Publisher's Rank
 

Publishing doesn't have to be a guessing game. We conducted a side by side comparison on the top POD and eBook publishers. We also provide you with actual customer rankings in categories that we know are important to you, such as customer service, quality, and the best bang for your buck.

2017 RANKINGS

 

Top Rankings 2017

  1. First Edition Design Publishing
  2. Books2Go
  3. Due to the investigation and class action against Author House, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris and other Pearson companies - we are eliminating them from this ranking. We apologize for any inconvenience that their removal has caused, and we plan on re-evaluating the publishers for our 2018 ranking.

 

   
Click here for our review of POD Publishers

Let's take a look at EBOOK Publishing

What to look for when self-publishing an ebook:

First priority should be

  • Range of Distribution
  • Technical Ability
  • Customer Service

Secondary (but still very important)

  • Price
  • Royalty Rate
  • Services Included
  • Services Offered
  • File Submission Flexibility
 
Company Name
User Friendly Web site
Year Started in Business
Pre Publishing Help Available
Response Time of email Request
Talk to a Human with ease
Marketing Services
Customer Base
Time Lapse before Your Book Shows on Amazon
 
Book Baby
***
2010
YES
up to 2 days
YES
NO
USA
< two weeks
Bookmasters^^
**
1972
NO
up to 3 days
NO
YES
Worldwide
n/a
Ebooks2Go
***
2004
YES
up to 1 day
YES
NO
USA
< two weeks
First Edition Design Publishing^^
*****
1986
YES
up to 1 day
YES
YES
Worldwide
< one week
Lulu^^
***
1995
NO
up to 1 week
NO
NO
Worldwide
up to 4 weeks
Outskirts Press^^
**
2002
NO
up to 1 day
NO
YES
USA
up to 8 weeks
PublishingGreen
*****
2009
YES
up to 1 day
YES
YES
USA
up to 8 weeks
Smashwords
***
2005
NO
up to 3 days
NO
NO
Worldwide
n/a
 
Company Name
Range of Distribution
Technical Ability
Price
Services Included
Royalty Rate Retained
File Submission Flexibility
Customer Satisfaction Rating
Our Overall Recommendation
 
Book Baby
***+
***
218.00
**
0
Doc or TXT
***
70
Bookmasters^^
*+
**
495.00
**
varies
DOC
****
75
Ebooks2Go
*****
*****
383.00
****
10%
Any
***
90
First Edition Design Publishing^^
***** ++
*****
199.00
*****
0
Any
*****
100
Lulu^^
**
*
FREE
**
10%
DOC or RTF
***
60
Outskirts Press^^
***
**
1097.00
**
0
DOC or WP
*
60
PublishingGreen
****+
***
1040.60
***
0
Any
*****
80
Smashwords
**
*
Free
*
15%
Word 2003
*
60
 

^^ Offers POD / PRINT Service as well as eBook Service

Notes -

  1. User friendly web site - based on ease of use to move around, get quick answers, transparency of company, professional layout
  2. Year started in business - self explanatory
  3. Pre-publishing help - how much help is the company willing to give you before you place an order. Booklets, Phone - Email.
  4. Response time of email request - we sent 3 emails at 3 different times requesting information. This shows the average time of response.
  5. Talk to a human with ease - self explanatory
  6. Marketing services - we wanted to know if the company assists or sells services to help with marketing you book.
  7. Customer base - we wanted to know if the customer base only served the USA or was truly a worldwide company.
  8. Time lapse in production - the average time the company commits to in having a title go live with Amazon.
  9. Range of Distribution includes Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Google. Publishers received one star for each of the top 5 Retailers - for a total of 5 stars. Plus marks are used (+) If company distributes above and beyond.
  10. Technical Ability is ranked with 1 - 5 stars and is determined by company certifications, years in business and quality of work
  11. Price - we used the standard cost that a customer would pay to have their title processed by the publisher. Please refer to the other catagories reviewed to review what is included in that pricing.
  12. Services included for a Standard Submission - the basic part of submission should include 5 main components and we used a ranking of 1 - 5 stars, one star for each component. This is based on a company's standard pricing, including an ISBN, formatting of various file types, converting files to various file types needed and distribution to to major distribution points - Apple, Sony, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google. We felt these are the basic components to a good standard submission.
  13. Royalty Retained - the amount the Company keeps or charges you against your royalty before giving you your share, after the retailer takes their share / discount rate.
  14. File Flexibility - this addresses if a company will work with any file type, adds an extra charge, or has zero flexibility.
  15. Customer satisfaction rating - this is based from online testimonials good and bad, online professional reviews of company, and personal random interviews with clients. *Poor, **Fair, ***Good, ****Very Good, *****Excellent.
  16. Overall - 1 - 100 points was awarded to each company based on the criteria in our chart.

