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 biggest bang for your buck.

 

2016 RANKINGS

 

Top Rankings 2016

  1. First Edition Design Publishing
  2. CreateSpace
  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 their removal has caused, and we plan on re-evaluating the publishers for our 2017 ranking.
   
Click here for our review of EBOOK Publishers

Let's take a look at POD Publishing - Very Similar to Ebook Findings with a few extra important categories

What to look for when self-publishing an POD / PRINT Book:

First priority should be

  • Range of Distribution
  • Technical Ability
  • Customer Service

Secondary (but still very important)

  • Price
  • Royalty Rate
  • Services Included
  • Services Offered
  • Author Copy Price
 

We used a standard of a typical 6 x 9 Perfect Bound, 250 pages with 5 Author Copies. We only evaluated POD with distribution - not PRINTER ONLY COMPANIES

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
Turn Around Time
 
Bookmasters
*
1972
NO
up to 3 days
NO
YES
USA, CAN
4 - 7 months
First Edition Design Publishing
*****
1986
YES
up to 1 day
YES
YES
Worldwide
< two weeks
Outskirts Press
***
2002
NO
up to 1 day
NO
YES
USA
1 - 3 months
                 
CreateSpace
**
2007
NO
up to 3 days
YES
YES
Worldwide
< 6 weeks
                 
Lulu
**
2002
YES
up to 1 day
YES
YES
Worldwide
up to 7 weeks
Virtual Book Worm
***
2003
NO
up to 14 days
NO
YES
Worldwide
up to 8 weeks
RoseDog
*
1920
NO
up to 3 days
NO
NO
Worldwide
2 - 4 months
Company Name
Range of Distribution
Price for standard lowest advertised Package
Price for standard highest advertised Package
Royalty Rate Retained After Net
EST Net to Author 250pp, 6x9, $15.95
File Submission Flexibility
Color Interior Accepted
Number of Size Options
Bookmasters
IN, BT ++
964.00
2064.00
50%
1.28
DOC
NO
18
First Edition Design Publishing
IN, BT ++
599.00
599.00
*4.25%
3.92
Any
YES
24
Outskirts Press
IN and BT
798.00
1099.00
44% - 50%
.05 - 1.05
DOC or WP
YES
14
CreateSpace
IN, BT+
726.00
4853.00
40% - 60%
2.53
PDF
YES
15
Lulu
IN
729.00
4949.00
20%
2.94
PDF
YES
10
Virtual Book Worm
IN and BT
360.00
1950.00
50%
.39 - 1.58
DOC or RTF
YES
7
RoseDog
None
890.00
1980.00
88%
1.91
ANY
YES
ANY
Company Name
Editing Services
ISBN
LCCN
Author Copy Cost
Active Social Media
Returns Option
Customer Satisfaction Rating
Our Overall Recommendation
Bookmasters
NO
315.00
150.00
7.95
NO
NO
****
80
First Edition Design Publishing
YES
included
included
6.15
YES
YES
*****
100
Outskirts Press
YES
99.00
99.00
7.85
NO
YES - 499.00
***
75
CreateSpace
YES
99.00
49.00
5.44
YES
NO
****
90
Lulu
YES
99.00
NO
9.50
YES
NO
**
65
Virtual Book Worm
YES
included
75.00
6.40
NO
YES - 500.00
***
75
RoseDog
YES
included
included
9.57
NO
YES
****
80

**Author Solutions owns - Trafford, Author House, iUniverse and XLibris **Bookmasters is Atlas Books **RoseDog is Dorrance Publishing

Notes -

  1. After reading our ebook comparison, we feel no real explanation is needed for the categories we researched and ranked in the POD area.
  2. IN = Ingram, BT = Baker & Taylor, ++ - Beyond IN and BT

*** There are many companies that offer POD/Print 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. -
 
Bookmasters - Bookmasters is the Granddaddy. Bookmasters is set in their way, however they are making an effort to come into the current year. There POD is a little confusing as to whether it is run by Atlas Books or Bookmasters. We found them to be very cautious of what information they provide on their web site. Pricing is still somewhat of a mystery and there doesn't seem to be a solid formula in place. A company in business as long of Bookmasters must be doing something right, or they are just the ole dinosaur trying to keep up. We opted to think they are trying to keep up. Things are still done old school and they require their clients to buy a ton of books and charge to warehouse them on your behalf for a pretty penny. If you read their contract and pay their high fees, you do get exactly what you are contracting for. They have a very high customer satisfaction rating. They may not be the best overall for POD - however they deserve a mention and they do have value if you fit into their business mold.
First Edition Design Publishing - First Edition Design Publishing scored the highest consistently in every category again in the POD area. We really think First Edition Design Publishing purposely took all the negatives in the publishing industry and learned how to build a company the right way. Great pricing and the best distribution. One thing that really stood out with them in gathering client feedback was that they care about the books that go out through the distribution stream. You just get the feeling that they want your book to be the best - you are just not a number. (preaches their clients over and over) Their clients love them and we couldn't find anything negative, we tried.They do advertise a ZERO royalty retained, but do take a mere 4.25% of the net royalty as an administration fee to cover accounting fees to correlate royalty payments and send out payments - First Edition Design Publishing ranked Number 1
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. The overall feeling was non-professionalism. The first email back from their support team had misspelled words and incorrect grammar. That worried us a little - but not enough to lower their ranking. What lowered their ranking was very low royalty rates, net to author and customer satisfaction.
 
Lulu - Lulu fell close to the bottom due to not having any real checks and balances in play. The quality of the file in is the quality of the files out. Their distribution is very limited. They do offer a Free service and a Paid Service. POD service is very expensive and you are not really getting anything for your money. It is your file you submit no one reviews it and it goes out as is, only to Ingram. No value with this company. They are only getting their business from the unknowing. Lots of customer regrets / buyers remorse here.
CreateSpace - We have to give credit where credit is due to some degree. Amazon has done a nice job with their POD, but far from perfected as what you would expect from Amazon. On the surface everything appears free - however it is not. Their pricing, royalty rate and net to author are not within normal limits. Customer satisfaction rating is high. The consistent negative with CreateSpace was their printing quality seems to be below par. If you have an average book, don't care too much about quality, limited distribution (although it is Amazon), Create Space needs to be your choice. This is the company to use if you feel you can do everything yourself. If you cannot do everything yourself, your tab will skyrocket. In conducting our research and talking with CreateSpace clients the demographics of personalities threw us off a little. The mainstream - average person seems to be the clientele here and they are satisfied. We ranked CreateSpace Number 2
 
Virtual Book Worm - This company was easy. Nothing jumped at us neither negative or positive. They just exist. Their royalty rate could be better and instead of multiple add on components that didn't make much sense to us - they should just delete them from their system.
RoseDog - We had to rank RoseDog Number 4. You have to love this company. They have been around since 1920 and have really made an effort to evolve. They hands down have the worse web site - but there is something to be said for that; they are one of the most honest companies, nothing to hide and we didn't have to spend an hour to find out of the ISBN and LCCN were included - and they are!! Their pricing is very high and they have close to zero distribution - however it is nice to see a company who has been in business go though the scrutiny we put them through and came up with ZERO complaints and nothing negative. Customers are happy.
 
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