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Self-Publishing Services Watchdog

When setting out to self-publish, authors can very quickly become overwhelmed or misled.

Some services are run by people who are knowledgeable, dedicated, helpful and fair; others are clueless, greedy, callous or manipulative.

In an unregulated marketplace, where the same service can cost $500 against $15,000, for pretty much the same thing, depending on where you shop; where useless services are sold at inflated prices; where one large operation with many imprints, and controversial practices dominate the information stream, how do you know who to trust?

Self-Publishing Services Watchdog

Head of ALLi’s Watchdog Desk John Doppler

The Alliance of Independent Authors offers a number of services that can help, through our Watchdog Desk, headed up by self-publisher, John Doppler, author of How To Choose A Self-Publishing Service.

Self-Publishing Services Watchdog: ALLi Partner Members

 Partner Membership, is our association’s attempt to offer a trustworthy guide to the global author services sector.

Each service listed here has been vetted by our Watchdog team and adheres to ALLi’s Code of Standards.

“After a company or individual signs up as a Partner Member,” says John, “our Watchdog desk begins an assessment process, to ensure its approach, customer service and pricing complies with ALLi guidelines. If there are any questions or issues arising, we get in touch to discuss proposed adjustments to the service. Should the service fail to satisfy the assessment process, for whatever reason, fees are refunded and membership reversed.”

Self-publishing service companies applying to join our alliance are vetted against a range of criteria, including customer service and value for money, and the decision to confirm Partner Membership is based on many factors, depending on the type of service offered.

We rely on our own assessment, feedback from ALLi Advisors and the wider author community, Internet research and sometimes mystery shopping to make our evaluations.

self-publishing services watchdog

ALLi Resources Director Philip Lynch

Considerations include:

  • Do business practices comply with the ALLi Code of Standards? (
  • Does the service have connections to businesses that fail to comply or have previously been denied Partner Membership?
  • Are rates appropriate to service level, reach and reputation?
  • Is the business presentation contemporary, professional and reflective of the service being offered. (Editors – is your copy scrupulously edited? Designers – does your website look good and work well?)
  • Are there positive testimonials from credible author clients?
  • Only services we believe are doing a good job for authors are admitted as Partner Members.”


Self-Publishing Services Watchdog: Partner Member Database

We connect our author members with the best author services available through the Partner Search facility in our Members Zone

Self-Publishing Services Watchdog: Partner Member Directory

We produce a quarterly updated Partner Member Directory, which lists Partner Services under the headings of Writing, Editorial, Design, Production, Distribution, Marketing and promotion, Rights Licensing and Author Business.

Self-Publishing Services Watchdog: Ratings

The watchdog desk rates other self-publishing services also, not just Partner Members. We also assess awards and contests for authors (see above menu).

Self-Publishing Services Watchdog: Authors

We want to hear from you about services and awards. If you have feedback, please email John:
Send Mail All communicationsare strictly confidential.

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