Welcome Writers! If you are ready to self-publish your book you may be asking “What’s the next step?” Well here’s a collection of self-publishing companies and resources to help you choose a path and take that first step to get your book published.
There are many self-publishing companies in Victoria, BC, and most of these are listed below. You can always find more by searching. However, be sure to read the “Scams Targeting Writers” resource page first.
In addition, the most popular online self-publishing platforms are also listed below. This is because they are increasingly the choice for writers who want to have maximum control over their self-published books. (See Do It Yourself section below.)
questions before you self-publish
When choosing a self-publishing path, a good way to start is by asking yourself some key questions:
- How many self-publishing tasks are you willing to handle yourself?
- Do you have time to invest in learning the process? (Keep in mind that this will be a good investment for all future self-publishing projects.)
- Are you fairly confident about working with PDFs, digital images, and key words? Or are you able to learn these skills as you go?
- If you run into a technical problem related to digital publishing, are you able to research online to find a solution?
- Are there family members or friends who can help with your project?
- Do you want quality control over all steps of self-publishing? This would include control over your covers, editing quality and your book’s price.
- Or, does having to learn, build skills, and trouble-shoot sound overwhelming?
- What is a bigger barrier to you: lack of financial means or lack of time?
Choosing a self-publishing path
Generally if you like having full control over the quality of your book, if you have enough time to learn new skills, and you are able to find and hire professional help when needed, then Do-It-Yourself publishing is the best route.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to invest time into building self-publishing skills, then seek out a (legit) self-publishing company or book shepherd services. This will be more costly. And you must research to ensure you don’t get scammed.
Finally, if you’re still not sure which path is best for you, check out advice from experienced self-publishing authors (e.g. Jane Friedman).
If you feel you can manage all necessary tasks to publish and sell your book, this path will be best. However, DIY doesn’t actually mean doing everything yourself. It means finding skilled help for tasks such as proofreading, editing, and cover design. It means knowing which tasks you can do for yourself, and which you can’t. (Tip: don’t try to do your own cover, this is one of your main marketing tools.) The DIY path will take more time in the beginning, but it is key to long term successful self-publishing.
Also, before publishing, read up on libel laws and make sure you don’t violate them
Self-publishing packages & Book shepherds
If you are not comfortable with fully managing your book project, a package deal might be a better option. This means you purchase all or most of your self-publishing services from one company. Keep in mind that this path is more costly, and gives you less control.
NOTE: Research before signing any contract. Check other writers’ experiences with the company. Check their print quality. Make sure you don’t over-pay. Most of all, be sure you avoid the many scams targeting writers.
Another option is to hire a “book shepherd” ––someone who will manage tasks for you, but offers a personalized service. Again, do your research first. One way to check for a quality service is to find out if they are an Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) partner. (E.g. this company in Ontario offers services similar to a book shepherd and they are an ALLi partner.)
Self-Publishing Companies – Victoria & Vancouver
- First Choice Books – print books, ebooks, and author services
- Printorium Bookworks – print books, no ebooks, local editing services
- Coast Dog Press – self-publishing services; specialists in aviation books
- LeanPub – online digital books only
- Page Two Books – boutique publishing services (Vancouver)
- Art Ink Print – art quality printing; specializes in critical colour; scanning and other services for artists (Victoria)
Note: not a complete list.
Self-publishing companies – popular online platforms
- Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon) for ebooks and paperbacks.
- IngramSpark – Hardcover, softcover and ebooks
- Smashwords – ebooks & distribution
- Lulu.com – Hardcover, softcover, photo books, and ebooks
- Barnes & Noble – Print and ebooks
- Blurb.com – High-quality art and photo books
- Unbound – Crowdfunding for self-publishing
- Differences between KDP and IngramSpark
- Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon) for ebooks and paperbacks.
A few other options (check reviews first)
Canadian print book companies
Self-Publishing for Children & Youth
- StoryStudio.com – Victoria nonprofit
- Creative Writing for Children – Vancouver nonprofit
- Writers’ Exchange – Vancouver nonprofit
- StoryTreasures.com – used by schools to publish books by students
- StoryJumper.com – publishing children’s books
Self-publishing comparison charts
- Self-Publishing Companies rated (massive chart)
- 2019 Self-Publishing Index
- Smashwords & LeanPub review
What is Print-On-Demand (POD) and hybrid publishing?
Print-On-Demand means printing just a few books at a time as needed, or “on demand”. POD became possible with the arrival of digital printing. Prior to that, it only made financial sense to print large numbers of books due to the set-up time. For self-publishing writers, this saddled them with big up-front costs and stacks of books waiting to be sold. All this changed with digital printing. Suddenly, small numbers of books could be printed at a reasonable cost.
The term “hybrid publishing” is something you may come across when exploring self-publishing options. As in traditional publishing, there may be a submission process. But like self-publishing, the author helps pay publishing costs. Learn more here.
Did you find any of the resources especially helpful? Or do you have an idea for a resource that should be listed? Feel free to send us an email.
Updated January 2021
Note: Links and information are for research purposes only. They do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified. Links do not indicate endorsement.