Book Writers

BookBaby Review: Legit or Scam

BookBaby is an Oregon based company who opened their doors in 2011. The company is a team of authors, artists’ poets, and bloggers who’ve come together to help authors and artists self-publish their books and optical discs. They have a large distribution network they use to distribute eBooks and optical discs for independent artists. This is an excellent service especially for authors who don’t want to sell to large publishing companies. Furthermore, the company has a complete service to manufacture and distribute optical discs for any independent artist, filmmaker or business in the United States. BookBaby is the sister company to CD Baby which is one of the original independent distributors of music. The company was founded and started in a garage back in 1998.

How Does it Work?

  1. You can go to the website and create an account.
  2. After your account has been created, it is beneficial to read the FAQ sections to see how the site works.
  3. This helps you to upload, format, and create your book online.
  4. The company has 3 different packages they offer you, free, standard and premium.
  5. You’ll need to select the package that benefits you.
  6. Upload your PDF file or MS Word document to the site and start creating your book or eBook.

Why Should You Choose BookBaby Over a Different Publishing Company?

  1. Many large distribution networks don’t charge an upfront fee, however, they also don’t help you create the eBook or offer you design support or layout tools to use. Where BookBaby has all this available to you and they are there to offer you support and help you each step of the way.
  2. The experts at BookBaby know how to convert your digital document so it can easily be read across all digital devices.
  3. Before your book is published, the company sends you the finished ePub formatting. This gives you the opportunity to see how your eBook will look on the different mobile device. No other company does this.
  4. You’ll have the perfect opportunity to reach a worldwide network of people who’ll be interested in purchasing your eBook. Furthermore, you’ll also have access to the millions of people who use Amazon.
  5. After you’ve given your approval for your book to be published, the company can have it ready and online in just a matter of days.
  6. The company pays each author on Monday as long as you’ve reached the minimum threshold for sales.
  7. You’ll keep 100% of the profits from all the online retailers that sell your book. The company doesn’t keep any of your profits.
  8. You’ll also retain 100% ownership of your books and all of your rights to the book.
  9. If a book sells on BookBaby’s online store the “BookShop”, you’ll earn 85% of the sales from each book sold.

How Much Does it Cost?

  1. Like all companies, a person chooses to work with; it will all depend on how much of the pre-publication work you can do on your own. This determines the actual cost you’ll need to pay.
  2. The company has 3 different packages you can choose from. The free package, the standard package, and the premium package.
  3. The free package includes:
    1. Distribution to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Nole, Kobo, Gardners, eSentral, PagePusher, Scribd, Amazon, PagePusher, Copia, and Baker & Taylor.
    2. On the website that details, promotes, and distributes your links to all of BookBaby’s retail partners.
    3. You’ll earn 85% of the royalties after the retail partner’s discount.
    4. The company offers you a $100 discount coupon off the price of custom-printed books. You’ll have a minimum that must be fulfilled before the discount can be applied.
    5. You’ll be able to use BookPromo toolkit to help expose your eBook and entice reviews.
    6. The company also offers free email customer support in the free package.
  4. The Standard packages cost $99. You’ll receive all the benefit of the free package plus:
    1. ePub file conversion and formatting from various source files that include PDF, text, MS Word, HTML, Pages, Quark, and InDesign.
    2. The 14-point checklist to verify your files.
    3. A post-conversion quality checks to make sure your eBook is readable on all e-reader devices.
    4. Phone and email support.
    5. The company will convert up to 5 graphic elements.
    6. Before your book is distributed it will be checked for ePub formatting. You’ll receive an ePub proof to check.
    7. Your eBook will go through a quality check to make sure it is readable on all major e-reader devices.
  5. The Premium Packages cost $249. You’ll not have to do any work publishing your eBook. BookBaby will handle the file conversion, proof, checking, and formatting for you. You’ll also receive other benefits for this price.
    1. The company won’t take a 15% commission on the sales of your books. That means you’re paid 100% on all net sales.
    2. You’ll receive a $200 discount coupon that can be used on your custom-print-books. However, in order to use this discount, you must meet the required number of books you need to be printed.
    3. You’ll receive a digital PDF that you can be used to help sell your books.
    4. You’ll also receive a $30 coupon that can be applied to your eBook cover design.