*** There are many companies that offer eBook services, however if they didn't meet a certain reasonable level of service we did not include them in our chart. We reviewed 48 companies and picked the top 10.

Please conduct your due diligence when choosing a company to represent your title. We mention this as our research showed findings that some of the companies did have various lawsuits pending. We chose not to highlight these suits due to any liability issues that may arise and these suits are still pending to our knowledge. We do not endorse any company listed above, and companies that we chose not to list failed to meet a minimum criteria in several areas. We highly recommend when choosing a company to represent your title that is not on our list, please proceed with caution.

Simple one paragraph overview of company to help explain either our results or provide information that is not listed in the charts above. -
AuthorHouse - Due to the investagation and class action against Author House, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris and other Pearson companies - we are eliminating them from this ranking.
BookBaby - BookBaby is the new kid on the block. They are limited in services and ability. The aspect that added them to the contenders was the new cool customer dashboard feature. Although they claim "worlds largest distribution" we found this to be a false claim.
Bookmasters - While BookBaby is the new kid on the block, Bookmasters is the Granddaddy. Bookmasters is set in their way, however they are making an effort to come into the current year. We found them to be very cautious of what information they provide on their web site. ebooks are not their main line, POD is their bread and butter. Bookmasters tends to deal with larger clients only. We just didn't get the impression they were ebook savvy yet. However if you want to buy 1000 or more copies of a title, this is the place to be.
Books2Go - Books2Go ranked number 2. They are exactly what they clam to be. Lots of little add on fees to get to a standard format and standard distribution. Although they may not have the perfect package for standard ebooks they do offer an enhanced ebook format and ebook apps. Their enhanced ebook format is a little pricey, but that is their niche. So if you have a ton of footnotes and you are not willing to make them into endnotes - Books2Go is the answer.
First Edition Design Publishing - We love First Edition Design Publishing. They scored the highest consistently in every category. A few words kept popping up as we investigated them - integrity, professional and their clients all chanted the same motto - "they cared about my book". The biggest advantage to First Edition Design Publishing is they have the largest distribution stream worldwide and unmatched customer service. Thier claim to the largest distribution is true. - they ranked Number 1
Lulu - Lulu fell close to the bottom due to not having any real checks and balances in play. The quality of the file in are the quality of the files out. Their distribution is very limited. They do offer a Free service and a Paid Service. The paid service will get you a better ePub than their Free service. We also did not like that you have to register with them to access their forums. The forums is where you are directed to get any questions answered. We felt like everything was a big secret.
Outskirts Press - Every company on this list has obtained customers from Outskirts Press from time to time due to bad experiences. Outskirts subs all their work out and we are not even sure if they have one employee. Talking with them took up to two weeks. Ebooks are not their forte - they have grown from their POD. They have a long way to go in the ebook market. The royalty rate bothered us at Outskirts. They claim not to take any royalties, however they have the lowest payout in the industry. We just do not understand.
Publishing Green - Technically a very good company. They have the highest pricing in the industry, limited distribution and lots of add on fees on top of their already extremely high pricing. Any little thing outside the norm - they have a fee for it. Their marketing efforts are to compare themselves with Smashwords - down to them saying "no meat grinders here" We did not include all their add-on pricing in order to keep things unified throughout this study.
Smashwords - Smashwords provides a great free service for all books, even if the book contains just one page or one recipe. They publish everything. Their distribution is very limited. At first we were under the impression that they did distribute to Amazon, until we dug a lot deeper and discovered they do not. They have zero flexibility in their service, you have to supply a perfectly formatted word doc, then their system converts your file to an epub. We were very disappointed to see how their cruncher/grinder actually crunches and grinds your files - they were far from perfect. This is a good service if you absolutely have no money, do not care about how your file turns out and fine with the fact that no human ever looks at your file.
Xlibris - Due to the investagation and class action against Author House, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris and other Pearson companies - we are elimination them from this ranking.
 
This site is for informational purposes only. It serves to compare the leading self-publishers. This study was independently conducted. Please visit any of the above mentioned companies for additional information.
 
Study was researched and compiled by the PMG Associates, an independent research firm. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ©2012 PublisherRank.com