PRINT ON DEMAND (POD) PRICE COMPARISON



Get Published in About a Month for $675


UPDATED: 04/15/2016

SUMMARY (see details about each firm below)

  • BookLocker: $675 (Deduct $200 if submitting your own cover.)
  • Lulu: $1,089
  • Infinity Publishing: $1,097 (includes 5 “free” copies)
  • CreateSpace: $1,151 (Deduct $299 if submitting your own cover. Add $500 if you want more than one image or color on your cover.)
  • Trafford: $1,474
  • Xlibris: $1,723
  • iUniverse: $1,899 (includes 3 “free” copies)
  • Bookbaby: $1,904
  • Outskirts Press: $2,095 (includes 10 “free” copies)
  • Dog Ear Publishing: $2,198 (includes 5 “free” copies)
  • Llumina Publishing: $2,245 (includes 10 “free” copies)
  • AuthorHouse: $2,799 (includes 3 “free” copies)
  • Xulon Press: $2,845 (includes 5 “free” copies)

NOTE: All publishers listed offer distribution through Ingram (the world’s largest book distributor), as well as inclusion of their titles in the major online (Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, etc.) and physical bookstore systems. However, some of these publishers, like CreateSpace, may limit where they sell ebooks. CreateSpace has the worst ebook distribution (only one store), which means their authors lose out on ebook sales through BarnesandNoble.com, Apple and Kobo.

**Prices include print publication services and distribution (editing costs are excluded), as well as basic ebook formatting and distribution. Prices also include the cost of production files for those publishers who offer that, but many now don’t. Some don’t give or even sell production files to authors when those authors leave their service. For example, CreateSpace does not give production files to authors under any circumstances, even if the author has paid them thousands to produce those files. Other POD publishers do the same, or charge authors extra for copies of files they already PAID the publisher to produce! This is a ridiculous and extremely greedy practice! In the list below, BookLocker.com and Dog Ear give production files to authors on request at no extra charge. Other publishers either charge hundreds for them, or flat refuse to give or sell them to authors at all. This essentially forces the author to stay with that publisher unless they want to pay publishing/formatting/design fees all over again to someone else if they are unhappy with their publisher. We call this a forced marriage.

SEE THE END OF THIS LIST FOR DETAILS ON THE PRICING FEATURED BELOW.

