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Best and Worst Self-Publishing Services Reviewed & Rated by the Alliance of Independent Authors

Introduction

Orna Ross Bio Headshot

Orna Ross, ALLi Director

The Watchdog Desk of The Alliance of Independent Authors monitors the self-publishing industry in two ways.

1. We have a Partner Membership for services which align with our Code of Standards and go through a vetting process.

2. We identify rogue services which overcharge, over-promise, under-deliver, or in any way exploit authors.

The ratings below are the opinion of the Watchdog Desk. Ratings are based on careful appraisals of multiple criteria, including pricing and value, quality of service, contract terms and rights, transparency, accountability, and customer satisfaction.

For more information on author services, and to learn how to appraise any service yourself, please see our book, How to Choose A Self-Publishing Service.

Service Ratings

Headshot of John Doppler

John Doppler

ALLi is willing to work with any service that wants to improve its offerings and bring them in line with current best practice for authors services.

Contact the Watchdog Desk at any time if you would like to inform us about a service or discuss a rating. Please use the form on this page.


Services which have been vetted and align with ALLi’s Code of Standards.
Services which behave ethically and professionally, with pricing and value in line with industry norms.
Services which do not currently align with one or more items in ALLi’s Code of Standards.
Services which fail to align with our Code of Standards, have given rise to consistent complaints and, in some cases, have been subject to legal action.


Listings updated June 23, 2017.

1
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
1106 Design (Michelle DeFilippo)

A
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Abbott Press

Author Solutions imprint

Adirondack Editing
Aegitas
AIA Editing and Publishing
Alison’s Editing Service
Alliant Press

Partnership between Alliant University and Author Solutions

Amazon (CreateSpace)

Read our comparison of Ingram Spark vs. CreateSpace, and learn how you can use both services to leverage the strengths of each.

Amazon (KDP)

Read our comparison of publishing platforms in Amazon vs. Apple

America Star Books

Formerly PublishAmerica, a vanity press with a staggering number of complaints.

Amie McCracken
Amolibros
Angela McPherson
Anthemion Software
Apple (iBooks)

Read our comparison of publishing platforms in Amazon vs. Apple

Archway Publishing

Simon & Schuster imprint outsourced to Author Solutions

Areo Books
AtlasBooks

A division of Bookmasters.

Austin Macauley
Author Accelerator
Author Connections
Author Design Studio
Author Learning Center

Owned by Author Solutions; be extremely wary of any paid services.

Author Marketing Club
Author Marketing Experts
Author Solutions

Author Solutions has been the subject of multiple class action lawsuits in the US.

Author’s Republic
AuthorHouse

Author Solutions imprint

AuthorHouse UK

Author Solutions imprint

Authoright
Averill Buchanan

B
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Bakerview Consulting
Balboa Press

Hay House imprint outsourced to Author Solutions

Balboa Press UK

Hay House imprint outsourced to Author Solutions

BAM! Publish (Books-A-Million)
Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
Bargain Booksy

See our evaluation of ebook discovery services for more information.

BB EBooks
Berge Design
Better Scribe
Black Rose Writing

A history of problematic contract terms, required purchases of authors’ books, and various vanity press tactics make this publisher a no-go.

Blank Slate Communications
Blissetts
Bluebird Consulting
BlueInk Review
Book Country

Book Country is owned by Author Solutions; while the community itself is innocuous, be extremely wary of any paid services.

Book Cover Cafe
Book Create Service
Book Reality
BookBaby

Watchdog review available.

BookBub

See our evaluation of ebook discovery services for more information.

BookGarage
Bookmasters

Also operates as AtlasBooks.

Bookouture
Bookprinting.com
BookPublishing.com (Jenkins Group)
BooksGoSocial
BooksOnline.best

The latest incarnation of the serial spammers/scammers at Crystalline Noble. This site is currently flagged by Norton as a potential security risk (and rightfully so). Under no circumstances should you create an account on this site or provide them with your personal information.

BooksOnline.directory

Also operates ArtistsGallery.directory and CreativeDesignersWriters.com.

Booktango

Author Solutions imprint.

Bookupy

C
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Caliburn Press
Chanticleer Book Reviews
Choosy Bookworm
Claus Lund Rosenkilde

New service, under review

Clays
Clink Street Publishing

The “publishing” arm of Authoright.

