Welcome writers! Here you will find a list of self-publishing companies (with a focus on those located in Victoria, BC). Also listed are resources for print-on-demand, ebooks, and hybrid publishing. If you are interested in self-publishing for children and youth, resources in Victoria and Vancouver are also included.
Before deciding on what company to use to self-publish your book, you need to decide how many tasks you wish to manage yourself. You can be very hands-on, or you can have one company handle everything.
Path 1 – Hands-On: If you are comfortable managing your book publishing project, this path might be best. It means you hire professionals for specific tasks (e.g. editing, cover design) that you are unable or unwilling to do yourself. This path may take more skill but it is becoming a popular option. This is because many writers want to have full quality control over each task. However, it is still best to out-source some tasks such as proofreading and covers. If you need help to find writing professionals, see the Pro Help section.
Path 2 – Package-Deal: For those not comfortable with fully managing a book project, then a package-deal might be the better option. This means you purchase all self-publishing services from one company. Keep in mind this route may be more costly. On the plus-side, it may save you time as you will not have to juggle many separate tasks. However, it is important to do your research, learn about other writers’ experiences, be very careful about your contract, ensure you purchase quality work, don’t over-pay, and make sure you avoid scams.
If you are not sure which is the best path, check with other writers or writing professionals. You can also learn about differences in quality in this helpful article by a self-published author who has tried several different companies.
For deep dive into detail, check Jane Friedman’s book publishing chart.
Self-Publishing Companies – Victoria BC
Printorium Bookworks – a part of Island Blue Print.
First Choice Books – a part of Victoria Bindary.
Friesen Press – a part of Friesens Corporation (founded 1923).
TellWell – a new company in Victoria.
Promontory Press – a boutique company in North Saanich.
Agio Publishing – a boutique service in Victoria.
Art Ink Print – a fine art printing and design company.
International self-publishing companies
CreateSpace – for softcover and Kindle ebooks (both part of Amazon).
IngramSpark – for hardcover, softcover and ebooks.
Lulu.com – for softcover, hardcover and ebooks.
Rapido Books – fast, short-run, quality on-demand printing.
Blurb.com – for high-quality art books.
Picaboo.com – for photobooks.
Peecho.com – for books, magazines, art posters, canvases (framed & unframed).
Canadian Companies for print books
Art Book Bindery (Winnipeg)
Houghton Boston Printers (Saskatoon)
Hignell Book Printing (Winnipeg)
International Web Express (Vancouver) for newspapers, magazines, booklets, and more.
Self-Publishing for Children & Youth
StoryStudio.com is a nonprofit that helps children and youth write and publish their own stories. In addition, they provide free programs in schools.
Creative Writing for Children is a non-profit that also helps children write and publish. Located in Vancouver, BC.
Writers’ Exchange is a nonprofit using volunteers to help children create literacy projects. Located in Vancouver, BC.
Crystal Stranaghan – Speaker and consultant on writing and publishing for children. Located in Vancouver, BC.
StoryTreasures.com – for students’ books.
StoryJumper.com – for children’s books.
self-publishing comparison charts
Because there are many, many more self-publishing companies (other than those listed here), check these charts and reviews:
Chart of Print-On-Demand companies
Review of Print-On-Demand companies
2017 Self-Publishing Index
IngramSpark vs. CreateSpace (for print books)
It is also important to read reviews of one very large self-publishing company (that also owns many smaller companies). This article describes problems authors have had. More self-publishing problems with this company can be found in the comments here.
Print-On-Demand (POD) and hybrid publishing
What is Print-On-Demand (POD)? It is a way to print books just few at a time, as needed. POD was invented when digital printing was invented. Previously, because of the high cost of setting up a regular printing press, it only made financial sense to print large numbers of books. And for writers self-publishing, this meant a big up-front cost and boxes of books filling their basement or garage. All this changed with digital printing. Books could be printed in small numbers as orders came in. One of the pioneers of POD was right here in Victoria: Bruce Batchelor, former CEO of Trafford Books, who now runs Agio Publishing House.
When exploring self-publishing options, you may come across the term “hybrid publishing“. A short definition is that hybrid publishing is part traditional publisher and part self-publishing company. As in traditional publishing, there may be a submission process. And like self-publishing, the author will help pay for publishing costs. Here is another helpful article about hybrid publishing.
Go to this page if you want to learn about Ebook Resources.
Again: it is very important to learn how to avoid publishing scams.
Did you find any of the resources listed especially helpful? Do you have an idea for a resource that should be listed? Please send an email!
Updated January 2018
Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified. Links do not indicate endorsement.