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Top 10 Self-Publishing Services

In today’s world of internet domination, publishing has taken a new turn. As hard as it has become to get a book published by a publisher, just as easy it is to publish the book yourself online, using one of the numerous self-publishing services on internet. Although self-publishing companies are based on the same principle, it seems that each one has a different approach to publishing, so both the services offered and the costs involved vary. If you are thinking of publishing that book, you may want to review these ten publishers listed below.

  1. Blurb

    Blurb is one of the most popular online publishers. It features an advanced software that lets you design your book by adding photos, artwork, and text. You can use ready made templates or design your own. Publishing costs start from as low as $12,95 per book, and you are not obliged to order large quantities; actually, you may order just one copy.

    For the aspiring writers, Blurb offers another cool feature; if you choose to have your book open to public, you may opt to have it sold through Blurb website.


  2. BookBaby

    One of the self-publishing pioneers, BookBaby offers book distribution to the most stores worldwide, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books and more. With their Print On Demand book distribution services, you will be able to sell your printed books in the biggest bookstores all over the world.

    Depending on the retail price of your title, and the specs of the book, most titles will generate between 10% -30% royalties. Sometimes sales will fall outside of these royalty targets depending on international currency conversion rates, the manufacturing costs associated with production of your titles, and the fluctuation in retailer distribution charges.


  3. Lulu

    Lulu claims not to be a publisher, but a digital marketplace with a vision of empowerment and accessibility. The rapid growth of this website is built on its proven ability to grab hold of the user-generated content and provide an empowering outlet for creators of all types.

    Lulu eliminates traditional entry barriers to publishing, and enables authors to bring their work directly to their audience. First, they use Lulu’s tools to format their digital content. Then they take advantage of Lulu’s dedicated marketplace to make their published work available to as many, or as few, people around the world as they like, earning 80% of all creator revenue, of which millions of dollars has already been paid out.

    The only disadvantage of Lulu is that you are obliged to use one of their templates and layouts for your book, and not your own.


  4. iUniverse

    iUniverse is not just another self-publishing service. It offers full editorial support to its authors, and provides editorial, marketing and self-publishing services authors would expect from a traditional publisher. This specialized author support comes in a variety of self-publishing packages, ranging from $599 to $4,200 depending on your budget.


  5. Xlibris

    One of the first online self-publishing companies and a pioneer in the field.  Although they offer full-colour print, Xlibris is oriented more towards traditional books, not picture books. Data Entry Service (conversion of your manuscript into digital format) costs $2,50 per page, and they offer other professional services to its authors, such as copyediting, indexing, and author alterations & corrections.

    A nice touch is that they have leather bound editions, and give you a money-back guarantee right until the end when you have to sign the author approval copy.


  6. Outskirts Press

    Outskirts Press is one of the best self-publishing companies right now. Not only are they thorough and precise, but they offer programs that start under $200. And they let you keep 100% of royalties from your book sales.

    Outskirts Press

  7. Kobo

    Kobo comes highly recommended. It isn’t just a self-publishing platform, but they also have their own e-reader device. This gives you an extra advantage, as uploading your finished book on Kobo will make your selection available to people with a Kobo device.

    However, keep in mind that Kobo not a distribution company, and you will need to take care of the marketing yourself.


  8. AuthorHouse

    Since 1997, AuthorHouse has published more than 40,000 authors, which in itself is the best referrence. They offer three different packages: Poetry Book, that starts at $399, Paperback & Hardcover and Children’s & Colour Book, that start at $599.Authors retain all rights, maintain editorial control and choose the exact selection of services that best suits their goals. AuthorHouse provides a broad array of tools and services to allow authors to make their own choices throughout the publishing process. They also provide a team of experienced professionals to guide you from pre-publication to marketing.


  9. CreateSpace

    CreateSpace is a self-publishing service for authors, musicians, and filmmakers. It is unique in that it offers the possibility to make your book in Digital Text Platform and in this format sell it in the Kindle Store. Another advantage of CreateSpace is that it is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, which makes it easy to sell your book on Amazon.


  10. IngramSpark

    IngramSpark provides access to a huge global network, and they do it in a way that gives you more market coverage with less work and at a lower cost. With their Global Connect Program, your books can be printed in destinations full of eager book fans including the U.S., Australia, and all over Europe and Asia.

    What this means for you?
    – Access to over 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools and universities—online and in stores.
    – Safe, fast, and reliable direct shipping and global delivery
    – Complete professional management of global book distribution for your print and e-books

    From print-on-demand to e-book publishing, IngramSpark gets your content to readers across the planet.


  11. Shutterfly

    Finally, if you are only looking to publish a personal photo book or a family keepsake, Shutterfly will do the job well.  They offer customized editions for Recipe Book, Travel Diary, Wedding Book, Baby Book, Pet Book, and Scrapbook. Because of their accessible rates and high quality print, they are favorite service of many professional photographers. Shutterfly also offers cards and stationary, prints, calendars, and other photo gifts.




About Dubie Bacino

Always on the lookout for new, original and innovative, Dubie loves spotting upcoming trends in cyber culture, discovering useful tools and innovative start-ups and inventions. To the Google+ crowd, she is known as the curator of stunning photography.


  1. Great info! I only tried Blurb, I’ve been playing around with it a lot but haven’t ordered anything yet… will probably make some books for Christmas though and try the other sites so I’ll be coming back to this page and letting you know how it goes;) Thanks again!

