Choosing A Self Publishing Service 2013
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This guide, compiled by the Watchdog team at The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), tells you all you need to know in order to choose the self-publishing pathway that's right for you.

Drawing on recommendations from ALLi members, warnings from our Watchdog Services, other community word-of-mouth and in-depth research, the book compares twenty of the most significant self-publishing (SP) 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.

We evaluate these players, compare one to the other, tell you what they do and don’t do, what they charge and for what. Offerings are categorised, prices examined, royalty structures broken down, terms and conditions trawled, small print scrutinised, and claims checked against the experience of real-life authors who have actually used these services.

Using these twenty examples, we show you how to do such a comparison yourself: the good and bad signs to look for, the questions to ask. The aim is to demonstrate all the options you are likely to encounter and show which services are doing a good job — and why you might avoid others.

Most importantly, in a landscape where things change rapidly, the Guide provides the criteria by which you can evaluate any SP service.

This book:
~ Defines the questions you, as an aspiring (or previously burnt) self-publisher need to ask, of any service you are considering and also of yourself.
~ Introduces the basics of self-publishing ebooks and pbooks
~ Tells you the good and bad signs to look for
~ Gives each provider a rating by two different independent assessors.
~ Offers a resource pack for the indie author, including a Directory of our Partner Members, all vetted by ALLi's Code of Standards.
~ Demonstrates eight very different pathways to self-publication, including author co-operatives, crowdsourcing and agent assisted self-publishing.

This organic guide to a volatile industry is updated every twenty weeks or so, in both pbook and ebook formats, by ALLi's Watchdog team, so all the information is bang up-to-date.

It provides everything you need to know to harness the creative power and potential of self-publishing.


The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is a nonprofit professional association for self-publishing writers. Launched at London Book Fair in 2012, it is a rapidly growing, global collective with members all over the world, who meet regularly online and in small local groups, in the interest of indie author advancement, mutual co-operation and empowerment. As well encouraging ethics and excellence in self-publishing, ALLi widely advocates and campaigns for the interests of the independent author. Ben Galley and Mick Rooney, watchdogs for ALLi, have compiled this guide based on research, feedback from author members, their own consultancy work and other community feedback. Orna Ross is Director of ALLi.


Introduction by Victoria Strauss
How to Self-Publish by Orna Ross
Part One: What is Self-Publishing?
Should I Self-Publish?
Why Do I Want to Self-Publish?
The “Should I Self-Publish?” Test
About Publishing & Self-Publishing
Why Does Digital Make a Difference?
What is Publishing?
Ways to Self-Publish
Vanity Publishers
Learning by Doing
Assisted Self-Publishing
Successful Self-Publishing
Fifteen Questions
Some Pathways to Self-Publishing Success
Ebook Basics
DIY Ebook Publishing
Pbook Basics
Offset Printing
POD (Print On Demand)
To print or not to print?
Low Sales POD
A Word About Distribution
Part Two: Questions & Cautions
What to Ask a Self-Publishing Service
What to Look for in a Package Provider
Beware of the Brands
Trade Publishers
Digital Imprints
Agent-Assisted Self-Publishing
Good Signs & Bad
Good Signs
Bad Signs
Part Three: Rating the Services
The Challenges
Why These Services?
Guide to the Ratings
Archway Publishing
Authors Online
Book Country
Kindle Direct Publishing
Kobo Writing Life
Llumina Press
Lightning Source
Outskirts Press
Nook Press
United PC
Print Self-Publishing Service Index
Part Four: Resources for Self-Publishers
The Watchdog: Sounding the Alarm
Partner Member Directory, April 2013
Dos and Don’ts
ALLi Resources
Part Five: About the Contributors
Authors & Editor
About the Guide
Copyright Page


"There are sharks out there in the literary waters... This Guide gives you all the skills and information you need to comparison shop -- and if you are planning on successfully self-publishing, comparison shopping is essential ~ Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware!