Publishing Platform Of The Year 2015

White shirts starched. Shoes shined. Bow ties fiddled with and fixed. Free wine on the table.

It's the night of the year that's second only to the Oscars when it comes to eager anticipation and fake smiles from the losers.

Hush. Pray silence. The ceremony is about to begin. Which self-publishing platform will win the gong will soon no longer be hidden within a golden envelope.

A quick recap of the judging criteria. Simple really. Which platform best flogged the most of my books. Innovation and publicity also have a bearing. But it's mainly about cold, hard sales.

Just five contenders for the crown. In no particular order (other than alphabetical), they are Amazon, CreateSpace, Draft2Digital, Kobo and Smashwords.

And so, enough of the preamble. Time for the drumroll to start quietly and build to a crescendo. Here are the results in a particular order - reverse.

The judges (me and er... me) almost forgot their/his books were available in print via this channel. There was no Breakthrough Novel Award for 2015. Sales have been as sluggish as a slug stuck in his own slime. Mainly down to the ridiculously high price I have to tag onto my books just to make a small profit.

4th KOBO
It's another NO GO for KOBO. Next to no one seems to go to the platform to buy my books. Sure, there have been sales, but not enough to retire on. It seems a very low profile place. I get a monthly email which harks on about someone else's success story, and that's about it.

A terse letter about sorting out my tax details aside, I've been pleased with the performance of this platform. A good few sales, and regular updates about how they are expanding by teaming up with other worldwide distributors. If only they'd made that tax letter a little friendlier.

Last year's winner was cruising, about to retain their title, until sometime in September the truth came out. Many of the downloads I had previously thought were genuine, turned out to be dastardly machines at work. Since Smashwords stopped counting the activities of the Bots, my stats have frozen as hard as a giant cryptic crossword fashioned from marble and cement. Sales through Smashwords' partner channels are still ticking over nicely, but it's not what it was, even though it's more accurate. Sometimes it is better to lie. These bots obviously know a good book when they see one.

Yes, oh mighty one. The title is yours. For the downloads you gave me when I shifted many of my books back into KDP Select. For the regular sales you've given me throughout the year. For breaking me into new territories (this year saw my first sale in Germany, the first downloads in Brazil). For the additional revenue stream provided by Kindle Edition Normalized Pages. For ideas like #AmazonGiveaway, which I really must try. Yes, you are the biggest and, in 2015, for my money you have been the best.

The wine is downed, the losers' fake smiles wiped away, the winner clutches the trophy. All over for another year. Carriages from 2am after a bit of dancing. Good night.

Previous Winners:
2014  Smashwords