Clio Editing Service
Coinlea Services
Completely Novel
Cre8urbrand (Jason Conway)
CreateSpace

Read our comparison of Ingram Spark vs. CreateSpace, and learn how you can use both services to leverage the strengths of each.

CreateThinkDo
CreativeDesignersWriters.com

Also operates ArtistsGallery.directory and BooksOnline.directory

Creativia
Crystalline Noble

Also operates BooksOnline.directory, ArtistsGallery.directory, and CreativeDesignersWriters.com.

D
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Daisy Editorial
Damonza.com
Daniel Goldsmith Associates
DCP

Operates msbuyer.com, a manuscript purchasing operation. Actual company name and location are unknown, but operates under the alias “DCP”.

Dead Birds
Design for Writers
Dog Ear Publishing
Draft2Digital

In-depth review available

E
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
eBook Dynasty
Ebook Launch
eBook Partnership
Ebooks Cover Design
eBooksAreForever

Review available.

Editorial.ie
Ellie Donovan PR
Ellie Stevenson

F
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
FastPencil
FCM Publishing
FindPublishingHelp.com
Fingerpress Ltd
Five Rainbows (Lisa A. Shiel)

Provides PCIP data and MARC records.

Formatting Experts
FreeBooksy

See our evaluation of ebook discovery services for more information.

Fulton Books
Fussy Librarian

See our evaluation of ebook discovery services for more information.

G
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
GABAL Global Editions

GABAL imprint outsourced to Author Solutions.

Gatekeeper Press
Get Published! LLC

Author Solutions parent company.

Girl Friday Productions
Green Ivy Publishing
Guaranteed Author (Leigh St. John)
Gunboss Books

H
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Heddon Publishing
Helen Baggott
Hillcrest Media Group / Hillcrest Publishing Group
Hobthross Ltd
Hot Pink Publishing (Carla Wynn Hall)

I
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
iBooks (Apple)

Read our comparison of publishing platforms in Amazon vs. Apple

Independent Ink
Indie Authors World
Indie Writer Support

Also operates ParaDon Books, ReadersBooks.info.

IndieBookLauncher
Infinity Publishing
IngramSpark

Read our comparison of Ingram Spark vs. CreateSpace, and learn how you can use both services to leverage the strengths of each.

Inkitt
Inkshares
Inkslinger Editing
Inkwater
Inkyeverafterpress
IPR License
iUniverse

Author Solutions imprint.

I_AM Self-Publishing

J
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
JD Smith Design
Jenkins Group
Jessica Bell
John Hawkins Design

K
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Katharine D’Souza
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP, Amazon)

Read our comparison of publishing platforms in Amazon vs. Apple.

Kirkus / Kirkus Indie

Although Kirkus behaves ethically, the Watchdog Desk has concerns about some aspects of their service. Read Jim Giammatteo’s two-part analysis here and here.

Kitsap Publishing
Kobo
KT Editing (Katherine Trail)

L
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Language + Literary Translations
Lateral Action (Marc McGuinness)
Lawston Design
Library Cat Editing Services
LifeRich Publishing

Reader’s Digest imprint outsourced to Author Solutions.

ListenUp Indie
LitFire Publishing

Vanity press with connections to Author Solutions employees and allegations of deceptive practices. See Writer Beware for additional information.

Llumina Press
Lucy Ridout Editorial Services
Lulu

Review available.

M
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Mark Dawson (Self Publishing Formula)
Matador Publishing
megustaescribir

Owned by Penguin Random House, outsourced to Author Solutions.

Mill City Press
Month9Books (Georgia McBride Media Group)

Allegations of failure to pay authors, accounting chaos, unprofessional behavior, and at least one lawsuit.

MorainesEdgeBooks.com
More Visual (TheBookCoverDesigners.com)
MSBuyer.com

Manuscript buyer operating under the initials “DCP”. Actual company name and location are unknown.

My Book Cave

N
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Natasha Orme
NetGalley
Nikki Busch Editing
NOOK Press

Review available.

Novel Thinking

O
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Oak Tree Publishing
One Stop Fiction
OodleBooks
Opprimo Marketing
Opuscule
Outskirts Press
OverDrive

Review available

P
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
PageMaster
Palibrio

Author Solutions imprint.

