Compare Publishing Companies

In my last post I set out to compare self publishing companies based upon 4 of the top 5 self publishing reviews (sources I had introduced over the course of the past several weeks). I applied a numeric value to each company based upon their relative ranking in each source, and that resulted in the following result totals for the top 5 self publishing companies ranked side by side (out of a possible 34 points):

Outskirts Press     30 Points
Company 3            24 Points
Company 5            19 Points
Company 2            13 Points
Company 14          13 Points

Upon looking at that data, I realized that some sources were weighted more heavily than others, since each source didn’t share the same value system. One had a 13 point value system while another had a 4 point value system. So for the purposes of this next chart, I will apply a 10-point value system to each of the four sources to give each source equal weight and therefore arrive at a more accurate total:

The way one does that is as follows:

TopTen Reviews already has a 10 point system, so the points there remain the same.

Top Consumer Reviews has an 8 point system, which means each point is worth 1.25 points to reach a 10-point system. 

Top Self Publishing Firms has a 13 point value system, so to bring that into a 10-point system, each point actually is worth .77 points.

Previously I applied a 4 point value system to the categories in The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, but since one of those values was a negative number for the “publishers to avoid” category, in reality it was a 3 point system with an exception.  The decision now becomes whether the negative number should make an attempt to match the value system as a negative 1, or a negative 3.33, or a negative 10. I guess, ultimately, that depends upon your personal view of the author of that book.  In order to keep one person’s opinion from being too heavily weighted, I’ll stay with -1 for the “Publishers to Avoid” and then for the other 3 categories, each point becomes worth 3.33.

And that leaves us with this chart below, which, interestingly enough, is not significantly different from the previous chart. Value is value.  Good companies are good companies.

  TopTen  Top Consumer Fine Print Top Firms Total
Outskirts Press 8 8.75 6.66 10 33.41
Company 2     3.33 9.24 12.57
Company 3 10 5 -1 8.47 22.47
Company 4     3.33 7.7 11.03
Company 5 7   10 6.93 23.93
Company 6     6.66 6.16 12.82
Company 7     -1 5.39 4.39
Company 8   3.75 -1 4.62 7.37
Company 9 2   3.33 3.85 9.18
Company 10 9   -1 3.08 11.08
Company 11 4   -1 2.31 5.31
Company 12     10 1.54 11.54
Company 13     -1 0.77 -0.23
Company 14 6 7.5 3.33   16.83
Company 15 5 2.5 3.33   10.83
Company 16 3   3.33   6.33
Company 17 1       1
Company 18   10     10
Company 19   6.25     6.25
Company 20   1.25     1.25

Out of a possible perfect score of 40 points, the top 5 self publishing companies according to the combined data from these four sources are:

Outskirts Press     33.41 Points 
Company 5            23.93 Points
Company 3            22.47 Points
Company 14         16.83 Points
Company 6           12.82 Points

As stated in the last posting, I don’t name competitors. Even so, this analysis seems somewhat indicative of the value we offer at Outskirts Press, according to the combined views of four 3rd-party self publishing review sources.

As you compare publishing companies when it comes time to make your publishing decision,  keep these 3 tips in mind:

1. Consider the source. How biased is it? How rational? How knowledgeable? Does it seem like a rant, or a legitimate, valuable piece of information that you can apply your own, personal viewpoint to?

2. Consider the date of the information. Is it out of date? Years old? No longer applicable?  Since people are becoming accustomed to the immediacy of blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, they forget that information is available “forever” on the Internet. As a result, they assume information they read today was written today, when in reality, you may be viewing information that is years old, was written on April Fool’s day, or in some other way is no longer informative or important.  You can typically find a date for all information if you look hard enough.  

3. Investigate multiple sources.  As you can see from the combined scores of the 4 sources above, no company is absolutely perfect. That’s because they’re run by human beings.  Some sources you uncover will love one company and hate another. And a different source will have exactly the opposite opinion.  That’s because sources are run by human beings, too, and everyone has an opinion.   So find multiple sources of information and apply the statistical analysis method suggested above.