Publishing Service Index: May 2015

indexMay_2015This is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for May 2015. IngramSpark holds on to its number one position ahead of CreateSpace and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Lightning Source (LSI) continues to show gradual slippage. 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. UK full service provider Silverwood Books is the significant mover in the top ten, now at number eight.


Outside the top ten places, Kobo and Draft2Digital continue to make some marginal gains.


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 June index.


As promised last month, we have added an additional feature on the Publishing Service Index. All service providers now have active links on the table below which will take you directly to the individual and detailed reviews carried out by TIPM.


1 1 IngramSpark GLOBAL PRT/FUL 669.34 SAME
2 2 CreateSpace USA DIY/FSP 662.13 SAME
3 3 Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) GLOBAL DIY 646.65 SAME
4 4 Smashwords USA DIY 558.49 SAME
5 5 Lightning Source (Direct) GLOBAL PRT/FUL 535.83 SAME
6 6 Matador UK FSP 501.18 SAME
7 7 Mill City Press USA PUB/FSP 450.99 SAME
8 10 SilverWood Books UK FSP 421.87 UP
9 9 Blurb GLOBAL DIY 421.43 SAME
10 8 Lulu GLOBAL DIY/FSP 417.53 DOWN
11 12 Kobo Writing Life GLOBAL DIY 380.65 UP
12 11 BookLocker USA FSP 375.51 DOWN
13 15 Draft2Digital UK/USA DIY 352.84 UP
14 13 Bookbaby USA DIY/FSP 352.43 DOWN
15 14 Publish Green GLOBAL FSP 345.27 DOWN
16 16 USA PRT/FUL 338.22 SAME
17 17 Dog Ear Publishing USA FSP 327.66 SAME
18 19 Unbound UK PUB/CRW 324.3 UP
19 18 York Publishing Services UK PRT/FULL 323.68 DOWN
20 20 John Hunt Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 315.24 SAME
21 21 Thomson-Shore USA PRT/FSP 308.16 SAME
22 22 Wingspan USA FSP 308 SAME
23 24 Pressbook USA DIY 307.46 UP
24 25 Google Play Books GLOBAL DIY 306.2 UP
25 23 CPI UK Antony Rowe EUROPE PRT 305.8 DOWN
26 27 Mijn Bestseller EUROPE DIY 301.49 UP
27 26 eBookIT DIY/FSP 299.72 DOWN
28 28 Aventine USA FSP 293.98 SAME
29 30 VirtualBookVorm USA FSP 292.89 UP
30 31 Checkpoint Press IRELAND PUB/FSP 291.34 UP
31 32 Infinity Publishing USA FSP 290.95 UP
32 29 Book Country GLOBAL FSP 290.8 DOWN
33 33 SelfPublishBooks/Lettertec IRELAND FSP 287.44 SAME
34 34 Wheatmark Publishing USA FSP 286.91 SAME
35 38 Cold River Studio USA FSP 284.63 UP
36 35 Apex Publishing UK PUB/FSP 284.37 DOWN
37 40 Grosvenor House Publishing UK FSP 283.24 UP
38 36 The Choir Press UK/USA FSP 283.23 DOWN
39 37 Wasteland Press USA FSP 283.22 DOWN
40 39 Acorn Independent Press UK FSP 281.72 DOWN
41 42 Outskirts Press USA FSP 278.18 UP
42 46 Tate Publishing USA PUB/ASP 277.16 UP
43 41 iUniverse USA FSP 276.53 DOWN
44 43 Authoright UK/USA FSP 276.22 DOWN
45 44 Americas Press USA PRT 276.05 DOWN
46 45 Janus Publishing UK FSP 275.32 DOWN
47 47 Pumbo EUROPE DIY 274.75 SAME
48 48 Telemachus Press USA FSP 274.42 SAME
49 49 Xulon Press USA FSP 274.27 SAME
50 50 FastPencil USA DIY 273.27 SAME
51 51 PubliBook EUROPE DIY 269.18 SAME
52 52 Llumina Press USA PUB/FSP 268.64 SAME
53 53 A.H. Stockwell UK FSP 268.02 SAME
54 54 Diadem Books UK/USA FSP 267.94 SAME
55 56 Pyjama Press UK/EUROPE FSP 267.03 UP
56 57 Direct POD UK PRT 265.61 UP
57 58 Kbuuk USA DIY 265.32 UP
58 59 Eprint Ireland IRELAND PRT 265.24 UP
59 60 Book Guild Publishing UK FSP 265.2 UP
60 55 Open Book Editions USA FSP 263.92 DOWN
61 62 True Directions USA PUB/FSP 263.23 UP
62 63 Original Writing IRELAND FSP 261.59 UP
63 61 Abbott Press USA PUB/FSP 261.42 DOWN
64 64 The Book Producers IRELAND FSP 260.4 SAME
65 65 Pomegranate Press UK/USA FSP 260.28 SAME
66 67 Turning Stone Press USA FSP 257.68 UP
67 70 Arima UK FSP 256.4 UP
68 69 Better Book Company UK FSP 256.16 UP
69 68 Austin MacAuley UK FSP 254.69 DOWN
70 72 UKUnpublished UK FSP 252.58 UP
71 66 AuthorHouse GLOBAL FSP 251.91 DOWN
72 71 Archway Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 251.72 DOWN
73 73 Gemini International IRELAND PRT 246.22 SAME
74 74 Trafford Publishing USA FSP 243.53 SAME
75 75 Balboa Press GLOBAL PUB/FSP 242.99 SAME
76 77 WestBow Press USA PUB/FSP 242.34 UP
77 78 Epic Press UK FSP 242.25 UP
78 79 Chandler Book Design UK PRT 241.87 UP
79 80 Choice Publishing IRELAND FSP 240.74 UP
80 81 Dolman Scott/Oak Press UK FSP 239.51 UP
81 76 Xlibris GLOBAL FSP 237.91 DOWN
82 82 Dorrance Press USA FSP 232.86 SAME
83 83 ShopMyBook (Unibook) GLOBAL PRT 228.2 SAME
84 84 Spire Publishing UK/USA FSP 226.45 SAME
85 85 Spiderwize UK FSP 223.36 SAME
86 86 Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie UK PUB/FSP 212 SAME
87 87 Melrose Books UK FSP 208.69 SAME
88 88 Dom Tom Publishing UK/USA FSP 208.02 SAME
89 89 PublishAmerica/America Star Books USA FSP 206.66 SAME
90 90 Olympia Publishers UK PUB/FSP 180.97 SAME
91 91 Raider International Pub./Green Shore GLOBAL FSP 99.67 SAME


  • 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.




  1. JSC said:

    Dear Mick,

    Can you say something about PublishNation and New Generation Publishing? Which is better in terms of their price:quality ratio?

    • Mick Rooney said:

      JSC, I’m not familiar with PublishNation and I am currently working on a review of NGP. So hang in there!

Leave a Reply to JSC Cancel reply