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self-publishing company ratings and reviews


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Orna Ross, ALLi Director

It can be tough to tell the difference between the best and worst self-publishing services. We get it. There’s a lot of choice out there and while many deliver outstanding services, products, and results, not every operator is ethical or indie-author friendly.

That’s where ALLi comes in.

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 for the best and worst self-publishing services 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 for the Best and Worst Self-Publishing Services

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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.

Excellent (Partner Member)

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, although ethical, fall short of ALLi’s Code of Standards in some areas.


Services which do not currently align with ALLi’s Code of Standards.

Watchdog Advisory

Services which fail to align with our Code of Standards, receive consistent complaints and, in some cases, have been subject to legal action.


The following codes are used to indicate the types of issues that led to a negative rating. The issues listed for each concern are illustrative examples only, and may not apply to a specific service provider.

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


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 of best and worst self-publishing services? Let us know so we can evaluate it.

Watch out for risky #selfpub services! ALLi rates hundreds of services for #IndieAuthors - by @johndoppler Click To Tweet

Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Services
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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