We get it. You want the best self-publishing services but there are a lot of companies out there, offering assistance, tools and technology across the seven processes of publishing.
Some deliver outstanding products and results, others overcharge, over-promise and under-deliver, and some even knowingly exploit authors. How can you know who to trust?
The Watchdog Desk at the Alliance of Independent Authors monitors the self-publishing industry in two ways.
1. We have a Partner Membership for services that align with our Code of Standards and go through a vetting process. Partners are included in ALLi's service directory and member database.
2. John Doppler, head of ALLi's Watchdog Desk and author of Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Services for You, rates the best self-publishing services (and some of the worst) below. ALLi Watchdog ratings are based on careful appraisals of multiple criteria: pricing and value, quality of service, contract terms and rights, transparency, accountability, and customer satisfaction.
The Best Self-Publishing Services and the Worst: Rated
Please note: All the ratings below reflect the opinion of the ALLi watchdog desk after careful research and consideration. ALLi is willing to work with any self-publishing service that wants to align with current best practice.Watch out for risky #selfpub services! Our watchdog rates hundreds of publishing services for #IndieAuthors. Ratings list compiled and maintained by @johndoppler Click To Tweet
The Best Self-Publishing Services: Buy Our Book
You may also be interested in our book, Choosing The Best Self-Publishing Companies and Services for You by John Doppler. This book covers every service an author might need, across the seven processes of publishing–together with information about hiring and firing a service, contract advice, and how to protect yourself if things go wrong. Plus a methodology that allows you to assess any service yourself.
(Free download for ALLi Members)
Contact ALLi's Watchdog Desk at any time if you would like to inform us about a service or discuss a rating.
Excellent (Partner Member)
|Services that have been vetted and align with ALLi's Code of Standards.|
|Services that behave ethically and professionally, with pricing and value in line with industry norms.|
|Services that are ethical but fall short of ALLi's Code of Standards in specific areas.|
|Services that do not currently align with ALLi's Code of Standards.|
|Services that fail to align with ALLi's Code of Standards, are the subject of consistent complaints and, in some cases, have been subject to legal action.|
|ABBOTTPRESS||Abbott Press||warning||Quality, Value, Service, Communication, Transparency, Marketing, Legal||Author Solutions imprint|
|TAHLIANEWLAND||Tahlia Newland Editing||partner||Editing|
|ALISON'SEDIT||Alison's Editing Service||partner||Editing, Ghostwriting|
|ALLIANTPRESS||Alliant Press||warning||Quality, Value, Service, Communication, Transparency, Marketing, Legal||Partnership between Alliant University and Author Solutions|
|AMAZON(KDP)||Amazon (KDP)||partner||Read our comparison of publishing platforms in Amazon vs. Apple||Distribution, Retail|
|AMERICASTARB||America Star Books||warning||Quality, Value, Service, Communication, Transparency, Marketing, Legal||Formerly PublishAmerica, a vanity press with a staggering number of complaints.|
|MCCRACKEN||Amie McCracken||pass||Editing, Formatting, Publishing Packages|
Self-Publishing Services: Concerns
The following features are used to assess services. The issues listed for each concern are illustrative examples only, and may not apply to a specific service provider. When assessing any service yourself, these are the features to keep in mind.
- Quality: substandard work; ineffective services, such as marketing that does not generate sales
- Value: excessive fees for the type or quality of services rendered
- Communication: does not keep the client informed at all stages of work; does not respond to customer inquiries
- Transparency: does not disclose important information about the service; obfuscates fees; provides vague descriptions of services
- Service: abusive or rude interactions with clients; does not meet deadlines; does not fulfill promises
- Marketing: high-pressure sales; overhyped services; unsolicited email, phone calls, and other forms of spam
- Practices: unprofessional or unethical conduct; violations of third-party terms of service
- Legal: may have been the target of lawsuits or criminal investigations
- Contract: rights grabs; vague language; termination fees or other contract terms that work to the author's disadvantage
Best Self-Publishing Services: Disclaimer
The assessments listed on this page are the opinion of the ALLi Watchdog Desk. Authorized representatives of the companies listed 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 of best self-publishing services? Or been let down by a service and you want to alert other authors? Let us know so we can evaluate it.
Watch out for risky #selfpub services! Our watchdog rates hundreds of services for #IndieAuthors. Ratings list compiled and maintained by @johndoppler Click To Tweet
Drawing on recommendations and warnings from ALLi members, team and advisors and featuring ALLi partner members, Choosing The Best Self-Publishing Companies and Services for You is authored by John Doppler, head of ALLi's Watchdog desk. This publishing guide for authors covers every service across the seven processes of publishing–together with information about hiring and firing a service, contract advice, and how to protect yourself if things go wrong. Plus a methodology that allows you to assess any service yourself. (Available free, along with a range of other guidebooks, for ALLi members).