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      November 20, 2019

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Publish Drive Review

Best Self Publishing Companies

To help you find the Best Self Publishers, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth Publish Drive Review.

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What's the best self-publishing company? Whether you've already tried the big publishing houses and gotten rejection letters or you just want to jump right in and take the do-it-yourself approach, self-publishing can get your books on people's shelves - both digital and traditional.

One of the first questions you'll need to consider is whether you want to publish your book in print, as an eBook, or both. Some services cater strictly to one or the other, so you'll want to give that decision some thought before you dive into selecting a self-publishing provider.

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2019

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2 stars
Publish Drive

PUBLISH DRIVE Visit Site

Cost:

eBook distribution plans range from free to $99.99/month

Royalties:

Author keeps 100%

PublishDrive prides itself on being the first self-publishing option to offer tiered subscription plans for global aggregated eBook distribution. All of their plans let you keep 100% of your royalties in exchange for a flat monthly fee.

Take a look at the four service levels you can consider:

  • Tryout Plan: if you're new to self-publishing, this is the ideal package. You can distribute one title at no cost - forever. You'll still get 100% of your royalties.
  • Standard Plan: for $19.99/month, you can distribute up to 5 titles through their full distribution network, while also accessing built-in promotion tools.
  • Pro Plan: for $99.99/month, you can distribute up to 50 titles. Plus, you get access to multi-user account capabilities, imprint management, and a bulk import option.
  • Publisher Plan: this level of service requires you to contact PublishDrive for a pricing quote. You'll get the ability to distribute more than 50 titles, along with "dedicated VIP support".

When you choose the Tryout Plan, keep in mind that your distribution will be limited to the following platforms: Amazon, Apple Books, Rakuten kobo, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, OverDrive, 24Symbols, and Bibliotheca. The other plans include PublishDrive's full distribution network, which expands the platforms offered in the Tryout package with access to global markets, Google Play and 16+ other channels.

Signing up for your free account is easy: you'll just need to enter your name, email address, and desired password. From there, you'll be taken to your author dashboard, which gives you PublishDrive's free eBook converter (from .docx to .epub and .mobi), your distribution service, and access to the PD author community.

One feature offered by PublishDrive that you won't find with many self-publishing companies is what they call "PD Abacus". If you have a co-author - or more than one - this tool lets you easily track costs, share data and calculate how to split royalties. You'll get this capability for free on your first title, and then you'll pay $2.99/month per title.

Let's take a closer look at PublishDrive's distribution feature. You'll have to spend a few minutes answering questions about your goals, experience, and the book(s) you're publishing. You'll need to select a category for your books: Erotica, Fantasy, Health and Fitness, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Self-Help, YA Fiction, or Other (which seemed to be the catch-all genre for a very wide swath of book types, like Sci-Fi, Non-Fiction, Biography, etc.). Then, once you've chosen your pricing plan, you'll see your Distribution dashboard. After your first book is uploaded and published, you'll have access to your sales statistics and analytics on that page.

We weren't impressed to see that PublishDrive's FAQ page was completely blank. As we poked around in the links at the bottom of the site, our confusion only grew: why are there sales/marketing, IT, and general/administrative jobs links? We'll never know, because those pages were blank too.

And, it wasn't much of a surprise to see that the only advertised way to reach PublishDrive is via email: no toll-free number and definitely no street address. We're not sure what they mean by "24/7 support team", but email-only help is definitely not what we had in mind. There is a live chat feature in the bottom right corner of the site, but we weren't optimistic that the Zendesk-powered "customer service" would be able to answer our in-depth questions about publishing our book.

Plus, if you need any print copies of your book, this service simply doesn't make that a possibility. PublishDrive is, by design, focused solely on eBooks.

There's a lot of buzz about PublishDrive, but at the end of the day it seems like this not-so-new startup needs a bit more polish to compete with already-established self-publishing options on the market.

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Continued from above

A related question is your budget. How much are you able - and willing - to spend to publish your work? If you're starting out on a shoestring, you may want to give more attention to the self-publishing companies that will format, publish and list your book at absolutely no cost; you'll just pay out of the royalties on whatever you actually sell. On the other hand, if the sky's the limit and it's your dream to see thousands of copies on the shelves at your local bookstores and beyond, you'll find many services that will give you everything from full-color packages to marketing and beyond.

The good news is that technology has made it possible to get your work published with very few of the costs formerly associated with the process. There's no need for a warehouse stocked with your books when Print-on-Demand publishing has made it easy and economical for copies to be made whenever needed. You can still access any add-on service you may want, like professional editing or book covers designed by graphic artists, but most of the process of self-publishing takes out the guesswork and hassle - which saves you time and money every step of the way.

As you evaluate the many self-publishing companies available today, you'll quickly see that they vary widely in terms of services offered, costs, and reach for prospective readers of your work. Here are several handy criteria to bear in mind, to help you make your decision:

  • Anticipated Costs and Fees. While some self-publishing services are "free", almost all of them take a percentage of your profit when you sell copies of your book. What will you expect to pay upfront, and what will your royalties be?
  • Range of Services. What does the self-publishing company offer you as an author? How much work will you need to do with your manuscript before you submit it for publishing? Are these services included with any fees paid, or will you pay a la carte for each one you need?
  • Reach. Where will your book be made available for sale? Will your work be listed on some of the most well-known online bookstores, or just within the self-publishing company's internal bookstore?
  • Reputation. What do other authors say about the service? Did they have a smooth experience getting their book self-published? Does the company have a good track record of client service, including knowledgeable, friendly reps who can answer your questions along the way?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best self-publishing cmpanies available today. We hope this information helps you narrow down your options and find the perfect fit for getting your book published!

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