Working with self-publishing companies is not always what the authors want to do when they start writing a book.
It might not be clear to you yet (we’ll get to it), but you need some help self-publishing your book.
I get it. The concept might seem a little crazy right now. After all, it’s called self-publishing, not self-and-a-company-publishing.
But the thing is… You don’t know everything you need to in order to self-publish…
Okay, that’s not true. You don’t know everything you need in order to self-publish successfully.
Do you have what it takes to self-publish and actually achieve the level of success you desire?
The hard truth…is that the large majority of self-publishers out there don’t.
And you don’t have to anymore! When self-publishing first came about, people had to figure it out on their own. Our founder did exactly that, learned what worked well, and has taught thousands of authors how to do it for themselves.
But that’s just this self-publishing company.
In this read, we’re going to cover exactly how self-publishing companies can help you bridge the gap between the success you’re really after and what you can only do for yourself.
This guide to the best self-publishing companies covers:
- What is a self-publishing company?
- What are the best self-publishing companies?
- Kindle Direct Publishing
- Barnes & Noble Press
- Apple Books
- Luminare Press
- Self-Publishing School
- CreativIndie Covers
- Archangel Ink
- Self-publishing companies FAQs
What is a self-publishing company?
A self-publishing company is a business dedicated to helping you achieve your desired level of success within your self-publishing journey.
They detail the process and streamline otherwise difficult avenues you might not be able to maneuver yourself.
But every self-publishing company is different.
Here at Self-Publishing School, our mission is to make the process as easy as possible for you while ensuring you do everything you can to succeed the right way.
Sure, you can throw your book online with a cover you created in Canva and call yourself a self-published author. But will that yield book sales? Will that give you the authority, recognition, and fulfillment you’re looking for?
What are the best self-publishing companies?
If you’re looking for the best self-publishing companies, here are 17 (in no particular order) we highly recommend:
One of the world’s biggest self-publishing retailers. The easiest way to access Amazon’s many customers.
Self-Publishing School earned a reputation for offering top-quality publishing information and coaching to indie authors. selfpublishing.com has taken that to the next level and added a range of top-quality DFY services into the mix. Check out what they have to offer!
A great option for self-publishers looking to enjoy good retail rates and Barnes & Noble’s print-on-demand service.
4 – Kobo
A retailer with wide international reach. Kobo accounts for around a quarter of all Canadian eBook sales.
5 – Apple Books
Choose Apple’s book retail platform to access the lucrative market of Mac owners.
6 – Lulu
Lulu has its own online retail and distribution channels as well as a range of author services. Check out a guide to Lulu here.
7 – IngramSpark
Offering wide-reaching distribution channels for your book as well as print-on-demand capabilities. You can learn more about IngramSpark here.
8 – PublishDrive
If you’re looking for an alternative book distribution channel, PublishDrive offers you the option of paying a monthly subscription fee that allows you to keep 100% of your sales revenue.
9 – Draft2Digital
A convenient option for self-publishers looking to use Draft2Digital’s powerful book formatting capabilities as well as International Book Links.
10 – SmashWords
One of the earliest book aggregators. SmashWords grants your book access to some of the biggest retailers out there, and also provides powerful reporting capabilities.
11 – StreetLib
A wide-reaching international distributor with dashboard options supporting multiple languages.
12 – Luminare Press
Offers professional, personal, and affordable services to ensure authors get a book that they can be proud of.
Us! We truly believe we’re the best out there, and we continuously strive to improve our coaching, group coaching, online programs, and overall services. Take a look at our Become a Bestseller program here (one of 7 total programs we have) to learn more.
14 – Creativindie Covers
One of the major keys to self-publishing success is having a book cover that will help you attract the right readers and sell more copies. Derek Murphy of CreativIndie fame has a dedicated book cover service that offers top-quality choices without breaking the bank.
15 – XinXii
Are you looking for a distribution platform with serious reach for your self-published book or audiobook? XinXii is Europe’s largest platform. Check them out for another avenue to help get your work into the hands of more readers.
16 – BookBub
Paid advertising is one of the most effective ways to accelerate your self-publishing success. If you want to work with one of the best platforms out there, look no further than BookBub.
17 – Archangel Ink
Just because you’ve opted to self-publish, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself! Archangel Ink are proof of that, offering a full range of services to help you achieve success as an independent author. Everything from ghostwriting to launch coaching is available, either as a standalone service or as part of a package.
Self-publishing companies FAQs
Now that you know some of the best self-publishing companies to help you on your indie author journey, let’s explore some of the info you need to work with them effectively.
