Choosing the right self-publishing company
I published my latest book, Neighborhood Watch, off Amazon KDP. For a copy of Neighborhood Watch, click here.
At 23, I self-published my first book, 20 Something, through a company called Authorhouse. I heard about them through a former baseball coach of mine, and at the time, I had already compiled hundreds of poems that I wanted to publish. While getting my work out there was exciting, I would never work with them again.
First off, it costs a tremendous amount of money to publish through this company. While they do provide services with that cost, I question how they followed through with those services. I created my cover and set up my pages, so my 'design team' didn't do much other than make sure it all fit together nicely. They were available for contact every step of the way, which was nice. However, they were also pushy to sell you more services even after completing the book. You would get voicemails to set up marketing, for example.
In contrast to future companies I would publish with, Authorhouse did not leave you with a ton of profit. Authorhouse gives authors ten percent royalties, which is a joke compared to IngramSpark and Amazon KDP. It is also one of the companies listed to steer clear of in the book Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Services. It did get me expanded distribution throughout Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Scribd, etc., but I would hope so for the price. The product comes out professional-looking, so at least there is that, but it is one I would recommend avoiding.
I learned from my mistakes when I published my following books, Life and Death and Faith Journey. Those two I uploaded on both Amazon KDP and IngramSpark. Both IngramSpark and Amazon KDP have their advantages and disadvantages, as outlined here and in more detail in Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Services.
Amazon KDP will offer you 70% royalty if you choose to publish exclusively on Amazon, but it does offer an expanded distribution rate of 40%. You can choose between a 35% royalty and a 70% royalty on ebooks. The difference in the choice depends on if you want to only distribute on Amazon or if you want to choose expanded distribution. The turnover rate for publication on Amazon is pretty quick and easy. As long as you have everything formatted and to the specifications requested, the book should go live in 72 hours. You can also order author copies for a fraction of the cost even after the book goes live. Also, you can at no cost should you need to make any revisions after the book goes live.
In contrast to Amazon, it will cost you $49 to publish a book through IngramSpark. Then, if you need to make any revisions after publication, you will be charged an additional $25. The main advantage of publishing through IngramSpark is that their wide distribution is better as there is more of a chance that going through them can land you into brick and mortar stores. This is because IngramSpark's distributors are more likely to do business with the stores versus Amazon KDP. IngramSpark has a comparable royalty rate at 65-70%, but its rate for ebooks is 40% without the 70% option that Amazon KDP offers.
Both companies offer self-publishers gains in the market, and thus, I published Faith Journey and Life and Death through IngramSpark and Amazon KDP to maximize exposure. As far as my latest novel, Neighborhood Watch, I published that on Amazon KDP and have yet to do so on IngramSpark, but I intend to in the coming weeks. I hope this review helped you choose a self-publisher. For more information on this topic, visit this site about the differences between Amazon KDP and IngramSpark.