Best Self Publishing

When researching the “best self publishing” options, the best course of action is often to identify a number of different sources, compile a scoring system, and then determine the average score of the self publishing companies to come up with the best company for you.  Why is looking at one source not enough? Because that one source may be unreliable for one reason or another. But when you combine multiple sources to arrive at averages, you have a much better chance of getting an accurate sense of the “best self publishing” company.

Let’s perform this analysis on 20 different self publishing companies using four different “self publishing review” sources: Top Self Publishing Firms by Stacie Vander Pol, The Fine Print of Self Publishing by Mark Levine,, and

Top Self Publishing Firms – There are 13 companies in the “Large and Medium” category in Stacie Vander Pol’s book, ranked from best to worse. So I applied a numeric value for each of them ranging from 13 (good) to 1 (not so good).

Fine Print of Self Publishing – There are 4 different categories in Mark Levine’s book:  “Outstanding” companies get 3 points. “Pretty Good” companies get 2 points. “Just OK” companies get 1 point. And since “Publishers to Avoid” sounds worse than not being in the book at all, those companies lose a point.

TopTen Reviews – Ranks ten different companies so I will apply a numeric value for each one. The company they rank #1 will receive 10 points, the company they rank #2 will receive 9 points, and so on.

Top Consumer Reviews – Ranks 8 companies, I will apply a 8-1 numeric value.

Each of the 20 companies therefore receives a certain number of points from one or more of the sources. Add them up, divide by 4, and you have their AVERAGE score among all four review sources, listed in the right-most column.

And that leaves us with this analysis below (blanks indicate no presence in that particular source):

TopTen Top Consumer Fine Print Top Firms Total
Outskirts Press 8 7 2 13 30
Company 3 10 4 -1 11 24
Company 5 7 3 9 19
Company 2 1 12 13
Company 14 6 6 1 13
Company 10 9 -1 4 12
Company 4 1 10 11
Company 6 2 8 10
Company 8 3 -1 6 8
Company 9 2 1 5 8
Company 15 5 2 1 8
Company 18 8 8
Company 7 -1 7 6
Company 11 4 -1 3 6
Company 12 3 2 5
Company 19 5 5
Company 16 3 1 4
Company 17 1 1
Company 20 1 1
Company 13 -1 1 0

I don’t list our competitors by name in my blog, but it’s easy enough to see the companies I’m reviewing by referring to the sources I’ve mentioned above. And if you’re curious why the company names are not listed in order, it is because they are numbered in the order that they appear in Top Self Publishing Firms.

And that’s not even the point of this posting. The point is the concept of combining sources of information to arrive upon the “best self publishing” option.

Now if one were looking to find flaws in the data above, the easiest thing to say would be Top Self Publishing Firms is weighted too heavily and the Fine Print of Self Publishing is weighted not heavily enough because the former has a maximum of 13 points while the latter has a maximum of only 4 points.

Fair enough. So let’s apply a 10-point system to all four sources and see what that tells us next time…