Publish Green is one of several ebook publishers and distributors. It is the twin sister of Mill City Press and it can be summed up as “Mill City Press for ebooks”. They have everything you need to format and distribute you ebook, cover design, website design, marketing services, and more. It’s all in one place.
Publish Green is not for everyone. If you are perfectly comfortable and capable formatting your own books and producing a quality product on your own and handling all the distribution and bookkeeping, they are not for you. They are for any author who would need a hand with formatting and want to do their own distribution or for the person who would like someone to format, distribute, and take care of the accounting stuff for them so they can market and write their next book. They are for the authors who are intimidated by or really dislike Smashwords or KDP automated platforms (I bump into a few now and then) or afraid of all things techno. They are also for any author with very a complex book or authors of coffee table or children’s books with a lot of images that are not suitable for automated publishing platforms–they can tackle the most impossible book.
This year Publish Green won the award for “Best eBook Conversion” at the Midwest Book Awards and their conversion software is patented. So there is nothing fly-by-night going on here. I was given an opportunity to sample their services for review.
DISCLAIMER: I was not obligated to write a positive review, and I do not receive any affiliate fees or commissions.
The website is very neat, professional, and very detailed. Everything you need to know is there in black, white, and color. Everything is easy to find and very organized. They have pictures to enhance the visual experience.
The ePublishing Process
Whether you purchase your services or cash in on your free credit, everything starts on the Publish Green website. Everything that you need to get started is right there on the “Publish Now” page. After that you are then taken to the Author Center which functions like a dashboard–kind of like a blog if you will. Here, you will be asked to fill out detailed questionnaires about cover design, formatting, distribution (if you aren’t doing your own), and ISBNs whether you have your own or included depending on package level. You are notified via email when there is something you need to do.
If you run into any trouble or have questions they have a message center or live chat available to you. They respond back to you in a very timely fashion with good, detailed answers.
Since the ebooks are formatted by hand, they take longer to format than automated systems. The ebooks are formatted into HTML code (which has been proven to create better ebooks) which are then converted into ePub and Mobi (kindle) formats.
Publish Green is one of the few places that accept pdf files for conversion. There is no preformatting required.
You will be able to preview and check your formatting with a sample chapter and a final checkup. Don’t have e-readers or a e-reading program? They supply them to you for free. They encourage you to preview your files before approval. How many rounds do you have to get it right? As many as it takes–they want you to be happy with your ebooks.
The cover design service is a new addition. Since everyone won’t need their cover design service, if they have print books or their own cover designer, they have this as an add-on. I was able to test it to see how it works. Do they use templates? Nope. So, basically, you have ideas for your cover, right (or you should)? You put these into the questionnaire (among a lot of other things) and you will be asked to go on Amazon and look at book covers that are similar to your idea and your genre/niche which is what DIY authors and cover designers say is a good idea and should do. You are asked why you like this choice. The more detail you provide, the better. They take everything and produce two cover concepts for you to choose from and a couple rounds of corrections.
You do your own distribution or they can do it for you. They also have a back-end ordering system in addition to worldwide and library distribution. You can connect this system to ANY website–you don’t have to order one of their websites if you have one already, and it can be a blog/website combo. You can create promo codes and customize the order page. Since there are no 3rd party retailer fees you receive a higher royalty. This also shows all your book information (synopsis, cover, about the author, ISBNs, etc).
You will receive sales reports in the Author Center where you published. It’s more than just the publishing dashboard. There is much more to it and this is your portal to do other tasks such as publishing another book or whatever the case is. Of course you can also view sales on Amazon via Author Central or track you traffic by using links by using Bit.ly. Case in short, the sales reports are reports from everywhere.
Other Notable Things
Publish Green doesn’t take any royalties. You own everything you buy here (website, ebook files, cover, ISBNs, etc). The contract is nonexclusive and cancel at any time. Find a new distributor you would like to work with in addition to their retail partners? No problem–you’re free to upload here. They obey all the rules in the “Author’s Bill of Rights” (see Does My Publisher Suck post), and they do very well on my quiz. You can set your price at what you want like any other ebook publisher, except Author Solutions companies that force you to sell your ebooks at $9.99 while they also take royalties and will not allow you to choose retailers.
The only drawback is if you like to “price pulse” on Amazon.com using PG’s distribution may not work for you. You can get them to format your book, but you may wish to distribute on your own if you don’t want to use promo codes ;).
Publish Green also has contests on Facebook for free packages, a lot of free tips and interaction, so if you are interested check them out on Facebook. They believe in the awesome power of free.
Publish Green professionals do not call you relentlessly and annoy you, and they don’t hard sell any additional services. When I sent emails they responded in a timely manner. I didn’t have two weeks go by and my emails be unanswered. There were no automated answering services, and the staff didn’t act like robots or zombies. Questions were answered well. Any problems were handled right away. Everyone I spoke with via email were friendly and professional.
Is it Worth the Investment?
Publish Green is not free unless you win a free package, and they may cost more than Bookbaby, and their high-end packages cost may be more than what most indie authors are comfortable with (but if they need everything, it’s all under one roof and that’s about what everything altogether would cost), but only the author can decide for themselves if it’s worth it. If you can’t (or shouldn’t) do it yourself, and you don’t know or have a cover designer, formatter, editor, website or website designer, and you don’t want to handle the distribution on your own, yes it’s worth the investment. They do quality work and produce a quality product, and that’s what you need to have an edge in today’s competitive market against Big 6 ebooks–quality matters. When you can’t do it yourself, formatting, cover design, and publishing is not the place to cut corners (it shows and people know). Ebooks are forever so you’ll be marketing the book for the rest of its life and that also makes it worth the investment in the long run.
Rating from 1 (Sucks) to 5 (Cool)? Cool B-)