Walmart is one of the largest and most well-known retailers worldwide, and they recently expanded into the ebook market. With such a huge consumer base, selling your self-published ebooks at Walmart can mean a big boost in discoverability.
Simply put, if you’re a self-published author and you’re currently not distributing to Walmart, you’re missing out on potentially millions of readers.
While there’s not a Walmart self-publishing platform, (like Amazon’s KDP or Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Press), you can still list your self-published titles there - and we’ll show you everything you need to know to get started!
Walmart Ebooks: The Details
On August 22, 2018, Walmart launched its ebook sales platform in partnership with Rakuten Kobo. Walmart has sold the Kobo eReader for quite some time already, but now Kobo reading devices sold at Walmart automatically link to Kobo’s fast-growing inventory of over 6 million titles.
The partnership with Kobo also includes a monthly audiobook subscription service for $9.99 per month, as well as a Walmart Ebooks app, so readers can purchase and read titles on their smartphone.
With up to 100 million unique visitors per month at Walmart.com, this retailer offers a wide pool of potential new readers for self-published authors.
How to Sell Ebooks at Walmart
Since there isn’t a Walmart self-publishing platform, you can’t upload your ebook directly to Walmart, like you can with other retailers. Luckily, it’s still really simple to get your titles listed there.
First, you’ll need to convert your manuscript into EPUB format, which is the standard ebook format used by most major retailers.
If you don’t know how to convert your manuscript, no worries. Head over to PublishDrive’s FREE ebook converter, where you can turn your Microsoft Word DOCX file into a high-quality EPUB file.
Once you’ve converted your manuscript, you have two main options for selling your ebook at Walmart:
- Distribute through Kobo
- Distribute through an aggregator
Distribute to Walmart Ebooks Directly Through Kobo
Since Walmart’s partnership is with Kobo, you can distribute your titles to Walmart Ebooks by directly publishing through Kobo Writing Life, which is Kobo’s self-publishing platform.
For many authors, the primary benefit of publishing directly to Kobo (rather than using a self-publishing aggregator) is that they can earn the highest royalty rate possible. Authors typically have more promotion opportunities when publishing directly as well. But as you’ll see in the next section, that’s not always the case if you choose the right aggregator.
Distribute to Walmart Ebooks Through an Aggregator
You can also sell ebooks on Walmart by distributing to Kobo through a self-publishing aggregator. A self-publishing aggregator (like PublishDrive) allows you to publish and distribute your ebooks to many retailers using a single platform. This is an attractive option for many authors, since it saves valuable time and eliminates the need to upload titles separately to each retailer.
Typically, self-publishing aggregators charge 10% of your royalties in exchange for distribution services. This is an obvious disadvantage for some authors, especially since it can be costly as earnings increase. But when you distribute through PublishDrive, you can have the best of both worlds: direct-like royalties and the ease of wide distribution - all in the same platform - for a flat monthly fee.
Thanks to PublishDrive’s unique subscription pricing, you get the benefits of aggregated distribution to thousands of worldwide sales channels, without having to give up your royalties. That’s right - you get to keep all of your royalties (no matter how high sales go), just as if you were distributing directly to stores.
In addition to offering full store royalty rates, PublishDrive offers built-in promotion options for FREE to help you boost sales:
- In-Store Featuring at Kobo and Other Retailers: With PD’s Featuring option, you can submit your books for a chance to be featured in Kobo’s store. This promotional tool is the same exact one you’d have access to when publishing directly to Kobo! You can also submit your books for a chance to be featured in other top retailers, like Apple Books and more.
- Review Copy Distribution: Want to generate buzz after your book launch? You can easily distribute free review copies to readers or influencers through Apple Books and Google Play Books.
- Social Media Promotion: Need to spread the word about your book? We’d love to help! Submit for a chance to be featured on PublishDrive’s social media channels.
Take the Next Step to Sell Your Ebooks at Walmart!
To sell your self-published ebooks at Walmart, create your PublishDrive account below, and turn on distribution for Kobo once your first book is uploaded.
If you’re already a PD Author, just navigate to your distribution settings in your dashboard and turn on distribution for Kobo.
Happy Publishing! :)