

The full list of PublishDrive partner stores can be found here.

At which point, let’s take a step back and put this move in context.

Draft2Digital (also US-based) led the way with audio, with a token partnership with Findaway offering discounted access to the Findaway services – a move quickly emulated by Smashwords (also US-based), but neither platform took the logical next step to offer direct upload and distribution. Draft2Digital also offers a POD option.

Among the indie-friendly aggregators Italy-based StreetLib (which – full disclosure – is also the publisher of TNPS) was the first to offer audiobook production and distribution to all users, but its POD option, Totem, is currently only accessible by Italy-based authors and publishers. StreetLib did previously have a POD option for the US and Europe but that service is currently on hold pending transition to a new model.

Of course there are several next-level aggregators, such as Bookwire (based in Germany) that have been offering ebook, audiobook and POD for a while, but they are not geared to self-published uploads, leaving PublishDrive a clear claim to be first in the field to have all three options simultaneously for indie  authors.

But indie authors heading to PublishDrive will find the old pay-as-you-sell model has been replaced, since September 2019, with a new tiered subscription model – pay up front and collect 100% of net royalties.

For established authors with a track record and cash to spare this is, anecdotally, proving quite popular, but may prove a deterrent to authors at earlier stages along their career trajectories who might otherwise find this new format reach from PublishDrive very appealing.

Read more about the PublishDrive announcement here.