Publishing Service Index: May 2016

MayThis is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for May 2016. IngramSpark holds the number one position at the top of the index, marginally increasing the gap on CreateSpace. Matador moves ahead of Smashwords into fourth place and Lightning Source slips below Silverwood Books to ninth place. Please be aware that service provider Original Writing based in Ireland has gone out of business and will exit the Publishing Service Index after this month.


One significant noted point during the preparation of the May index is that a number of larger publishing service providers’ listed catalogue shrunk between two to five percent compared to our March index. This will happen occasionally as providers ‘spring clean’ their catalogues, but the amount of reduction seen over the past month suggests that this is beyond just a yearly review of author accounts and databases. Again, this is lightly a reflection of a continuing shift away from publishing package providers to DIY self-publishing platforms. Clearly, large package providers are not experiencing the expansive growth seen between 2012-15. The freemium/DIY platforms now dominate the self-publishing market for authors as a first choice, with fewer authors choosing the assisted/tailored service providers. All things considered, it makes the consistent and continued positioning of self-publishing service providers like Matador and Silverwood Books in the UK, and Hillcrest Media/Mill City Press and Booklocker in the USA all the more impressive.

Every year Bowker release figures based on allocated ISBNs to publishing service providers and it will be interesting to see the 2015 figures.

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.
1 1 IngramSpark GLOBAL PRT/FUL 810.6 SAME
2 2 CreateSpace USA DIY/FSP 794.36 SAME
3 3 Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) GLOBAL DIY 778.3 SAME
4 5 Matador UK FSP 684.05 UP
5 4 Smashwords USA DIY 682.94 DOWN
6 6 Kobo Writing Life GLOBAL DIY 601.63 SAME
7 7 Hillcrest Media/Mill City Press USA PUB/FSP 586.04 SAME
8 9 SilverWood Books UK FSP 568.74 UP
9 8 Lightning Source (Direct) GLOBAL PRT/FUL 568.53 DOWN
10 10 Blurb GLOBAL DIY 527.47 SAME
11 12 Draft2Digital UK/USA DIY 482.28 UP
12 11 BookLocker USA FSP 479.9 DOWN
13 14 Thomson-Shore USA PRT/FSP 451.1 UP
14 13 Epigraph Publishing Service USA FSP 444.96 DOWN
15 16 Dog Ear Publishing USA FSP 439.67 UP
16 15 USA PRT/FUL 435.59 DOWN
17 17 Publish Green GLOBAL FSP 431.69 SAME
18 18 Lulu GLOBAL DIY/FSP 429.91 SAME
19 19 Bookbaby USA DIY/FSP 417.4 SAME
20 20 Pressbook USA DIY 410.58 SAME
21 21 Unbound UK PUB/CRW 406.43 SAME
22 23 Mijn Bestseller EUROPE DIY 404.56 UP
23 24 CPI UK Antony Rowe EUROPE PRT 402.98 UP
24 22 York Publishing Services UK PRT/FULL 402.77 DOWN
25 25 John Hunt Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 392.32 SAME
26 26 Wingspan USA FSP 385.05 SAME
27 29 Aventine USA FSP 373.61 UP
28 30 Google Play Books GLOBAL DIY 373.6 UP
29 27 eBookIT GLOBAL DIY/FSP 372.7 DOWN
30 28 Checkpoint Press IRELAND PUB/FSP 371.93 DOWN
31 31 Wheatmark Publishing USA FSP 367.11 SAME
32 32 Cold River Studio USA FSP 367.02 SAME
33 34 VirtualBookVorm USA FSP 366.58 UP
