Mascot Books review – 5 Stars

9827230_origMascot Books is located in Herndon, VA (USA) and they’ve been in business since 2003. Their current rating on Google is 4.7 stars out of 5 stars, with over 40 ratings overall. They also boast an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only 1 complaint in the last 3 years. They’ve published a couple thousand books since 2003, so their reputation is outstanding considering the sheer volume of books produced.

Mascot considers themselves a hybrid book publisher (while many still refer to them as a self-publishing company), which charges a fee for their services, but they don’t list their pricing on the official company website, most likely because they don’t offer one size fits all packages. According to the Washington Post, however, they seem to have several different business models for authors: One model noted in the news article quotes a price of $28,000 which includes 5,000 copies.

Aside from book printing, they also render ghostwriting services, editing, book design, illustration and distribution. Their pricing seems to be on the high side, but taking into account their amazing reputation and over 15 years in business, Mascot Books is a great option for authors looking for a professional full-service book publisher to help them self-publish without the perception of being self-published.

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5 Stars for Mascot Books

We give Mascot Books a 5 star rating without reservation!

SilverWood Books review – 5 Stars

brag-friends-silverwoodSilverWood Books is located in Bristol, England (United Kingdom). They have been in business since 2007. They’re currently sitting on a very impressive Facebook business rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars, with 35 ratings overall. The owner of the company, Helen Hart, is also an experienced published author with Scholastic and HarperCollins.

SilverWood makes getting started easy through their 7-step plan outlined here. The company obviously benefits from its experienced leadership. They have several publishing packages, with their pricing listed in a transparent manner.

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5 Stars for SilverWood Books

If you are looking for hand-holding from an experienced staff, SilverWood might be for you. With an exceptional track record and leadership team, affordable service pricing and fantastic support, SilverWood Books is definitely a 5 star company!

Infinity Publishing review – 3 Stars

INFINITY-PUBLISHING-logo_larger-e1498688156115Infinity Publishing is one of the very few large self-publishing companies with an okay overall online reputation (there aren’t hundreds of complaints about their services). According to their website, they’ve worked with around 7,000 authors since 1997, so some complaints should be expected over the course of 22 years and working with thousands of authors (they have over 40 complaints in the past 3 years), but authors should weigh the pros and cons before proceeding with this company.

Infinity, having teamed up with Fast Pencil, offers a few basic self-publishing options but nothing substantial in terms of marketing or PR. Their pricing is competitive, ranging from $499 up to around $3,000. They do a nice job outlining some of the reasons authors should work with them.

If you’re looking for a basic self-publishing service, and can handle much of the marketing and publicity on your own end, Infinity Publishing is worth a look. Unfortunately, due to their customer complaints, we aren’t able to provide a 5 star review. We rate Infinity Publishing 3 Stars because of their longevity (22 years in business), affordable pricing and business “remarkables” including monthly royalty payments instead of the industry standard quarterly royalty payments. 

Aventine Press review – 5 Stars

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Aventine Press is located in Chula Vista, CA. They’ve been in business for 17 years according to their BBB listing. Their business is not “accredited” with the BBB but it carries an A+ rating regardless. We performed a Google search on the company and found only positive reviews and feedback. They’ve received plenty of acclaim throughout the years. They tout themselves as an “author friendly self-publishing company” and they pride themselves on their “quiet professionalism,” flexibility and quality. Their self-publishing services include cover design, interior layout design, printing and distribution through Ingram.

Aventine Press has received many positive reviews and testimonials from their clients over the years. Here’s one in particular:

Thanks for all of the help with everything from the cover to the copyrighting. Aventine Press has provided me with a wealth of information that has helped me overcome hurdles in the publishing business that have until now remained too high to reach. This experience has opened doors to me that I never could have opened on my own and launched a career in writing that started as just an idea and a dream.” –-Steven Lee Seaborg, author of Clockwork

The company’s pricing is very affordable and author friendly. Their no frills packages start at around $499. They are also extremely transparent about what they cannot do. For instance, they state that they cannot publish books that contain embedded images. Their books also cannot contain color images in the interior. Many other self-publishing companies promise a “one size fits all” package in order to sell, sell, sell. But not Aventine. They are clear about their limitations, so as to attract their ideal clients.

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5 Stars for Aventine Press

If you have a fiction or non-fiction manuscript with black and white images for the interior or no images at all, Aventine Press seems like a fine choice. Due to their transparency, author friendly pricing and approach, and positive reviews, we give Aventine Press a 5-Star rating!

Best Self-Publishing Companies in 2020 (The Definitive List)

Best Self-Publishing Companies list 2020

We’ve noticed that many lists of the best self-publishing companies are severely outdated (and not selective at all) and are therefore very unhelpful, so we’ve devised our own list of self-publishing companies, updated for 2020.

