There are SO many self-publishing companies out there now, and for authors looking to self-publish, choosing a provider is an absolute minefield.
However, I’ve just found something that tells you where all the mines are. This brilliant list from the Alliance of Independent Authors includes lots of companies I’ve heard of and many I haven’t. It gives them a rating based on their ethics, professionalism, quality of service, amount of complaints they’ve received etc. Click the image below to read the list, which also contains links to where you can find explanations for the ratings.
I thought I would post it here since it’s super helpful and every serious self-publisher ought to know about it. In the past I’ve tried to find out about the legitimacy of a publishing company by searching for the company’s name and “scam” in Google (a surprisingly effective method) or by looking to see if Writer Beware has written about them. Writer Beware has some useful dodgy publisher lists, too.
I know several people who have used Austin Macaulay, which is on this list and has a “Watchdog Advisory” rating, which is the worst rating available in this list.
I myself was almost duped by the folks now calling themselves “Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency” (what a desperately stupid name!). They also have a “Watchdog Advisory” and have been the subject of several lawsuits. They were called Writers Literary Agency when I submitted and they excitedly accepted my (back then, pretty poorly written) manuscript with a bunch of automated, impersonal emails. After some investigation I realised that they would try and make money out of me by forcing me to get the manuscript edited at my expense by companies that were secretly owned by them. Cheeky.
I previously published some children’s books with a print-on-demand company called Lulu. They were okay, though the process wasn’t without its problems. They have a “Caution” rating, which also isn’t good and is to do with value for money compared with other POD providers.
Stay safe out there, writers!