Self-publishers can help you take an idea you want to share with the world and turn it into a book. The best self-publishing companies can also help you market that book so it gets into all the right hands.

With so many self-publishing platforms for nonfiction books, though, many would-be authors need some help finding the right option for them. With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of what the best self-publishing companies out there offer and which one might be best for you.

What to Look for in a Self-Publishing Company

When determining the right self-publishing service for your book, your decision may depend on one of several factors:

  • The type of support on offer: Not every company provides support across the whole publishing process. How much assistance do you need?
  • The rights to your writing: While many self-publishing companies allow you to hold the rights to your writing, don’t assume that’s the case. Some may even expect a percentage of your sales. How important is it to you to own what you’ve created?
  • Distribution and marketing: Distribution channels for self-published books are important because you need a publisher to help get your book in front of people. How will your publisher help you find your audience?
  • Cost: The cost of self-publishing can be high. Are you looking to get a little help for a low price or the best that money can buy?

Ask yourself these questions with each self-publishing service you consider. Ultimately, the best self-publishing companies are those with the right answers to these questions for you.

Top Self-Publishing Companies Reviewed

To help you narrow down your search, here are a few of the biggest names in self-publishing, each with its own unique set of features and pricing to go with it.


There are many distribution channels for self-published books, but the main one for everyone is Amazon. If all you are looking to do is get your book published, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is the way to do it. Publication is free. You can order author copies at a low price, and for every sale, you make something—after Amazon takes its cut.

The problem is that Amazon doesn’t do anything to help you get your book out there. It won’t give you any feedback on your manuscript. It won’t help you design a cover or format the book to look professional. It won’t write the back cover copy or do any marketing. It won’t even guide you on how to set up pricing and distribution on its own site.

If you feel you can handle all that on your own, by all means, go straight to Amazon. But that’s a heavy load to lift without at least some expert assistance.


If you are looking for a one-stop, complete package for publication and marketing of your potential book, Scribe is the place to go. Simply put, it’s the best of the self-publishing platforms for nonfiction out there. Scribe’s Publishing Program includes everything you need to take a manuscript and clean it up so it’s in the best possible shape. Scribe will make your book look great and get it into the hands of those who need to read it.

In this program, you get seasoned experts to review your manuscript, a complete copyedit to catch typos and grammatical errors, a professional cover, graphics, distribution, fifty free copies of the book, a complete marketing plan, and a launch that gets your new book off to the best start imaginable.

There are even more features available with add-ons like a professionally recorded audiobook, further editing, and even more marketing for those who want to go the extra mile. The cost starts at $18,000, but it’s worth every penny if you really believe in your book.


The great thing about Reedsy is that there are so many creatives you can work with. But that’s also the problem. You have so many options and so many decisions to make. Who can give you the best manuscript evaluation? Who’s the best fit to copy, edit or proofread your book? Who can design the right cover for you? Is there a difference in quality between the fifty or so formatters you’re considering?

It’s hard to even begin narrowing it all down—and you have to make those choices every step of the way. That’s before you even consider price, which can go from the very affordable to the top of the market, depending on who you choose to work with.

Essentially, if you really want to self-publish and do most of the work every step along the way, then Reedsy is a great option. If you want certainty you’re working with the best without all the headaches, it might be best to look elsewhere.


If you’re looking for something a little less advanced than Scribe but a little more organized than Reedsy, BookBaby offers a nice affordable option. For a few thousand dollars, you’ll get the basics of a cover, a line edit (a less-thorough review than a manuscript evaluation, focused mostly on cleaning up phrasing in your manuscript), a few dozen copies of the book, and distribution through Amazon and other print-on-demand services.

BookBaby offers a modest amount of marketing, but this isn’t a package designed to really make your name or change your life. If budget is a concern, though, this is a good place to look.

Understanding the Self-Publishing Process

The costs of self-publishing can seem high, but you get what you pay for. Paperback and e-book publishing companies cover a vast process. To give you a sense, here’s how we break the process down:

  • Manuscript evaluation
  • Manuscript copyediting and proofreading
  • Book cover design
  • Interior graphics creation
  • Interior layout
  • Copyrighting and cataloging
  • Distribution and royalty setup
  • Book distribution in all formats
  • Marketing
  • Launch and promotion

Each of these steps is critical if you want to create a successful book. Some of the self-publishing companies above skip a number of these steps (or in Amazon’s case, all of them) to keep prices down or avoid charging you at all. Just keep in mind that every step you skip or take a shortcut on can cost you readers and interest.

Marketing and Promotion for Self-Published Nonfiction

One of the steps many authors decide to skip is marketing. Some authors only publish a book in order to say they did it. That’s totally fine, but if you actually want a large audience or to leverage your book to advance your career or other aims, you probably need marketing.

Some of this you can do on your own. You can reach out to contacts to spread the word about your book. You can post about your book on social media. You can send a mass email to motivate some early sales when you publish.

For more than that, though, you probably need marketing services for self-published authors. At Scribe, we have an entire product designed around book promotion that includes an ad campaign, email templates, graphics, and even submission to certain awards—all with the aim of building up interest and sales before you even release your book. This is all included in our publishing program, which also gives you access to a marketing course and mastermind group to keep pushing those sales up.

Success Stories and Case Studies

One of the reasons that so many authors come to Scribe is that we have a history of helping authors achieve everything they hoped for from their books. Pavel Ythjall had an incredible story about his and his wife’s life after a severe car accident changed everything for them, but it took Scribe Publishing to transform that into a book that would reach the right audience. Thanks to Scribe, Pavel spent several weeks on the Amazon bestseller list—not once but twice. The book even resulted in a feature film.

That’s the potential that comes from a book being published well. If you have faith that your ideas can have an impact on the world, there’s only one real question left: which publisher can do the most to help you maximize that impact?