This is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for April 2015. This month IngramSpark holds on to its number one position ahead of CreateSpace and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). While KDP still holds third place, its has closed the index rating gap considerably on CreateSpace. This is also reflected in a significant decrease in the amount of negative feedback TIPM had been receiving pre and post Christmas 2014. Lightning Source (LSI) on the other hand continues a very slow slippage and for the first time has slipped outside the top four places. I suspect much of this is now down to new self-published authors to Ingram’s direct channels choosing Spark over LSI or being actively encouraged to go this route.
Outside the top ten places, Kobo, Publish Green and Draft2Digital make some gains. The April index features the flotation of Pressbooks and Google Play Books for the first time. Both enter in very similar positions; 24th and 25th respectively. Again, as always with newly floated companies, it will take a couple of months for them to find their natural positions as we gather feedback from authors. You can find our individual reviews of Pressbooks and Google Play Books on the links.
TIPM continues to receive regular feedback on services through comments under our reviews, via our TIPM Facebook page, and directly to us. The amount of feedback over the past four weeks to TIPM was particularly high and we want to thank all of those who took the time to share their publishing experiences. 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. We are hoping to add at least one or two new reviews for the May index.
As an additional feature on the Publishing Service Index this month, we have included active links on the table below which will take you directly to the individual and detailed reviews of all top ten publishing services providers ranked. Our plan is to make all the company names link to their review in the coming months.
|APR POS||MAR POS||COMPANY/SERVICE PROVIDER||PRIMARY COMPANY BASEMARKET||SERVICE CLASS||APR INDEX VALUE||INDEX POS MOVE|
|3||3||Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)||GLOBAL||DIY||646.9||SAME|
|5||4||Lightning Source (Direct)||GLOBAL||PRT/FUL||541||DOWN|
|7||7||Mill City Press||USA||PUB/FSP||444.99||SAME|
|12||13||Kobo Writing Life||GLOBAL||DIY||364.65||UP|
|17||16||Dog Ear Publishing||USA||FSP||329.44||DOWN|
|18||17||York Publishing Services||UK||PRT/FULL||323.68||DOWN|
|20||20||John Hunt Publishing||GLOBAL||PUB/FSP||313.23||SAME|
|23||23||CPI UK Antony Rowe||EUROPE||PRT||305.77||SAME|
|25||NEW||Google Play Books||GLOBAL||DIY||301.2||NEW|
|36||40||The Choir Press||UK/USA||FSP||283.23||UP|
|38||36||Cold River Studio||USA||FSP||282.63||DOWN|
|39||34||Acorn Independent Press||UK||FSP||281.72||DOWN|
|40||39||Grosvenor House Publishing||UK||FSP||281.23||DOWN|
|55||53||Open Book Editions||USA||FSP||267.91||DOWN|
|60||59||Book Guild Publishing||UK||FSP||265.2||DOWN|
|64||62||The Book Producers||IRELAND||FSP||260.4||DOWN|
|67||67||Turning Stone Press||USA||FSP||257.68||SAME|
|69||66||Better Book Company||UK||FSP||256.15||DOWN|
|79||77||Chandler Book Design||UK||PRT||241.87||DOWN|
|81||79||Dolman Scott/Oak Press||UK||FSP||239.5||DOWN|
|86||85||Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie||UK||PUB/FSP||212||DOWN|
|88||86||Dom Tom Publishing||UK/USA||FSP||208.02||DOWN|
|89||84||PublishAmerica/America Star Books||USA||FSP||206.21||DOWN|
|91||89||Raider International Pub./Green Shore||GLOBAL||FSP||101.67||DOWN|
- DIY – Do-it-yourself bespoke services and basic conversion and formatting services
- FSP – Full Service Provider (Packages & Bespoke) – 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)
- CRW – Crowdsource
There is a much more detailed explanation of what the Publishing Service Index is and how authors can best use it in this post.
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.