Publishing Service Index – April 2013 | TIPM

This is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for APRIL 2013. This update reflects some review updates and the collapse of Vantage Press last November. TIPM received a very high volume of feedback on services since the last index at the end of January, both positive and negative, and this is also reflected in the latest index ratings. Though there are no significant changes in the top 20 positions, a number of providers have started trimming back on titles available in print. I think there are a couple of factors at play here – the continued migration by newly published authors to e-book-only distribution platforms and also a growing number of authors withdrawing titles from providers or declining to pay annual administration fees to keep books listed with POD printers (a fee many POD providers still insist passing on to author clients).

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DIY – Do-it-yourself bespoke sevices
ASS – Author Solutions Services (Packages)
PUB – Also offers Mainstream Contracts
PRT – Printer
FULL – Fulfillment Services provided

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 author solutions services according to every point in our ideal list of what an author should get from a company offering publishing services; 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. In the autumn of 2010 we will be posting all our reviews with a rating, and any new reviews since February 2010 have automatically had a posted rating at the bottom of the review.
The reality is that some author solutions services begin in a blaze of glory and we might rate them favourably at the time; others, frankly, are just poor, and yet, they improve (sometimes in response to our reviews) to offer reasonable services for authors. 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 are proposing is effectively, a kind of stock exchange for author solutions services.
The PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX was first launched in June 2010.
Below is a full list of the all the publishing services we have reviewed over the last few years.





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