One of the top concerns on most indie authors minds is what company to self-publish with. There are some strong benefits with throwing down exclusively with Amazon, but others want a more global reach for their content. The Publishing Service Index has just released their annual December report, which lists all of the companies out there that specialize in self-publishing. It goes into great detail on their overall reach and how many people have published with them.
The most significant change to this report is that that Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing has slipped to third and also reflects the growing discontent self-published authors have with the introduction of Amazon Unlimited and recent communications regarding the new VAT law in Europe for 2015. It is also quite surprising that Kobo Writing Life is only 13, since Kobo has the second largest mainstream digital bookstore in the world and and Barnes and Noble Nook Press did not even make the list.
Bookbaby will likely fall from the 12th position because the company has recently discontinued its free self-publishing option. Indie authors will have to pay $199 minimum and this price is poised to increase to $299 at the end of January 2015. It will be interesting to see how much they will plummet in the rankings, as authors embrace more affordable options.
What I think authors can appreciate the most is that two of Ingram’s properties are in the top five and CreateSpace is number one. Spark is primarily aimed at small publishing companies to digitize their portfolio and get it listed in the main Ingram catalog, where thousands of bookstores check every week to order books for their brick and motor stores. Lightning Source on the other hand is mainly aimed directly at self-published authors to have their books get printed on demand for inclusion in their main book catalog. Createspace is Amazons flagship print on demand service, where the production costs of making a tangible book is only charged once people order them. These three services prove that authors know that marketing their books purely online is foolhardy, and it is critically important to get their titles into bookstores.
DIY – Do-it-yourself bespoke services
ASP – Author Solutions Services (Packages) – May also include Partnership publishing programs
PUB – Also offers Mainstream Contracts or is a service imprint of a traditional publishing house
PRT – Printer (primarily a printer with some additional but limited services)
FULL – Fulfilment Services provided for distribution logistics, warehousing of stock (including supply to wholesaler and retailers)
CRW – Crowdsource