  2. Hi, don’t forget http://www.unibook.com, which is a great free self-publishing service.

  3. Interesting, did you plan to continue this article?

  4. Yes, great post. Will you be updating it in the future?

  5. Informative list. Thanks, I was looking for all this information, great to find it all in one place.

  6. Yeah, I also used Blurb before. Didn’t even know others existed. Thanks for the tip.

  7. WEbook sounds great. Wish there were more services like that one. Others are cool too, but you gotta pay. Guess that’s what self-publishing is about, huh?


    CreateSpace used to be BookSurge. But because they are a horribly inept and unethical company, they have changed the name (there was too much bad press about BookSurge because of how they do business and mistreat their writers, affiliates etc.). Regardless of the name, they are bad to do business with.

  9. I thought Booksurge was great. But CreateSpace’s user interface is absolutely horrible. To communicate with them at all, you have to log onto their godawful STUPID dashboard and leave a message for customer support, and wait for an email from their no-reply address. With BookSurge, OTOH, it was simple to email someone from my gmail account.

    And instead of the simple, uncomplicated upload of my interior file at BookSurge, Createspace has given me the runaround and rejected file after file–even though it’s to exactly the same specs as my last book.

    The dashboard interface has about a billion glitches that require contacting customer support–through the dashboard each time–and if they don’t address what you actually asked them the first time (which is most of the time), you can’t just reply to the email. No, that would be too simple. You’ve got to log onto the stupid fucking shit-for-brains dashboard AGAIN to go through the same shit all over again.

    What used to be user-friendly and no-hassle has become a cumbersome bureaucratic clusterfuck. I’ll never deal with them again.

    This is a textbook example of mergers destroying value and customer goodwill.

    CreateSpace is the Windows Vista of POD.

  10. Having a horrible experience with Authorhouse. Would never recommend or use again. They take your money and produce nothing. It’s a rip off.

  11. Adam Brooks says

    i am taking tutorial about self-publishing because it is also a good way of making money.”~

  12. hi, i have tried blurb and think it is great, i am just finishing my book to publish on it!
    thank you, i would have used either lulu.com or createspace.com!!!

  13. Avoid Llumina Press in Florida.
    It’s run by young girls who are uncooperative, inept and unethical.
    They take all the money and drag out the process in order to eliminate any chances of getting a claim via VISA.
    If you are willing to hear them say yes to everything you want, then turn it around and do it their own way, then lots of luck to you!
    Better Business Bureau would like to hear about your complaints.

  14. i think that self-publishing is a tedious task because this would require several skills that need to be mastered over time.

  15. Funny no one noticed that 3 of the top 10 are really one company. Iuniverse, Xlibris and Authorhouse are all run by Author Solutions. They are really just printers but will sell you many publishing packages if you can afford them. Please understand that to profit with self publishing you need to have a low unit cost so you can offer a product that the customer will pay for. If you use Xlibris you will need to sell your children’s book for $42 so you don’t loose money. Who will pay $42 for a Kid’s book? Some Blurb books sell for more than $60 each.
    Most of these services are great for printing books for family and friends. If you have any desire to become your own publisher and profit from your work, do more research and find a premiere publishing service provider, not a printer who will print anything.

  16. Those who charge a large amount of money up front may not be suitable to a new author. A new author is usually very excited about her book and is willing to invest her last penny into the project only to get disappointed in the end. Since nobody knows her, readers may not purchase her book. She’ll soon realize that she needs more money for promotion, book tours, etc…There are cheaper ways of publishing a book nowadays. Create Space and Lulu are good choices for a novice.

  17. self publishing is kind of difficult at first, but you can easily learn the tricks of the trade ::`

  18. Rob Benwell says

    Simply wish to say your article is very helpful. It’s clear and covers all important points one needs to consider when it comes to self-publishing. Thanks and Regards, Rob

  19. Joan Burbank says

    Thanks for the info on what companies to avoid. It’s easy to get sucked into a publishing company who shows interest in you’re project. They use that enthusiasm to get you onboard and take your money and don’t deliver. Be wary of a publisher who offers too much for too little. Lots of scams out there.

  20. Thank you for sharing this informative, if dated, primer on self-publishing options. The glaring omission, from my perspective, remains Amazon’s outstanding ebook service called Kindle Direct Publishing at https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin . While I’ve consistently sold 200-300 hard copies a month of an ESL textbook called Compelling Conversations on CreateSpace, the Kindle Direct publishing has allowed me to sell approximately 10 times that many each month as an ebook. Adding a zero, in this case, is a significant and meaningful advantage.

    While it’s no doubt easier to sell adult education and community college textbooks in class sets and bulk orders than most fiction books, I would still strongly recommend both CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing to self-publishers looking to quickly distribute their books across Amazon … and many parts of the world.

  21. Terrance Jackson says

    I read an article in Forbes – Amanda Hocking, 26 years old self publishing millionaire on Kindle? Who would ever think this could happen? Truth is every day someone has a new vision to pave their own path. If you know that you have greatness instilled within… Just Do It!!! Check out this site for help. http://changes-4life.info/

  22. Shirley Quinlan says

    I think I’m more confused than ever. I’ve got a whole page of companies that I’ve first written and now crossed of as not so good. LOL I’ve worked on this book for five years and just finished it. It’s been proof read by three different people who I consider very intelligent and they all think it’s a good book. NOW who do i trust to do a good job, not over charge, help me sell it and tell me the truth??????? Am I asking too much?

  23. Jerry Cluff says

    I have written a travel book and cannot find help in publishing it !! I have tried lulu.com but they
    don’t have a support group. I am stuck in formatting my book with margins, etc. Lulu.com was
    recommended by another author; however, I need help in formatting and doing the margins. I like
    the pricing Lulu offers–very affordable.

    Any help given for formatting would be appreciated.

  24. Lisa Chadwick says

    I am writing my first book and would like any tips on a good publishing company to check out

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