This is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for June 2014. This update reflects some review updates and author feedback over the past six weeks. CreateSpace and Amazon KDP once again swap places at the top. We recently reported some increased distribution options for Blurb authors (including Amazon Kindle and Ingram print and e-book). If there is positive feedback from authors over the coming weeks on these new distribution options, then I would expect we will see Blurb make a return to the top ten.
IngramSpark continues to solidify its position in the top ten (currently 4th). Initially I received mixed feedback on IngramSpark, but the two-tier revenue split (40% and 55%) and some tweaks to the website and services looks to be winning over some authors who might have normally opted for CreateSpace. Spark has gained considerable index rating ground on its sister company Lightning Source.
No major changes outside the top ten, but the past couple of months have seen the demise of two publishing providers—Schiel & Denver, and Indepenpress which owned Pen Press UK. Both these companies have ceased trading.
I’m still fielding comments from authors—new and old—of Raider Publishing International. This company, outside of several Author Solutions-owned imprints, receives the highest amount of negative feedback from authors. Over the past 18 months Raider has pulled the shutters down on its two smaller imprints: Purehaven Press and Perimedes Press. More disturbingly, authors with books in production with Raider’s main imprint (RPI) are reporting little or no contact since January. The company has also stopped posting to its social media streams and there are no new titles listed on Amazon for publication since the very end of last year. TIPM is currently attempting to find out if Raider Publishing International is still functioning—though the noise (or lack of) is ominous.
TIPM continues to receive regular feedback on services through comments under our reviews, via our TIPM Facebook page, and directly to us. Your comments are always welcome and every comment and experience of a publishing service, positive or negative, is always reflected in every new index published through TIPM.
DIY – Do-it-yourself bespoke services
ASS – Author Solutions Services (Packages) – May also include Partnership publishing programs
PUB – Also offers Mainstream Contracts or is a service imprint of a traditional publishing house
PRT – Printer (primarily a printer with some additional but limited services)
FULL – Fulfilment Services provided for distribution logistics, warehousing of stock (including supply to wholesaler and retailers)
The most asked question we get at The Independent Publishing Magazine 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 companies according to every point on an ideal dream list of what an author wants/should get, 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.
The reality is that some companies offering publishing services begin in a blaze of glory and we might rate them favourably at the time; others, frankly, are just poor, and they improve (sometimes in response to our reviews) to offer reasonable or better services. 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 PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX will help to guide authors to services on the up, and those, gradually on the down. If you like, what we present is a kind of stock exchange for companies supplying publisher services..
The PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX was first launched in June 2010.
Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant
If you found this review or article helpful, but you’re still looking for a suitable self-publishing provider to fit your needs as an author, then I’m sure I can help. As a publishing consultant and editor of this magazine, I’ve reviewed and examined in detail more than 150 providers throughout the world like the one above. As a self-published and traditionally published author of nine books, I understand your needs on the path to publication and beyond. So, before you spend hundreds or thousands, and a great deal of your time, why not book one of my personally tailored and affordable consultation sessions today? Click here for more details.
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