How Does BookBaby Pay You?

  1. You’ll need a minimum of $10 in your account in order to be paid.
  2. The company processes and pays you each Monday.
  3. If you have a US bank account, you can request a direct deposit to your account. Otherwise, the company can send you a check or pay you through PayPal.
  4. On any new eBook that goes online for sale, it normally takes 45 to 60 days after the end of the first fiscal month to see the sales in your account. This can vary from store to store and how fast they report the sales of your book to BookBaby.
  5. You’ll not need to request a payment from the company. As long as you have at least $10 in your account, the payments are sent out automatically by the company.

Does BookBaby Supply an ISBN?

  1. BookBaby will supply you an ISBN for a fee of $18.
  2. The ISBN will be associated with BookBaby and indicate that BookBaby is the publisher of your book.
  3. You will still retain all your copyrights and subsidiary rights of your book.

What Are People Saying About This Company?

  1. People are having a lot of issues working with this company. They are having problems when they try to print out there books and end up wasting a lot of time working with this company.
  2. A few people paid a high price to have on-demand printing. Once their books went on sale on Amazon, the company didn’t do on-demand printing and Amazon ended up taking the book off the site.
  3. The company takes forever to pay out your royalties.
  4. When you pay to have your manuscript corrected, the company doesn’t make the corrections and your manuscript is still full of errors.
  5. At times the company won’t print the on-demand book that you’ve approved. Instead, they will print books that haven’t been approved.
  6. The company uses to help distribute your book; however, they have discontinued this service. Therefore, you’ll need to do this on your own now. The price you pay the company should include this service.
  7. Your ISBN number isn’t free and you need to pay $18. Even if you pay the fee, the company isn’t helpful and willing to make the changes you’ve asked for.


This is a legitimate publishing company that anyone can use to publish and distribute their books or optical disks. The company has three different payment options to select from and each week they pay you for your royalties. However, there are many complaints about the service you receive from this company, the lack of help, and how long it takes to add your book sales to your account. Many people are disappointed with BookBaby and don’t recommend this company to first-time publishers.

Before paying the company any money for their services, I’d sign up for the free account and see how it works. If you’re not satisfied with the services, you’ve not lost any money. There are plenty of other publishing companies online that do a top-notch service and are there to assist and help first-time self-publishers.




6 thoughts on “BookBaby Review: Legit or Scam”

  1. In January 2019 I purchased their Complete Publishing Package. It’s now May, and my experience with them continues to drag on and on. From the article, this is the main one: “People are having a lot of issues working with this company. They are having problems when they try to print out there books and end up wasting a lot of time working with this company.”

    Yup, that’s it!

    On the surface Bookbaby looks good. Great website, good offers. I took them up on their Complete Publishing Package (book formatting, cover design, distribution etc.).

    My experience has not been positive. Frustrating and disappointing best characterize how I have felt throughout most it.

    The latest thing was when I receive the 25 books the come with the package. There was glaring print error: the front cover wrapped over the spine, pushing the spine text and image off center, and wrapping the spin image over the back cover. When I wrote them about this, they refused to fix it, saying it was within “acceptable tolerance”. A fancy term they made up for “we don’t need to take responsibility for our mistakes.”

    My book now screams ‘cheap self publishing job’ and I’m embarrassed (and angry) that people around the world who will be paying good money for my book are getting it from this “professional” publishing company.


    1. “The latest thing was when I receive the 25 books the come with the package. There was glaring print error”.

      Did they give you a proof of the printed copy to review? If so, did the cover look okay on the proof?


  2. Hi Ann – who in your opinion are — “There are plenty of other publishing companies online that do a top-notch service and are there to assist and help first-time self-publishers.” — bookbaby’s competitors that you would recommend for epublishing?


    1. There are several other reviews I have written about self-publishing a book. I would suggest that you go and read a few of these reviews. it will be easy for you to decide which company you’d like to use.


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