This is the first PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for 2016. IngramSpark has held on to its number one position at the top of the index ahead of CreateSpace. Kindle Direct Publishing swaps places with Smashwords. Kobo Writing Life moves up two places to sixth, its highest position yet in the index.
Lightning Source continues gradual slow slide, now close to the edge and in danger of slipping outside the top ten for the first time ever. Just over two years ago Lightning Source sat at the top of the table. And one of the most significant movers this month is employee-owned printer and publishing service provider Thomson-Shore. However, going in the wrong direction is Bookbaby and it is not far away from exiting the top twenty.
The overall title output was a little more than I expected for the Dec/Jan period but still well down on what it was this time last year. February and March could be very interesting months to look out for. It’s often a time of year that publishing service providers revise their offerings and pricing.
TIPM continues to receive regular feedback on services through comments under our reviews, via our TIPM Facebook page, and directly to us. 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.
|JAN POS||DEC POS||COMPANY/SERVICE PROVIDER||PRIMARY COMPANY BASEMARKET||SERVICE CLASS||JAN INDEX VALUE||INDEX POS MOVE|
|3||4||Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)||GLOBAL||DIY||702.35||UP|
|6||8||Kobo Writing Life||GLOBAL||DIY||575.37||UP|
|7||6||Hillcrest Media/Mill City Press||USA||PUB/FSP||573.99||DOWN|
|8||7||Lightning Source (Direct)||GLOBAL||PRT/FUL||564.68||DOWN|
|13||13||Epigraph Publishing Service||USA||FSP||444.95||SAME|
|16||14||Dog Ear Publishing||USA||FSP||431.39||DOWN|
|22||22||York Publishing Services||UK||PRT/FULL||402.77||SAME|
|24||25||CPI UK Antony Rowe||EUROPE||PRT||390.28||UP|
|25||24||John Hunt Publishing||GLOBAL||PUB/FSP||389.28||DOWN|
|30||29||Cold River Studio||USA||FSP||369.02||DOWN|
|34||35||Google Play Books||GLOBAL||DIY||361.2||UP|
|36||37||Grosvenor House Publishing||UK||FSP||356.32||UP|
|38||45||Book Guild Publishing||UK||FSP||355.11||UP|
|39||38||The Choir Press||UK/USA||FSP||353.93||DOWN|
|41||40||Acorn Independent Press||UK||FSP||353.59||DOWN|
|52||53||Open Book Editions||USA||FSP||340.52||UP|
|53||52||Kazoo Publishing Services||IRELAND||FSP||338.61||DOWN|
|67||67||The Book Producers||IRELAND||FSP||323.65||SAME|
|69||70||Turning Stone Press||USA||FSP||321.49||UP|
|70||69||Better Book Company||UK||FSP||319.62||DOWN|
|74||74||Chandler Book Design||UK||PRT||302.06||SAME|
|75||75||Dolman Scott/Oak Press||UK||FSP||301.49||SAME|
|88||88||PublishAmerica/America Star Books||USA||FSP||252.38||SAME|
|90||91||Dom Tom Publishing||UK/USA||FSP||251.01||UP|
|91||90||Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie||UK||PUB/FSP||249.65||DOWN|
|93||93||Raider International Pub./Green Shore||GLOBAL||FSP||117.29||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.
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Thank you for this service. I live in Australia and have had two books published at significant cost by Original Writing Ltd. in Smithfield, Dublin. I have just discovered that the company has gone into liquidation and a Liquidator has been appointed. However I cannot find the name of the Liquidator and the former MD of Original Writing is not forthcoming with details. Having “intellectual capital” tied up and with my files possessed by OR I find myself in no mans land. Can anybody help me please? Many thanks, Jimmy Cummins. Author of “Through The Hoops” and “A Tear for the Pawns – My Quest for Peace in Northern Ireland”.