How is a self-publishing company different than a traditional publishing house?
Self-publishing companies and traditional publishing houses are completely different in the sense that the former does not publish the book for you, but rather, we help you by providing necessary (crucial!) information about how to complete the process successfully.
Traditional publishing houses are where you first land an agent, and then they submit your manuscript, and they take care of the printing/editing/publishing – at the expense of your hard earned royalties, of course.
Here’s a table detailing the differences between self-publishing companies and traditional publishing.
|What You Get||Self-Publishing||Traditional Publishing|
|Sole control of your book's outcome||✓||X|
|Sole control of your book's rights||✓||X|
|Control over the story||✓||X|
|Control over the cover||✓||X|
|100% of royalties||✓||X|
Why use a self-publishing company?
After all, you want to do this yourself, right? Self-publish. But like I mentioned before, knowing how to self-publish and knowing how to self-publish successfully are two different things.
Do you know the best method for actually writing your book?
Do you know exactly how to craft your subtitle and book description to maximize sales?
Do you know the best book launch process for getting your book with the coveted orange “Bestseller” banner (that also increases your book’s
There is far more to self-publishing than simply hitting “publish” on Amazon, and without the right process, your book might end up as one of those stereotypical self-published books that sells 3 copies – to family members.
And that’s why you use a self-publishing company. Someone else has already done the research, the work, and has the experience to guide you through the process. A company like Self-Publishing School can not only educate you on the process, we can even take care of certain book production services for you (like cover design, formatting, and more).
If you’re someone who wants to see real book sales and achieve other goals, like growing a business or becoming a full-time author, then a self-publishing company will help.
What you can expect with a self-publishing company
What does working with a self-publishing company look like?
While not all self-publishing companies are the same or provide the same type of information and training for you, it’s important to understand what you’ll take away from working with one.
This is what you can expect when working with a company that helps you self-publish.
1 – You keep all rights to your book
Unlike traditional publishing houses, you actually get to keep all the rights to your books.
What does this mean?
Self-publishing means that, when you publish, you are the sole owner of the book and all of its contents. It’s copyrighted under your name and the self-publishing companies will not have any of their information inside of the book (unless you want to thank them for everything they’ve helped you with).
This is a major benefit because with self-publishing companies, you can keep the book in print for however long you want.
On the flip side, traditional publishing houses can choose when to pull your book from shelves and simply no longer print or sell it. And since you no longer own the rights, you can’t self-publish that book unless you buy the rights back (which some publishing houses don’t even offer you the option of).
2 – You’ll save time
Time is our most valuable asset. It’s the one thing in our lives we can never get back no matter what.
Unless you’re a secret time traveler and have uncovered the secrets of bending and warping time (and if you are, PLEASE SHARE), you have to treat time like it’s precious.
One of the biggest perks of using self-publishing companies to help you get your book published is the simple fact that they tell you what needs to be done, when, and how.
Not only will you save time actually writing the book (assuming the company gives you instructions on how to write faster, like we do here at Self-Publishing School), but you won’t have to go through the hours upon hours of research in order to get it right.
And, you don’t have to waste time making mistakes and adjusting them.
3 – You keep 100% of royalties
Everything you earn, you keep. Now, there may be self-publishing companies out there who require a percentage of your royalties, since they helped you, but here at Self-Publishing School we don’t believe in that.
After all, you did the work. You put forth the time and effort. This is your book. Therefore, you keep what you actually earn.
Aside from what Amazon takes for allowing you to use their platform, 100% of your profit is yours to keep.
This is much different than traditional publishing houses in the sense that through them, you’re only pocketing about 10% of royalties (and sometimes even less).
4 – You’re kept accountable
The hardship is in the name itself: self-publishing.
It’s a very lonely process if you don’t have anyone else going through it with you. And we all know how much easier it is to stay on track when we have someone else rooting for (or hollering at) us.
Many self-publishing companies have some sort of progress tracking, coaching, or community to help keep you motivated and working to achieve your dream.
How we do that here at Self-Publishing School is through all three of those methods, including a Facebook Mastermind Community with hundreds of dedicated current and past students ready to help.
5 – You get coached by experts
At least here at Self-Publishing School, you do. Not all programs have this perk, and boy is it a perk.
Our coaches are all experts in their field. You get one-on-one coaching that allows you to take personalized tips and put them to use in your own publishing journey.
Since coaches have been exactly where you are and have come out on top, and maintained book sales themselves, you get a leg up on anyone else doing this without that help.
