This is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for August 2015. Once again IngramSpark and CreateSpace exchange places at the top spot of the index this month, but only by a whisker.
The most notable change is Lightning Source’s (LSI) continued slippage on the index and for the first time it drops outside the top five positions. It should be remembered that many indie authors now default towards Ingram’s dedicated publishing platform IngramSpark for indie authors and small publishers. I’m certainly getting far less feedback from authors who use LSI directly and most new accounts from individual authors are opened with IngramSpark.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) was losing some significant ground to the top two over the past few months, but the dust seems to have settled on the recent debate over Amazon’s changes on revenue in its borrowing programs (KU and KOL). You can catch up on the latest news on this debate from indie authors Joe Konrath, who revealed his figures this week, and David Gaughran.
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 continues to remain 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.
|AUG POS||JUL POS||COMPANY/SERVICE PROVIDER||PRIMARY COMPANY BASEMARKET||SERVICE CLASS||AUG INDEX VALUE||INDEX POS MOVE|
|3||3||Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)||GLOBAL||DIY||651.4||SAME|
|6||5||Lightning Source (Direct)||GLOBAL||PRT/FUL||597.22||DOWN|
|7||7||Mill City Press||USA||PUB/FSP||549.95||SAME|
|10||10||Kobo Writing Life||GLOBAL||DIY||490.7||SAME|
|14||16||Dog Ear Publishing||USA||FSP||429.3||UP|
|20||20||York Publishing Services||UK||PRT/FULL||396.76||SAME|
|22||22||John Hunt Publishing||GLOBAL||PUB/FSP||389.39||SAME|
|25||25||CPI UK Antony Rowe||EUROPE||PRT||382.25||SAME|
|29||34||Cold River Studio||USA||FSP||365.02||UP|
|35||38||Grosvenor House Publishing||UK||FSP||354.3||UP|
|36||40||Acorn Independent Press||UK||FSP||353.58||UP|
|37||27||Google Play Books||GLOBAL||DIY||352.6||DOWN|
|38||39||The Choir Press||UK/USA||FSP||351.92||UP|
|50||57||Book Guild Publishing||UK||FSP||335.61||UP|
|52||56||Kazoo Publishing Services||IRELAND||FSP||334.62||UP|
|53||55||Open Book Editions||USA||FSP||334.47||UP|
|66||65||The Book Producers||IRELAND||FSP||323.64||DOWN|
|67||68||Better Book Company||UK||FSP||319.62||UP|
|69||69||Turning Stone Press||USA||FSP||319.48||SAME|
|74||78||Chandler Book Design||UK||PRT||302.06||UP|
|77||81||Dolman Scott/Oak Press||UK||FSP||299.46||UP|
|87||88||Dom Tom Publishing||UK/USA||FSP||253.01||UP|
|89||89||Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie||UK||PUB/FSP||251.65||SAME|
|90||90||PublishAmerica/America Star Books||USA||FSP||250.11||SAME|
|92||92||Raider International Pub./Green Shore||GLOBAL||FSP||121.29||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.