Palmetto Publishing Group
ParaDon Books

Also operates Indie Writer Support, ReadersBooks.info. David Gaughran’s experience highlights some of the concerns with this company and its principal, Korede Abayomi.

Partridge Africa

Author Solutions imprint.

Partridge India

Author Solutions imprint.

Partridge Singapore

Author Solutions imprint.

Pauline Montagna Manuscript Services
Payhip
Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Publishers
PeopleSpeak (Sharon Goldinger)
Perfect the Word
Peters Fraser and Dunlop
PickFu
Pix Bee Design
Pixel Tweaks Publications
PJ Boox
Pronoun

In-depth review available.

ProofProfessor (Matt Rance)

Additional information available.

Publish Green
PublishDrive
Published.com

R
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Raider Publishing

Numerous complaints.

Rancho Park Publishing
Read Out Loud
Readers in the Know
ReadersBooks.info

Also operates ParaDon Books, Indie Writer Support.

Reedsy
Rethink Press
Reviewers for Books
Rob Siders (52 Novels)
Robin Ludwig Design (gobookcoverdesign.com)/
Rocket Science Productions / RSP Marketing Services

“Phase One” of this vanity press scheme involves a $595 payment for copyright registration and an ISBN. See our article on potentially worthless services marketed to indie authors.

Rosenkilde & Bahnhof (Claus Lund Rosenkilde)

New service, under review

S
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
S & H Publishing
Sally Vince Editorial Services
Sarah Kolb-Williams
Scarlett Rugers Book Design Agency
Scotforth Books

Scotforth Books is an imprint of Carnegie Publishing.

Scribd

Scribd has a rocky history with regards to piracy and their subscription services, but these complaints do not extend to their interactions with authors.

Seenapse
Self Publishing Formula (Mark Dawson)
SELF-e

Review available.

Serious Reading
Shakspeare Editorial
SilverWood Books
Smashwords
Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)
Standoutbooks
Stergiou Ltd
Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA, Robert Fletcher)

SBPRA has been the subject of multiple alerts at Writer Beware, and has been the subject of legal action compelling them to repay $125,000.00 to authors.

Sweek.com
Swift Publishing
Swoon Romance (Georgia McBride Media Group)

See Month9Books for additional information.

T
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Tantrum Books (Georgia McBride Media Group)

See Month9Books for additional information.

Tate Publishing

“Thumbs Down” assessment from SFWA. Tate is the subject of at least one lawsuit. Numerous complaints filed with consumer protection agencies.

Terry Gilbert-Fellows (Blackheath Dawn)
The Book Designer (Joel Friedlander)
The Creative Penn (Joanna Penn)
The Literary Consultancy
The Pen Factor
The Soulful Pen (Carla Wynn Hall)
Thomson-Shore
Tom Evans, Bookwright
Trafford Publishing

Author Solutions imprint.

U
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Upgrade Your Story

V
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Voyage Media

W
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
Wendy Toole Editorial
WestBow Press

Thomas Nelson & Zondervan imprint outsourced to Author Solutions.

Where Writers Win
Whitefox Publishing Services
Woman Safe Health
Wordclay

Author Solutions imprint.

WriteIndia, aka Times of India

Allegations of contract manipulation.

Writers.Support

Another alias for the serial spammers/scammers at Crystalline Noble, accused by several individuals of identity theft and credit card fraud.

Writing.ie
Written Word Media

X
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
XinXii
Xlibris

Author Solutions imprint.

Xlibris AU

Author Solutions imprint.

Xlibris NZ

Author Solutions imprint.

Xlibris UK

Author Solutions imprint.

Xulan Press

Y
Service Provider ALLi Watchdog Rating Notes
York Publishing Services


Disclaimer

The assessments listed on this page are the opinion of the ALLi Watchdog Desk. Authorized representatives of the companies listed above are welcome to contact us to request information on ALLi’s assessment process, or to present additional information for our consideration.

Is there a service you’re wondering about that’s not on our list? Let us know so we can evaluate it.


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Updated annually and drawing on recommendations from ALLi members, warnings from our Watchdog Services, community word-of-mouth and in-depth research, How To Choose A Self-Publishing Service compares the most significant self-publishing services, from single service suppliers to package providers; from large big brand names to smaller sole traders; from off-the shelf providers to bespoke services.


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