A good publishing service company will take your manuscript and create the files necessary to print a finished book. This includes cover design and also marketing materials. If you don't want to take the time to learn how to do all this yourself (and it does require learning how to use complicated software like InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop), what should you look for in a company that provides these services?
Before we take a look at that, let's explore the main reason why you would want to use a publishing services company in the first place: to free you up to concentrate on what you do best which is writing. While the company that you hire can be laying out and designing the cover for your book, you can be starting your book marketing campaign or be writing your next book. This is the main reason that authors and self publishers outsource these services.
As a self published author myself, I have to caution you that there are different types of publishing service companies. The first type is the vanity publisher. This is an old term that was revamped by book publishing companies that will accept any manuscript, regardless of quality and charge you for editing, typesetting, cover design and marketing materials, but also keeps the rights to your work. This is exactly what you want to avoid. Not only that, but they will charge you an exorbitant price to print your books which means you will have an extremely low profit margin.
This is why you want to go with a publishing services company that lets you keep the rights to your book. This is the way it should be. After all, you are the author, the visionary of your work. While such a company will provide all the services you need to produce a high quality book: editing, laying out the book, design its look and feel, cover design and marketing materials: bookmarks, postcards, brochures, etc., you will retain all your rights and keep all the royalties.
Do you see the difference between the two types of companies? With the latter, you retain the rights to the book because all you are paying for is their expertise in creating a finished and marketable book. With the first (what I refer to as vanity companies), you are signing away your rights and seriously limiting the profit potential of your book.
The other thing you should be aware of is to stay away from sites like Elance when doing a book. It is much better to pay a company to edit, layout and design the cover for your book because the different professionals will be talking to each other about a shared vision for the book, rather than hiring a bunch of independent contractors.
In short, the best publishing service companies out there offer their services in exchange for one low fee. While they offer different packages based on your needs, they will not take any of your profits.
Feel free to ask questions or leave your comments below.
About the Author: Laura Ramirez is the author of a number of self published books.