>> BookLocker: $675 (deduct $200 if submitting your own cover) <<< Rated “Outstanding” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. This is the fastest publisher on this page! Most books are on the market in only a month. Also offers an expedited 2-week package for an additional fee. BookLocker offers an alternative Payment Plan Program, as well as a D.I.Y. program. No hidden fees or upselling. Ebook formatting/conversion/distribution includes mobi (for Amazon’s Kindle) and epub (for Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iPad, iPod and iPhone, and Kobo – Canada’s #1 ebook retailer). No extra charge to include graphics, tables, footnotes, etc. in print books. ADDED BONUSES: 1. Returning authors are only charged $199 for print setup fees on their second and subsequent books (cover design is extra). 2. No extra charge for production files!  The 2-week rush publishing service is only $999 (which is still less than all the firms below charge for publication in several weeks to several months). BookLocker offers a paperback/hardcover/ebook combo as well. Read more HERE. According to The Independent Publishing Magazine, “Overall, BookLocker offers a very particular kind of POD publishing service, honest, upfront, a quality product, but no unnecessary frills. This model may not suit all authors, but their personalized approach and focus on book sales is worth all the value alone.” PRICE HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Lulu: $1,089.00 << Rated “Just Okay” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. LIMITATIONS: Lulu has had customer service and quality problems. Lulu does not mention production files on their site, and never responded to our email about that so it appears they don’t give or sell those to authors. We will post an update if we ever hear from them. Read THIS to learn more about Lulu’s ongoing problems from unhappy authors. More complaints are HERE. No expedite/rush publishing option is mentioned on their website. PRICE HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Infinity Publishing: $1,097.00 – (includes 5 “free” copies) << Rated “Outstanding” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Unfortunately, there are several complaints listed about them HERE and HERE. No mention of an expedited or rush option on their website. Their contract does not specify who owns the rights to production files. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $50 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> CreateSpace: $1,151.00 (Deduct $599 if submitting your own cover. Add $500 if you want more than one image or color on your cover.) << Rated “Pretty Good” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Limit of 10 interior images – charges $25 more for 11-30 interior images. LIMITATIONS: Claims ownership of production files (that you already paid them to create!), including the ebook production file, and will not give or sell those to the author under any circumstances whatsoever, making it very costly and difficult to move to another publisher. Only offers mobi ebook conversion (only works on Amazon/Kindle). Does NOT offer epub (which everyone else uses). Only lists/sells ebooks on Amazon. Does not sell ebooks on Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, or anywhere else. Does NOT publish hardcover books (most others here do). IMPORTANT: CreateSpace was previously called BookSurge. Read more about BookSurge’s problems HERE. We ordered some BookSurge books and one looked so bad they inserted an apology note inside, saying it was the best they could get from their supplier. They ARE their own supplier! Another one arrived with the interior pages appearing upside-down. Read numerous complaints about CreateSpace, posted to their own forum, HERE. Pictures from one angry author are HERE. Other complaints are HERE and HERE and HERE. No expedite/rush service is mentioned on their website. PRICE HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Trafford: $1,474.00 << Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Warning: Has a variety of “extra” charges like $2 per page (included in price above) if your manuscript is submitted with incorrect headers/footers, page breaks, line and paragraph formatting, etc. Charges $5 extra per image (included in price above). Expedite service (“rapid release”) is only available for the $7,999.00 (!!) “Folio” and more expensive packages. NOTE: Trafford is owned by Author Solutions, which also owns Xlibris, iUniverse, AuthorHouse (all featured here) WordClay, and others. Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against this firm in the past. See several complaints about Trafford HERE. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $50 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Xlibris: $1,723.00 << Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Charges expedite fee of $349 (included above) for publication in 2 months instead of 3-4 months. Charges $10 per image (included above); $20 per table. LIMITATIONS: Limit of 1 cover image. Claims ownership of files you paid them to create. You have to pay them $150 more for those. NOTE: Xlibris is owned by Author Solutions, which also owns AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford (all featured here) WordClay, and others. Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against this firm in the past. See several complaints about Xlibris HERE. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $50 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> iUniverse: $1,899.00 (includes 3 “free” copies) << Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Has a variety of “extra” charges like $2 per page if your manuscript is submitted with incorrect headers/footers, page breaks, line and paragraph formatting (included in price above), more than 25 photos/graphics, more than 2 images on your cover, tables, etc. LIMITATIONS: They claim ownership of files you already paid them to create and they will NOT GIVE YOU COPIES. $500 “express service.” Otherwise, turnaround is 3-4 months. NOTE: iUniverse is owned by Author Solutions, which also owns Xlibris, AuthorHouse, Trafford (all featured here) WordClay, and others. Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against this firm in the past. Read several complaints about iUniverse HERE. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $450 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Bookbaby: $1,904.00 << All other firms here have been in the POD industry longer than Bookbaby. Prices, at first glance, appear low on their website. However, you later learn the “complete publishing package” does not include interior formatting, nor cover design. You need to pay more for those services. The interior formatting price looks fair until you realize it’s only good for a book up to 50 pages. Read the fine print to determine the real costs. There are complaints about Bookbaby HERE. Bookbaby’s ebook program was rated 7.4 out of 10 The Independent Publishing Magazine. Their print program was only rated 6.9-7.0. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $498 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Outskirts Press: $2,095.00 – (includes 10 “free” copies) << Rated “Pretty Good” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Outskirts used to charge authors an additional $998 for their production files but we can no longer find that option on their website. Their rush service costs $99 extra and takes 7-10 weeks instead of 13-17 weeks. BookLocker can get your book on the market in only 2 weeks for $1,096 less! You can read detailed Better Business Bureau complaints about Outskirts Press HERE. Also see THIS. More complaints are HERE and HERE. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $500 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Dog Ear Publishing: $1,998.00 – (includes 3 “free” copies) << Rated “Outstanding” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Their website says “Dog Ear is $300 LESS EXPENSIVE than the Nearest ‘Discount Publisher’.” But, they, of course, didn’t include BookLocker on their website. And, they’re one of the most expensive services on this list. For print publishing within a month + ebook publishing, they do NOT have the lowest price. Not even close. Without the expedited option, their price is still too high at $1,998.00. Dog Ear DOES give production files to authors. Some complaints are HERE. PRICE HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Llumina Publishing: $2,245.00 – (includes 10 “free” copies) << According to Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, “I know that you can find a better option for the money.” Does not give authors their production files. Charges extra for footnotes/endnotes, charges extra for Ingram distribution, and charges extra for ebook distribution for firms other than Amazon. Complaints about Llumina are posted HERE and HERE. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $907 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> AuthorHouse: $2,799.00 – (includes 10 “free” copies) << Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Charges extra for photos/graphics ($5 per image after the first 25. Expedite fee ($500) is for publication in 45 days instead of 4-6 months (included above). LIMITATIONS: Claims ownership of files you already paid them to create. You have to pay them extra for copies – $250 for interior and $250 for cover (included above). NOTE: AuthorHouse is owned by Author Solutions, which also owns Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford (all featured here) WordClay, and others. Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against this firm in the past. Numerous complaints about AuthorHouse are published HERE and HEREPRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $1,000 SINCE LAST YEAR.

>> Xulon Press: $2,845.00 – (includes 5 “free” copies) This publisher just keeps getting more and more expensive! Publishes Christian materials only. << Rated “Outstanding” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. We found no mention of rush / expedited publishing options on their website. There are some pretty scathing comments about Xulon HERE. PRICE HAS GONE UP AN ADDITIONAL $449 SINCE LAST YEAR.

***Prices above are based on the least expensive package offered by each publisher on similar offers targeting U.S. authors. Fees include black-and-white-interior print formatting (based on a 200-page book) with up to 25 interior photos/graphics, original color cover design (some firms above only offer template covers with these packages) with up to 5 images (some above charge extra for more than one cover image – BookLocker does NOT), print proof, basic ebook formatting and distribution to the top four ebook retailers (some above, like CreateSpace, have distribution limitations, and some may charge more for ebooks with complex formatting), Espresso edition (not all above offer this), an ISBN for all editions, barcode, a listing on the publisher’s website, distribution by Ingram, and feedback on your cover if submitting your own (some above don’t offer this, or won’t give you a discount if you are submitting your own cover), all within 6 weeks. IMPORTANT: Many of the firms above don’t offer rush/expedited publishing services. BookLocker usually publishes within a month – at no additional charge. BookLocker also offers a rush 2-week print publishing program for only $999, which is still less than all the other firms above.

NOTE: Many companies offer perks that others don’t and some try to upsell authors on extraneous services during the publishing process. Study each publisher and contract carefully before making your choice.

RELATED:

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

MORE CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS (Part III)

Lots of Imprints and Lots of Complaints! Could You Unwittingly Crawl into Bed with Author Solutions?

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.



Get Published in About a Month for $675




Ask Angela About Print On Demand and Self-Publishing

Angela is the Publisher of WritersWeekly.com and co-owner of the POD firm BookLocker.com.

According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is:

"As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Got questions? Ask Angela about Print On Demand and Self-publishing.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

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