Again, not all self-publishing companies offer this service to their students, but if they do, it can help you understand a side of the industry you likely wouldn’t get to see otherwise.
6 – You make connections
This is particularly true for programs that include access to a community of some sort.
You never know who you’ll get to know, like, and befriend. These are all like-minded people who are after the same things as you.
You can make dear friends, get even more advice when needed, and maintain a sense of purpose when you’re constantly fed motivation from them.
7 – You create a bigger impact with your book
What’s the reason you’re self-publishing. Why do you really want to get your book out into the world?
I’m willing to bet it has something meaningful to you. You want to help others, share information, or show the world a theme or message that’s important to you.
By using one of the self-publishing companies out there, you’re able to create a bigger impact with your book.
Because you will write it better, market it smarter, and sell more. And after all, that’s the point. Right? You want to get as many eyes on it as you possibly can.
8 – You gain more opportunities
Because your book will do better than it would if you didn’t have that outside help, you gain many more opportunities.
Becoming a published author places you as an authority in any field you’re writing in. Not only does this help your business grow, if that’s your goal, but it also helps you sell more books through new and better opportunities than you’d have otherwise.
Take these students of ours for example:
After publishing their books, they have been either contacted or pursued speaking engagements on their own along with other opportunities to grow their book and platform.
9 – Your business will grow
Leveraging your book to grow your business is one of the best methods out there.
Chandler Bolt, you know him—the guy who built this 8 figure business from his first bestselling book—swears by it.
But he’s not the only expert out there who agrees.
Ryan Deiss, CEO of DigitalMarketer, also uses a book to grow his business. You can check out how he does so in the video above, but the point remains: self-publishing is a perfect way to grow your business.
And if that’s your goal, then you want to make sure you’re self-publishing for success. Otherwise, your book won’t make nearly as big of an impact on your business, which is why working with a self-publishing company can help.
10 – You have a repeatable, successful process
Many of our students write multiple books with our program – not just one.
As one of our favorite author says, if you write one book and you enjoy it, you will write another book.
The most successful self-published authors out there are those who write more than one book. Not only do they maintain a steady stream of passive income this way, but since they have a reliable, repeatable process, it makes it easy for them to publish multiple.
So long as the self-publishing company you’re working with has lifetime access (like we do), you can hop on and go through the system every time you want to.
Plus, imagine how nice it would feel to say, “Yes, I’m a published author of multiple books.” Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
What are the red flags to look for in self-publishing companies?
Not all self-publishing companies are created equal. Unfortunately, there are some self-publishing companies who only want your money and don’t want to see you succeed.
These are some red flags to keep a lookout for when researching self-publishing companies to help you get your book out there.
1 – They take a cut of your royalties
Why even self-publish if you don’t actually get to keep your hard earned money?
This won’t necessarily mean that self-publishing company is a scam or fraudulent in any way. However, it is something to think about and be wary of.
You want to make sure you’re actually benefiting fairly for your book’s success. So working with a company that allows you to keep every cent is essential.
2 – They make you sign over your book rights
As mentioned earlier, traditional publishing houses technically “purchase” your book from you. It’s why you get that nice big (usually not big, though) advance.
However, self-publishing companies should not require this. Since you are self-publishing, all of the rights should remains 100% yours.
3 – They maintain creative control
Obviously, self-publishing companies are meant to help you.
That being said, they can certainly offer advice on your book title, subtitle, cover, and even contents, but they should never demand something of your book in order for you to continue with their program.
4 – Unrealistic expectations
Self-publishing is a varied game. No two authors can expect the exact same outcome and your results largely vary on how much you’re willing to work and how well you’re following their program.
However, self-publishing companies also shouldn’t guarantee crazy expectations—especially without having the proof to back it up.
Guarantees of making $10,000 in the first month are often unfounded. Look for company promises that you feel good about actually being able to achieve them.
5 – There are a large number of complaints online
Not every self-publishing company can meet everyone’s expectations. Not every single review will be positive – and that’s understandable.
What you do want to look out for is a large number of negative reviews, complaints, or claims of fraud or scams. These are certainly something to be wary of, but make sure you research some positives as well.
Your next step
If you found value in this article and think Self-Publishing School may be a good fit for you, book a call with one of our Publishing Strategists and let’s work on an individualized plan to help you take the next step with your book. We now offer Done-For-You services that may relieve some of the headache and burden in trying to self-publish your book (like cover design, book formatting, keyword and categories, worldwide distribution, etc.).