34 33 SelfPublishBooks/Lettertec IRELAND FSP 366.54 DOWN
35 35 Grosvenor House Publishing UK FSP 364.33 SAME
36 36 The Choir Press UK/USA FSP 363.83 SAME
37 40 Wasteland Press USA FSP 362.76 UP
38 37 Book Guild Publishing UK FSP 361.11 DOWN
39 38 Infinity Publishing USA FSP 361.03 DOWN
40 39 Book Country GLOBAL FSP 353.86 DOWN
41 41 Acorn Independent Press UK FSP 353.59 SAME
42 43 Apex Publishing UK PUB/FSP 352.72 UP
43 44 Americas Press USA PRT 352.66 UP
44 42 FastPencil USA DIY 350.83 DOWN
45 45 Telemachus Press USA FSP 346.75 SAME
46 46 Pumbo EUROPE DIY 346.55 SAME
47 49 Authoright UK/USA FSP 343.03 UP
48 50 Janus Publishing UK FSP 342.38 UP
49 47 Xulon Press USA FSP 341.17 DOWN
50 51 Outskirts Press USA FSP 341.07 UP
51 48 Tate Publishing USA PUB/ASP 340.67 DOWN
52 52 Open Book Editions USA FSP 340.53 SAME
53 54 A.H. Stockwell UK FSP 337.22 UP
54 53 Kazoo Publishing Services IRELAND FSP 336.61 DOWN
55 56 Diadem Books UK/USA FSP 336.23 UP
56 59 PubliBook EUROPE DIY 333.7 UP
57 58 Pyjama Press UK/EUROPE FSP 333.62 UP
58 55 Llumina Press USA PUB/FSP 333.2 DOWN
59 60 Kbuuk USA DIY 331.99 UP
60 61 Direct POD UK PRT 331.83 UP
61 57 iUniverse USA FSP 330.91 DOWN
62 63 True Directions USA PUB/FSP 329.58 UP
63 64 Eprint Ireland IRELAND PRT 329.44 UP
64 66 Pomegranate Press UK/USA FSP 324.06 UP
65 67 The Book Producers IRELAND FSP 323.65 UP
66 68 Arima UK FSP 322.75 UP
67 69 Turning Stone Press USA FSP 321.49 UP
68 65 Abbott Press USA PUB/FSP 320.09 DOWN
69 70 Better Book Company UK FSP 319.63 UP
70 71 UKUnpublished UK FSP 317.54 UP
71 73 Gemini International IRELAND PRT 308.62 UP
72 72 Archway Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 308.54 SAME
73 74 Dolman Scott/Oak Press UK FSP 303.52 UP
74 77 Choice Publishing IRELAND FSP 302.11 UP
75 75 Chandler Book Design UK PRT 302.07 SAME
76 76 WestBow Press USA PUB/FSP 300.47 SAME
77 79 Epic Press UK FSP 297.94 UP
78 78 Austin MacAuley UK FSP 297.77 SAME
79 80 Balboa Press GLOBAL PUB/FSP 294.03 UP
80 81 Trafford Publishing USA FSP 293.5 UP
81 83 Spiderwize UK FSP 283.95 UP
82 84 ShopMyBook (Unibook) GLOBAL PRT 283.39 UP
83 82 Dorrance Press USA FSP 281.12 DOWN
84 85 AuthorHouse GLOBAL FSP 276.68 UP
85 87 Xlibris GLOBAL FSP 275.89 UP
86 86 Spire Publishing UK/USA FSP 275.24 SAME
87 89 Melrose Books UK FSP 253.66 UP
88 90 Dom Tom Publishing UK/USA FSP 251.01 UP
89 91 Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie UK PUB/FSP 249.66 UP
90 88 PublishAmerica/America Star Books USA FSP 245.97 DOWN
91 92 Olympia Publishers UK PUB/FSP 201.64 UP
92 62 Original Writing IRELAND FSP 156.79 DOWN
93 93 Raider International Pub./Green Shore GLOBAL FSP 113.29 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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One Comment;

  1. Shearin Lee said:

    Hello Mr. Rooney, thank you for this information! Our company is looking to self-publish our first children’s book (in a series) but would love some expert advice on which self-publishing companies are the best for children’s books. We have our manuscript written and edited and are currently working on our illustrations. Any advice would be much appreciated, thank you!

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