October is the first month that Lightning Source has been knocked off the top spot. A surge in titles being published through CreateSpace and continued strong email feedback has led to their jump from the number 4 spot on the index. Other notable surprise mover on the up is Xlibris, up ten places, again based on some strong author feedback over the past four to six weeks. Book Republic, Maverick House Publishers’ new service imprint is listed, but will received an index value and service review this month before proper flotation.
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ABOUT POD INDEX
The POD INDEX for author solutions services is something we have been working on for the past couple of months and June 2010 marked the first month of flotation. Here is the latest index for October.
The most asked question we get at POD, Self-Publishing & Independent Publishing is often along the lines of; ‘What self-publishing service should I go with?‘; ‘Is so and so a good service to go with?‘; or ‘Is so and so a scam?‘
In some cases, that is an easy question to answer, cut and dry, but in other circumstances, the answer is entirely arbitrary. We are not here to review and run down a company’s name, nor are we here to endorse a company’s services. If we were only to review author solutions services according to every point in our ideal list of what an author should get from a company offering publishing services; we would have very few reviews to share with you. In truth, no company has ever attained a 10/10, and only a few have recorded more than 08/10. In the autumn of 2010 we will be posting all our reviews with a rating, and any new reviews since February 2010 have automatically had a posted rating at the bottom of the review.
The reality is that some author solutions services begin in a blaze of glory and we might rate them favourably at the time; others, frankly, are just poor, and yet, they improve (sometimes in response to our reviews) to offer reasonable services for authors. We are constantly updating our reviews, but this takes considerable time, and so do the initial reviews.
We get a vast amount of information from authors and the companies selling author solutions services every day – good and bad. We get a great deal of information from monitoring services week by week against the experiences of what authors report back to us. Simply put, and truthfully, we cannot reflect all of this information through the reviews. That is why the comments section under each company we review is so important. It is your recording and dealings with that specific company, and a positive or negative flag to subsequent authors considering using the same company.
So, how do we reflect the changing ups and downs with services?
We believe the POD INDEX will help to guide authors to services on the up, and those, gradually on the down. If you like, what we are proposing is effectively, a kind of stock exchange for author solutions services.
The POD INDEX was first launched in June 2010.
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