View Full Version : Which self-publisher/POD has highest quality books?

11-06-2009, 02:27 AM
I don't know much about all of this, but I want to help my grandma publish her book. She wants it to be available on Amazon and BN, and she'll probably also buy a bunch of books herself for friends and family. Price really isn't a major object (well, within reason... but I don't think she even blink at spending up to, say $8,000 - but I hope it doesn't cost that much!) I don't think she is at all interested in e-Books - but if it's part of the package, I don't think she'd mind.

Does anyone have an opinion on the quality of books? By that, I mean I high quality cover, paper and printing quality, etc. I can help to some degree with typesetting, but a company with good customer service that can walk her through a lot of things would be ideal. She's 87 and not terribly well versed with computers, but enough to produce a Word document for her novel and to shop online. I think she'd be interested in layout assistance, and possibly professional copyediting (I guess she doesn't trust my eyes - LOL! Can't blame her.)

I hope this question isn't too broad or too subjective for anyone to answer. Any advice is welcome and appreciated. Right now, btw, I'm trying to compare lulu and iuniverse.

Thanks so much!!!

11-06-2009, 02:56 AM
. . . a company with good customer service that can walk her through a lot of things would be ideal. . . .
Aventine Press (http://aventinepress.com/), in San Diego, CA, has a good reputation. I know folks who used their services and seemed pleased. If one is considering a subsidy press, that one probably belongs high on the list.


11-06-2009, 03:26 AM
Lulu.com has marketing options for Amazon. It's print on demand and you can order a certain number of copies for yourself, plus sell them through Lulu. We used it to print our University literary journal and the books were very good quality.

11-06-2009, 04:53 AM
I have been pleased with Booklocker http://booklocker.com

11-06-2009, 05:56 AM
I haven't heard of two of the above. I'm going to look into those. In the meantime, Lulu has been used by several AW members with no complaints.
For my own book, I used Outskirts Press and have been quite pleased. Three years later, and they still send me an email, nearly every day, with marketing tips. I love that it wasn't a 'take my money & run' scum bucket company. I can STILL email my marketing 'coach' with questions, or other departments...AND...I can even change the format to hardcover, and/or change the cover art...edit and do rewrites and resubmit...of course, this will incure more fees, but, again, I enjoy that I'm still receiving more than adequate customer service.

11-07-2009, 11:44 AM
I went with iUniverse and was happy with the quality (good binding, nice looking cover, etc.). My cousin went with Lulu and I just received a copy of his book. I would say the publishing quality is comparable. I think it all depends on what type of services your grandmother is looking for. There's so many packages available these days it's just a matter of finding the one that fits with her goals.

11-07-2009, 05:43 PM
I was happy with Booklocker, too.

Beth (aka Annelise Ryan)

11-07-2009, 10:52 PM
I once printed off a MS with lulu just for my own purposes. I was pleased with the quality.

Brindle Chase
11-17-2009, 01:55 AM
For self-pubs, I've only any experience with Lulu.com and Morris Publishing. Both were of excellent quality. Both have editing services, cover designers, etc... that can put it together for her... but it costs.

I did everything myself, but the cover (for a wrap-around dust jacket on a hardbound) was a bit tricky on Lulu... but it turned out beautifully!!! the Morris publishing was a book I received from one of my Dad's friends who self pubbed. I dont know what his experience was, but the end product was excellent quality.

Kathryn W
12-15-2009, 01:50 PM
I've self-published one novel with lulu.com for my own purposes and was happy enough with the result that I put it on Amazon. However, unless you are willing to part with a lot of cash upfront (which you'll most likely never see in return,) it is up to you to design a cover (though you can use their cover wizard) and do all of the formatting.

12-18-2009, 08:47 PM
Worth a look: http://searchwarp.com/swa560075-Print-On-Demand-Publishing-The-Underdog-With-A-Big-Bark.htm


01-03-2010, 12:39 AM
If you can do the typesetting, I would recommend saving a ton of money and just hiring an editor. You can publish the book yourself, print with LightningSource, and make a lot more per copy sold. If she is selling to friends and family, this works great because she can keep the price reasonable. Even with an ISBN purchase, the small setup fees, etc... she's looking at less than $1,500. And that's with a majority of that money going to an editor (you can spend less if you want a cursory copy edit, depending on her word count). The resulting book will cost a few bucks per copy, you get in Amazon's system, and you are distributable through Ingrams.

01-03-2010, 01:23 AM
Hugh, I think that's good advice. The number one complaint about self-published books is the lack of editing, so addressing that is the number one concern of anyone publishing their own book.

Having said that, I think a lot of people go to Lulu rather than Lightning Source because they are specifically set up for the hobby publisher, while LSI will try to direct you away from their site unless you have a publishing company set up.

Many hobbyists don't want to go to the trouble and don't want to complicate their financial lives either. It really comes down to what your plans and aims are for your book. Until you come to some understanding of where you want to go, it's difficult for anyone to tell you how to get there.

01-03-2010, 02:03 AM
I've been very pleased with Createspace. The quality of the books were higher than I was expecting and you automatically get distribution through Amazon.com. If you go with the pro package ($39) then you can also get distribution through Ingrams now with their new agreement as long as you are on pro. You also don't have to order a separate ISBN - they will provide you with a valid one. Pro package also lets you earn higher royalties back and it is well worth it.

01-12-2010, 08:29 PM
Interesting comments here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/index.asp?layout=talkbackCommentsFull&talk_back_header_id=6637648&articleid=CA6712254#456835


01-30-2010, 12:30 AM
I spent months researching for an affordable place to self publish and stumbled on Avid Readers Publishing Group (http://www.ericpatterson.name/avidreaderspg/index.html).

I highly recommend them, my personal experience has been a positive one. Check it out for yourself. They also have a on-line book site (http://www.ericpatterson.name/avidreaderspg/genre.html) that you can visit and have a better perspective of the quality of books they publish. (I bought a few to see first hand what they were like.) Two thumbs up!

Everything you read on their site has proven to be truth. :Thumbs: