Online Book Publishing Review

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Why Use Online Book Publishing Companies?

With new technology, online book publishing services now can format, print and publish books quickly and affordably. What is even better, a book can go from manuscript form to an eBook and then a handsome bound volume using print-on-demand (POD) publishing, a method most online publishers employ. With this technique, books are printed and shipped as they are ordered, which eliminates the need to have large print runs and costly warehouses stacked with books, commonly practiced in the traditional publishing world.

By using online publishers to self-publish your book, you are generally allowed to retain all of the rights to your book. With traditional publishers, you often have to relinquish some or all of those rights. Even with the potential cost-saving and copyright benefits of self-publishing, if done right, your book will look as professional and polished as a traditionally published book.

Online book publishers offer a broad selling base, whether it is through their own online bookstore or through online giants such as Amazon.com, BarnandNoble.com and iBookstore.com. By employing distribution channels that reach more than 25,000 retailers, today's POD publishers can sell to brick-and-mortar stores, libraries and online merchants.

In our evaluations of Online Book Publishers, we found Lulu, CreateSpace and Author House to be the best online book publishing services out there. In our comparison, you will find articles on book publishing and comprehensive reviews of online book publishing services to help you make an informed decision about which company is right for you.

Online Book Publishing Service: What to Look For

The best online book publishing services offer well-rounded and affordable publishing packages, marketing assistance, a broad book-selling reach, a wide selection of extra services beyond the publishing package, and plenty of help and support. Below are the criteria Top Ten Reviews used to evaluate each online book publishing service:

Publishing Package
The best online publishing packages offer pre-publishing consultation, broad publishing service options and promotional services after publishing. Most publishers have several packages to choose from along with paid services you can choose from independent of any package. Most publishers have detailed information at their websites and free booklets you can request to have sent. This will give you the tools you need to make informed choices about which package works best for you before you pay a cent. Be sure that when you choose a package, you find one with the services you need, so you don’t spend unnecessarily on features you won’t use.

The best publishers have a quick, overall publishing timeframe and give authors the most for their money. High-quality online publishers also provide a number of services, such as designing a webpage and making copies of the book available to reviewers, as part of the pre-paid package to help you sell your book once it is published.

Book Selling Reach
Capable online publishers are able to help their published authors sell books through a combination of methods, including an onsite bookstore at the company’s website, wholesale distribution channels and major online book retailers. The best online publishers will help you increase your sales potential by getting your book to as many readers as possible. Some online publishers sell a substantial number of books at the publisher’s site in addition to distributing to other sites.

Additional Paid Services
Online book publishing services should offer a wide assortment of publishing and marketing services beyond those offered in their publishing packages. Some booksellers can help you with graphic design or editing. The best online book publishers also allow you to pay for individual services, independent of any package, that will let you mix and match to fill in the areas you need help with. A few of these include copyright registration, cover design, creation of marketing materials and assistance with video trailers.

Help & Support
Top online book publishing services should offer several avenues of support, including toll-free phone and email support or an online form for question submissions. It is also helpful if they host a FAQs page and an online meeting place where authors can share ideas and discuss publishing topics via an online forum, discussion board or blog. We love to see chat services and wish more publishers would offer it to their customers to acquire information before spending money on a package. Several online publishers go the extra mile and share free literature, blogs and newsletters to provide all the information their customers need to make informed decisions about services before purchasing them.

Whether you are a first-time author or a previously published novelist who is tired of signing your rights away, online book publishing companies offer a fast, relatively affordable way to get your book off your computer screen and into the hands of your readers.

 
 
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Lulu CreateSpace Author House Outskirts Press iUniverse Llumina Press Xlibris Virtual Book Worm Publishing Infinity Publishing Wheatmark
Lulu CreateSpace Author House Outskirts Press iUniverse Llumina Press Xlibris Virtual Book Worm Publishing Infinity Publishing Wheatmark
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Lowest Price
Visit Lulu Classic
Visit CreateSpace Standard
Visit Author House Standard
Visit Outskirts Press Ruby
Visit iUniverse Select
Visit Llumina Press
Visit Xlibris Basic
Visit Virtual Book Worm Publishing Standard
Visit Infinity Publishing Basic
Visit Wheatmark Basic
Ratings
9.48
9.15
9.00
8.95
8.70
8.28
7.78
7.65
7.55
7.43
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9.63
9.38
9.38
9.38
9.13
9.38
8.75
9.38
8.13
9.38
9.63
10.00
8.75
8.75
9.13
10.00
7.50
9.63
9.63
8.75
7.88
7.50
9.38
10.00
7.13
6.88
9.63
9.38
6.88
7.13
9.38
8.75
7.50
6.00
9.38
8.75
7.25
5.75
9.38
9.38
 
Publishing Package
Average Publishing Timeframe (Weeks) 1 - 3 2 - 4 12 -18 1 - 13 6 - 8 12-18 12-17 4 - 6 6 - 9 12
Number of Free Author Copies 1 None 1 6 5 10 5 3 3 5
Manuscript Layout & Formatting
ISBN Number Assigned
Webpage Design
Original Cover Design
 
 
Copies for Review Available
  
 
Offers Articles on Book Marketing
 
  
Interior Image Placement
  
  
Editorial Evaluation
 
 
    
Printed in Paperback
Printed in Hardcover
 
How-to Marketing Literature
 
    
Customized Sales Sheet Creation
 
      
eBook Formatting
  
 
   
Library of Congress Control Number Assignment
   
 
Booksellers Return Program   
     
Publishing Package Royalties
Direct Sale Royalties Self-Set Self-Set Self-Set Self-Set 20% CP 30% CP 25% CP 50% NP 30% CP 20% CP
Third-Party Royalties Self-Set Self-Set Self-Set Self-Set 20% WP 10% CP 10% CP 50% NP 15% WP 20% WP
Non-Exclusive Contract
Additional Paid Services
Copyediting & Proofreading
Art for Cover Design
eBook Publication
Written Promotional Materials
Press Release Writing
 
Co-op Discounted Advertising
 
 
Newswire Services
  
Video Trailer
 
  
Expedited Publishing
 
 
OCR Text Scanning/Data Entry
 
Amazon.com Inside the Book
   
Copyright Registration
 
  
Arrange Public Appearances
     
Custom Illustration Design
 
Promotional Email Message
 
  
  
Help with Website Creation
 
 
Google/Amazon Keyword Search
 
     
BarnesandNoble.com Inside the Book
 
   
News Clipping Service
 
     
Personal Publicist   
     
Ghost Writing    
 
  
Bookselling Reach
Total Titles in Print 1.6 Million Not Available 60,000+ 12,000+ 40,000+ 1,500 25,000+ 1,100+ 6,100 1,200+
Amazon.com
BarnesandNoble.com
 
iBookstore.com
  
Abebooks.com
Powells.com
Buy.com
 
Ingram Book Group
Baker & Taylor, Inc.
Onsite Bookstore  
Albris.com   
Walmart.com        
 
Help & Support
Telephone
Email
FAQs
Online Forum
 
 
Free Publishing Guide
 
  
Live Chat