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Choosing the Best eBook Publishing Platform – Part 1

Self-publishing is growing in popularity, especially in markets where English is a major language. There are loads of publishing services for authors to choose from but how do you know which are the best to use? This isn’t an easy question to answer; you need to determine what services each company offers, what their payment process is, commissions and other charges, where they distribute to and so on.

Much will depend on what your requirements are but you do have the option of signing up to one self-publishing company to start with and changing when you want or even signing up with several at once – with traditional publishing you have to sign a contract, tying you in for a set period of time.

Factors to Consider

There are quite a few factors that come into publishing eBooks, not least the companies that pitch their publishing or author services – at a cost. Normally, this type of company will offer a full range of publishing services, from developmental editing right up to e-distribution or Print-on-Demand. At first glance, most of these look similar but when you look deeper, you will find they have different approaches to authors and the books they write. The line between a genuine service and a vanity publishing service is very thin – some of the steps included can be quite costly if they are done correctly like cover design and editing.

In general terms, if a charge is made for publishing and the company is vague about where your money is going, it should raise a red flag. Once you sign on that dotted line, you sign your rights away and getting them back is not easy. Aside from the vanity publishers, there are also companies that act as distributors and retailers while offering a limited range of publishing services.

Before you consider signing up with an eBook publisher, there are a few things you should consider:

Who will own the rights?

Is it an exclusive service?

Who determines and sets the pricing?

Are you tied in for a set amount of time or can you leave when you want?

Can you choose which services you want or are you signing up for the whole package?

Get a Second Opinion

You can’t possibly go through each and every service before you make your decision so the best thing to do is check the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) Watchdog reports. Members of ALLi do regular checks on self-publishing providers to ensure that you work with the most trustworthy ones.

You could also look for Facebook or Twitter groups, or other communities online that are willing to help and provide you with advice.  And don’t forget good old Google Search – if a publishing company is a rip-off, you will always find reviews online for it.

There are also a number of things you need to consider when you are looking for a publisher. Obviously, you want the right one, the one that gives you the best bang for your buck so we’ll start part 2 with those considerations.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds