Publishing Service Index: April 2015

This is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for April 2015. This month IngramSpark holds on to its number one position ahead of CreateSpace and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). While KDP still holds third place, its has closed the index rating gap considerably on CreateSpace. This is also reflected in a significant decrease in the amount of negative feedback TIPM had been receiving pre and post Christmas 2014. Lightning Source (LSI) on the other hand continues a very slow slippage and for the first time has slipped outside the top four places. 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.


Outside the top ten places, Kobo, Publish Green and Draft2Digital make some gains. The April index features the flotation of Pressbooks and Google Play Books for the first time. Both enter in very similar positions; 24th and 25th respectively. Again, as always with newly floated companies, it will take a couple of months for them to find their natural positions as we gather feedback from authors. You can find our individual reviews of Pressbooks and Google Play Books on the links.


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 May index.


As an additional feature on the Publishing Service Index this month, we have included active links on the table below which will take you directly to the individual and detailed reviews of all top ten publishing services providers ranked. Our plan is to make all the company names link to their review in the coming months.


1 1 IngramSpark GLOBAL PRT/FUL 662.78 SAME
2 2 CreateSpace USA DIY/FSP 659.52 SAME
3 3 Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) GLOBAL DIY 646.9 SAME
4 5 Smashwords USA DIY 542.34 UP
5 4 Lightning Source (Direct) GLOBAL PRT/FUL 541 DOWN
6 6 Matador UK FSP 485.17 SAME
7 7 Mill City Press USA PUB/FSP 444.99 SAME
8 8 Lulu GLOBAL DIY/FSP 426.16 SAME
9 9 Blurb GLOBAL DIY 419.39 SAME
10 10 SilverWood Books USA FSP 409.87 SAME
11 11 BookLocker USA FSP 375.3 SAME
12 13 Kobo Writing Life GLOBAL DIY 364.65 UP
13 12 Bookbaby USA DIY/FSP 360.2 DOWN
14 15 Publish Green GLOBAL FSP 339.23 UP
15 18 Draft2Digital UK/USA DIY 336.54 UP
16 14 USA PRT/FUL 336.2 DOWN
17 16 Dog Ear Publishing USA FSP 329.44 DOWN
18 17 York Publishing Services UK PRT/FULL 323.68 DOWN
19 19 Unbound UK PUB/CRW 320.33 SAME
20 20 John Hunt Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 313.23 SAME
21 21 Thomson-Shore USA PRT/FSP 306.15 SAME
22 22 Wingspan USA FSP 306 SAME
23 23 CPI UK Antony Rowe EUROPE PRT 305.77 SAME
24 NEW Pressbook USA DIY 303.43 NEW
25 NEW Google Play Books GLOBAL DIY 301.2 NEW
26 26 eBookIT DIY/FSP 299.64 SAME
27 24 Mijn Bestseller EUROPE DIY 297.42 DOWN
28 25 Aventine USA FSP 295.98 DOWN
29 28 Book Country GLOBAL FSP 294.78 DOWN
30 27 VirtualBookVorm USA FSP 292.89 DOWN
31 29 Checkpoint Press IRELAND PUB/FSP 291.34 DOWN
32 30 Infinity Publishing USA FSP 290.94 DOWN
33 31 SelfPublishBooks/Lettertec IRELAND FSP 287.44 DOWN
34 32 Wheatmark Publishing USA FSP 284.9 DOWN
35 33 Apex Publishing UK PUB/FSP 284.36 DOWN
36 40 The Choir Press UK/USA FSP 283.23 UP
37 35 Wasteland Press USA FSP 283.21 DOWN
38 36 Cold River Studio USA FSP 282.63 DOWN
39 34 Acorn Independent Press UK FSP 281.72 DOWN
40 39 Grosvenor House Publishing UK FSP 281.23 DOWN
41 37 iUniverse USA FSP 280.64 DOWN
42 38 Outskirts Press USA FSP 280.12 DOWN
43 41 Authoright UK/USA FSP 276.22 DOWN
44 42 Americas Press USA PRT 276.04 DOWN
45 46 Janus Publishing UK FSP 275.32 UP
46 44 Tate Publishing USA PUB/ASP 274.77 DOWN
47 43 Pumbo EUROPE DIY 274.74 DOWN
48 47 Telemachus Press USA FSP 274.42 DOWN
49 45 Xulon Press USA FSP 273.98 DOWN
50 49 FastPencil USA DIY 269.23 DOWN
51 48 PubliBook EUROPE DIY 269.02 DOWN
52 51 Llumina Press USA PUB/FSP 268.64 DOWN
53 52 A.H. Stockwell UK FSP 268.02 DOWN
54 50 Diadem Books UK/USA FSP 267.94 DOWN
55 53 Open Book Editions USA FSP 267.91 DOWN
56 57 Pyjama Press UK/EUROPE FSP 267.03 UP
57 54 Direct POD UK PRT 265.6 DOWN
58 55 Kbuuk USA DIY 265.3 DOWN
59 56 Eprint Ireland IRELAND PRT 265.24 DOWN
60 59 Book Guild Publishing UK FSP 265.2 DOWN
61 58 Abbott Press USA PUB/FSP 263.42 DOWN
62 61 True Directions USA PUB/FSP 263.23 DOWN
63 60 Original Writing IRELAND FSP 261.59 DOWN
64 62 The Book Producers IRELAND FSP 260.4 DOWN
65 63 Pomegranate Press UK/USA FSP 260.28 DOWN
66 64 AuthorHouse GLOBAL FSP 257.98 DOWN
67 67 Turning Stone Press USA FSP 257.68 SAME
68 65 Austin MacAuley UK FSP 256.69 DOWN
69 66 Better Book Company UK FSP 256.15 DOWN
70 70 Arima UK FSP 254.4 SAME
71 68 Archway Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 253.71 DOWN
72 69 UKUnpublished UK FSP 252.58 DOWN
73 74 Gemini International IRELAND PRT 246.22 UP
74 72 Trafford Publishing USA FSP 245.19 DOWN
75 73 Balboa Press GLOBAL PUB/FSP 244.98 DOWN
76 71 Xlibris GLOBAL FSP 243.9 DOWN
77 76 WestBow Press USA PUB/FSP 242.27 DOWN
78 75 Epic Press UK FSP 242.24 DOWN
79 77 Chandler Book Design UK PRT 241.87 DOWN
80 78 Choice Publishing IRELAND FSP 240.74 DOWN
81 79 Dolman Scott/Oak Press UK FSP 239.5 DOWN
82 80 Dorrance Press USA FSP 232.86 DOWN
83 82 ShopMyBook (Unibook) GLOBAL PRT 228.19 DOWN
84 81 Spire Publishing UK/USA FSP 226.45 DOWN
85 83 Spiderwize UK FSP 223.4 DOWN
86 85 Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie UK PUB/FSP 212 DOWN
87 87 Melrose Books UK FSP 208.69 SAME
88 86 Dom Tom Publishing UK/USA FSP 208.02 DOWN
89 84 PublishAmerica/America Star Books USA FSP 206.21 DOWN
90 88 Olympia Publishers UK PUB/FSP 186.96 DOWN
91 89 Raider International Pub./Green Shore GLOBAL FSP 101.67 DOWN


  • 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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