Publishing Service Index: November/December 2015

indexDec_2015This is the PUBLISHING SERVICE INDEX for November/December and will be the last published update of 2015. IngramSpark looks to have won the seesaw battle with CreateSpace that marked the index over the past six months. The Ingram-owned publishing platform has returned to the top, but with a wider margin than we have seen for some time. Recently rolled out new features appear to have swung the balance in its favour. But perhaps the most significant news this month is Smashwords moving into third above Amazon’s KDP. Smashwords announced last week that the flipkart catalogue will now become part of its own distribution channel.


Lightning Source continues its gradual slow slide, slipping one place to seventh. Another eye-catcher is Lulu’s slip of four place to 19th.


I noted last month that the title output of a number of full service providers (FSP) had decreased in output. Figures over the past few weeks have returned to what I would consider average. I expected something of a recovery given the approaching holiday period and authors and providers alike are eager to publish titles this side of Christmas and the new year. I suspect output will fall again in January. 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. 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.
1 2 IngramSpark GLOBAL PRT/FUL 744.64 UP
2 1 CreateSpace USA DIY/FSP 731.68 DOWN
3 4 Smashwords USA DIY 692.69 UP
4 3 Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) GLOBAL DIY 687.85 DOWN
5 5 Matador UK FSP 631.91 SAME
6 7 Mill City Press/Hillcrest Media USA PUB/FSP 569.99 UP
7 6 Lightning Source (Direct) GLOBAL PRT/FUL 568.57 DOWN
8 8 Kobo Writing Life GLOBAL DIY 563.67 SAME
9 9 SilverWood Books UK FSP 546.92 SAME
10 10 Blurb GLOBAL DIY 513.79 SAME
11 11 BookLocker USA FSP 471.3 SAME
12 12 Draft2Digital UK/USA DIY 463.98 SAME
13 13 Epigraph Publishing Service USA FSP 444.95 SAME
14 14 Dog Ear Publishing USA FSP 433.34 SAME
15 18 USA PRT/FUL 432.03 UP
16 17 Bookbaby USA DIY/FSP 430.55 UP
17 16 Publish Green GLOBAL FSP 429.58 DOWN
18 19 Thomson-Shore USA PRT/FSP 425.95 UP
19 15 Lulu GLOBAL DIY/FSP 425.02 DOWN
20 21 Pressbook USA DIY 408.48 UP
21 20 Unbound UK PUB/CRW 408.24 DOWN
22 22 York Publishing Services UK PRT/FULL 398.77 SAME
23 24 Mijn Bestseller EUROPE DIY 396.18 UP
24 23 John Hunt Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 395.38 DOWN
25 25 CPI UK Antony Rowe EUROPE PRT 388.28 SAME
26 26 Wingspan USA FSP 385.05 SAME
27 27 eBookIT GLOBAL DIY/FSP 376.43 SAME
28 28 Aventine USA FSP 373.61 SAME
29 31 Cold River Studio USA FSP 371.02 UP
30 29 Checkpoint Press IRELAND PUB/FSP 367.93 DOWN
31 30 Wheatmark Publishing USA FSP 367.05 DOWN
32 32 VirtualBookVorm USA FSP 366.58 SAME
33 33 SelfPublishBooks/Lettertec IRELAND FSP 366.53 SAME
34 34 Book Country GLOBAL FSP 359.85 SAME
35 40 Google Play Books GLOBAL DIY 359.6 UP
36 35 Infinity Publishing USA FSP 358.96 DOWN
37 36 Grosvenor House Publishing UK FSP 356.31 DOWN
38 38 The Choir Press UK/USA FSP 353.93 SAME
39 39 Wasteland Press USA FSP 353.75 SAME
40 37 Acorn Independent Press UK FSP 353.58 DOWN
41 42 FastPencil USA DIY 352.71 UP
42 41 Apex Publishing UK PUB/FSP 352.71 DOWN
43 43 Americas Press USA PRT 352.63 SAME
44 44 Tate Publishing USA PUB/ASP 348.24 SAME
45 49 Book Guild Publishing UK FSP 347.61 UP
46 48 Telemachus Press USA FSP 346.75 UP
47 45 Pumbo EUROPE DIY 346.43 DOWN
48 46 Xulon Press USA FSP 344.92 DOWN
49 50 Authoright UK/USA FSP 343.03 UP
50 47 Outskirts Press USA FSP 342.91 DOWN
51 51 Janus Publishing UK FSP 342.38 SAME
52 52 Kazoo Publishing Services IRELAND FSP 338.63 SAME
53 54 Open Book Editions USA FSP 338.51 UP
54 53 A.H. Stockwell UK FSP 337.22 DOWN
55 60 Llumina Press USA PUB/FSP 337.19 UP
56 55 Diadem Books UK/USA FSP 334.23 DOWN
57 56 Pyjama Press UK/EUROPE FSP 333.62 DOWN
58 57 iUniverse USA FSP 333.48 DOWN
59 61 PubliBook EUROPE DIY 333.03 UP
60 58 Kbuuk USA DIY 331.93 DOWN
61 59 Direct POD UK PRT 331.71 DOWN
62 62 Eprint Ireland IRELAND PRT 329.44 SAME
63 63 True Directions USA PUB/FSP 327.56 SAME
64 64 Original Writing IRELAND FSP 326.83 SAME
65 65 Abbott Press USA PUB/FSP 324.09 SAME
66 66 Pomegranate Press UK/USA FSP 324.06 SAME
67 67 The Book Producers IRELAND FSP 323.65 SAME
68 68 Arima UK FSP 322.8 SAME
69 69 Better Book Company UK FSP 319.62 SAME
70 70 Turning Stone Press USA FSP 319.49 SAME
71 71 UKUnpublished UK FSP 317.55 SAME
72 72 Archway Publishing GLOBAL PUB/FSP 312.32 SAME
73 73 Gemini International IRELAND PRT 308.62 SAME
74 74 Chandler Book Design UK PRT 302.06 SAME
75 76 Dolman Scott/Oak Press UK FSP 301.48 UP
76 77 Choice Publishing IRELAND FSP 300.1 UP
77 78 WestBow Press USA PUB/FSP 300 UP
78 75 Austin MacAuley UK FSP 299.71 DOWN
79 79 Epic Press UK FSP 297.88 SAME
80 80 Balboa Press GLOBAL PUB/FSP 295.7 SAME
81 82 AuthorHouse GLOBAL FSP 294.87 UP
82 81 Trafford Publishing USA FSP 293.61 DOWN
83 83 Dorrance Press USA FSP 287.12 SAME
84 84 ShopMyBook (Unibook) GLOBAL PRT 283.38 SAME
85 85 Spiderwize UK FSP 277.95 SAME
86 86 Spire Publishing UK/USA FSP 275.24 SAME
87 87 Xlibris GLOBAL FSP 269.44 SAME
88 90 PublishAmerica/America Star Books USA FSP 252.17 UP
89 89 Melrose Books UK FSP 251.66 SAME
90 88 Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie UK PUB/FSP 251.64 DOWN
91 91 Dom Tom Publishing UK/USA FSP 251.01 SAME
92 92 Olympia Publishers UK PUB/FSP 206.92 SAME
93 93 Raider International Pub./Green Shore GLOBAL FSP 119.29 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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