The list is organized in alphabetical order, but rest assured that only the best self-publishing companies are included in this list. The criteria for making the list: Each self-publishing company must have a strong online reputation and overall positive customer reviews and ratings. The companies are also required to provide professional and responsive customer service and solid service value. Years in business is also taken into account, among other factors. Many of the self-publishers included here are small to medium-sized firms because they tend to focus more on quality than the larger companies do. We’ve found that many of the “large” self-publishing companies carry dismal customer ratings and deliver low value, so most of those companies are not on this list. In other words, if you’re looking for the biggest or largest self-publishing companies, this isn’t the list for you.

The entries below contain a link to each respective self-publishing company, along with a quick note about each company’s unique trait(s). Click on the links below to perform additional research of your own before hiring a self-publishing company.

Featured Self-Publishing Companies: The Best of the Best

  • MindStir Media: An award-winning company in business for over a decade. As part of their self-publishing services packages, authors receive mentoring and advice from the owner of the company, an 8x award winning author.
  • Morris Publishing: Family-owned and operated business. Full-service publishing services. 4.8 stars out of 5 stars on Trust Pilot.
  • Word Association Publishers: Authors can purchase book publishing services a la carte as needed. The company doesn’t use high-pressure sales tactics to gain clients, so don’t expect a “pitch.”

List of the Best Self-Publishing Companies

  • AIA Publishing: Charges by the hour for their publishing services vs. offering packages.
  • Amplify Publishing: Seemingly specializes in business and political books. Company refers to itself as a “hybrid publisher.”
  • Aventine Press: Full transparency and low prices for their no frills services.
  • Book Launchers: Providers of ghostwriting services for business books as well as editing, platform building, publishing and promotions.
  • Book Reality: Digital and paperback publishing assistance.
  • Inspiring Voices: Specializes in helping authors self-publish inspirational books.
  • Instant Publisher: Printer for self-publishers. Publish your book in as few as 7 days.
  • Jera Publishing: Helps authors prepare their manuscript for submission to a printer of choice.
  • Mascot Books: They do not offer packages. Services are tailored to the author’s needs.
  • Publishing Xpress: Highly-rated printer for self-publishers.
  • Redemption Press: Christian book publisher. Woman-owned.
  • SilverWood Books: Professional self-publishing services for independent authors.
  • York Publishing Services: A complete quality self-publishing service.

 

MindStir Media review – 5 Stars

Mindstir Media review
MindStir Media, LLC

The first self-publisher we’d like to review is MindStir Media, LLC. They are located in North Hampton, New Hampshire and have been in business since 2009. If you do a quick search you’ll see that MindStir has played a role in publishing several hundred titles for various authors. According to the company’s official website, bestselling author J.J. Hebert is the president of MindStir Media and works with MindStir authors. Every MindStir author is also assigned a single representative to work with them. The company offers a bunch of self-publishing services such as book design, children’s book illustration, editing, printing, ebook conversion, distribution, mentoring, and marketing, etc.

MindStir has received rave reviews from its authors. One can easily find those Mindstir Media reviews on a bunch of different sites. They even have a review site that shows the experience authors have had with them. A few excerpts:

  • “The entire process of self-publishing was my first rodeo.  Mindstir Media was nothing less than exceptional.  Their team of professional, skilled and friendly staff was evident from beginning to end.  We collaborated so well during the illustration process and the timely, ongoing communication helped move by book way ahead of its anticipated completion date.  Overall, I am extremely pleased with my first book.” -Tanja Huston, author of Juju’s Big Surprise
  • “I came to J.J. Hebert and MindStir Media with a complex and stressful situation regarding the publication of my book. With confidence and consistency, J.J. helped navigate me through what options I may have both within and outside of his company. He did this all well before I made a commitment or payment to him. … J.J.’s willingness to genuinely help, and the promptness with which he did (he often responded regardless of what hour I sent him an email, and this says something considering I am living in Thailand) allowed me to see that he is a good man who puts his morals before his business. As an online college professor, I can attest to the importance of “virtual visibility” and I can say that J.J. was always visible and always responsive in every step of the book publishing process … I’ve experienced his tenacity and work ethic, his open-mindedness and empathy. I entered the self-publishing game scared and critical, but through my experience with J.J. and MindStir Media I was able to expand my perspective and develop a newfound appreciation for the field … I highly recommend J.J. Hebert and the team at MindStir Media for anybody who has a story to tell.” -Award-winning poet Cameron Conaway

MindStir Media’s pricing seems to be fair and reasonable for the level of support that authors receive. Their publishing packages shown at www.mindstirmedia.com/selfpublishingpackages range from $1,799 to $10,999 and they all include mentoring from bestselling author J.J. Hebert, which seems very unique to the self-publishing world.  Some of the higher-end publishing packages include additional marketing and publicity and 100% royalties.

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5 Stars for MindStir Media, LLC

Taking into account MindStir Media’s positive author reviews, its unique and extensive list of self-publishing services (including mentoring), and reasonable pricing, we are happy to give MindStir Media, LLC a 5 star rating!

For more information, visit www.mindstirmedia.com.