I use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to distribute my books to the Amazon Kindle stores, and Smashwords to distribute to all other major ebook retailers (Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.). Both services are free and easy to use, and cover pretty much all my bases.
Smashwords pays monthly with no minimum royalty threshold, directly to Paypal. (Bear in mind that it takes a few months for royalties from the other retailers to accumulate and release to Smashwords first, before you get paid.) Amazon also pays monthly (with a ~60 day delay from actual sales). If you have a US-domiciled bank account, the minimum payout threshold from Amazon is $10. Otherwise, they will mail you a check when you reach $100 in royalties (after any taxes they might be withholding).
While distributing through Smashwords for the non-Amazon retailers is very easy, since it’s all in one place, there are also ways to deal with some of the other retailers directly to cut out the middleman and keep a higher royalty share, if you are interested. If you are a US resident, you can deal directly with Barnes & Noble via Nook Press, and I’ve heard rumors that those with a current Mac OS can also deal directly with Apple. Kobo has a self-publishing platform via their Writing Life program, but there seems to be little info (that I could easily find, anyway) about their royalty share or payment terms.
For years, I have used Amazon’s CreateSpace platform to create my paperbacks. Their interface is easy to interact with, and I’ve had good experiences with their customer service team. BUT with the way the Canada/US exchange rate has gone over the past few years, it has become prohibitively expensive to order copies of my books to Canada from Createspace (who only print and ship to here from their US warehouses).
As of late 2017, I have been experimenting with Blurb (in addition to Createspace, who still distributes my paperbacks to all the iterations of Amazon). Blurb prints and ships from within Canada (as well as several other countries), which really cuts down on my shipping costs, and eliminates any of the surprise brokerage fees from crossing the border. I have been really happy with the quality and turnaround time, and they sometimes even run sales where you can apply a discount for ordering your own books. They also offer a volume discount program, starting at 10 copies (one or multiple titles), which is something Createspace doesn’t have. I’m currently waiting to see how their Worldwide distribution program works, which is through a partnership with Ingram.
Ingram is the same partner Createspace uses to distribute paperbacks beyond Amazon. However, I have recently learned that when going through Createspace to Ingram, books are flagged as originating from Amazon. Here in Canada, Indigo/Chapters/Coles is the largest book retailer, and they do not carry anything with an Amazon-related imprint in their catalog. I’m hoping Blurb will be my workaround for this, as I have always wanted my titles to be listed on the Indigo/Chapters/Coles store kiosks and website so they are at least available for customers to order. Fingers crossed…