Epigraph Self-Publishing Service - Print Books On-Demand

Compare Self-Publishing Companies

To compare self-publishing costs at a glance, the first thing you need to understand is that there are three major players from which to choose in the self-publishing industry. There is the already widely known Amazon, whose self-publishing company is CreateSpace. There is the juggernaut conglomerate Author Solutions. And there is the rapidly growing sector of independently-owned self-publishing companies such as Epigraph. This chart compares CreateSpace, two Author Solutions companies, and two independent self-publishing companies, Mill City Press and Epigraph Publishing Service.
All of the companies represented in the chart have multiple publishing services that could have been used. This chart covers just the essentials—those core services every author needs to publish: design, printing, and distribution. We have also added eBook formatting and distribution, which is so commonly chosen by authors today that the chart would have been incomplete without it.

Epigraph compared with other leading publishing companies


Authorhouse* CreateSpace Xlibris* Mill City Press Epigraph

Custom design paperback and eBook with
on-demand distribution

$1,899 $1,342 $1,849 $2,496 $1,297

Cost to purchase 50 paperbacks*

$480 $163 $480 $294 $299

Total package cost

$2,379 $1,505 $2,329 $2,790 $1,596

Royalty amount based on 19.95 retail*

$1.99 $8.72/4.73 $1.99 $8.47 up to $9.66

Ability to set own wholesale discount

no no no no yes

Ability to set own retail price

no yes no yes yes

Includes library of congress registration

$75 yes $75 yes yes

Additional to add hardcover format

$900 not available $900 $599 $275

Includes Bowkers (Books in Print) registration

no yes no yes yes

Unlimited graphics

no yes no yes yes

Ability to sell at 'trade' terms through
on-demand channels

no yes no yes yes

Ability to use your own imprint name

no $99 no no included

Offset printing available

no no no yes yes

Marketing Consultation

yes no yes yes yes

Professional Publishing Consultation

no no no no yes

Author ownership of print files

no no no yes yes

Ownership of eBook files

company company company author author

Bulk quantity discounts on book purchases

yes no yes no yes
Bold: best price or service exclusive | Italics: second best price | *AuthorHouse (AH) and *Xlibris (XL) are Author Solutions companies.


  • Prices and services shown were taken from company websites.
  • Comparisons based a 200 page paperback.
  • *Retail price set at $19.99 by virtue of the fixed retail pricing found at AH and XL.
  • Package options chosen for closet proximity of level of service.
  • AH and XL costs of books Includes free copies included in package. I.e. if ten free copies were included in the package, the print cost was formulated at 40 copies.
  • Mill City Press site does not have a printing calculator or printing cost formulas, nor could we find such in their contract, which is available on their site. Neither were we able to find any clause in the contract where the author is explicitly given control over wholesale discounting.
  • Mill City Press print cost is an estimate based on our industry knowledge and Includes their $99 annual print ordering fee.
  • CreateSpace royalties are based on fixed wholesale discounts and result in two levels of royalty. $8.77 is royalty for Amazon sales, $4.73 is royalty on extended distribution option, which Includes other resellers.
  • CreateSpace package is a combination of layout and cover design options closest to the other companies, plus their cost for Library of Congress registration and eBook conversion.
  • Epigraph is the only company surveyed that gives the author complete control of setting wholesale discounts, which can range from 20% to 55%. The lower the discount, the more narrow the distribution. At 20% Amazon may be the only reseller stocking the book. 55% represents trade terms necessary for bookstore marketing.
  • In order for authors to have the ability to sell at trade terms they must have contractual control over setting wholesale discount.

Snap-Shot Comparisons

Mutiple format publishing costs (paperback, hardcover, eBook) Cost
AuthorHouse $2,799
Xlibris $2,799
CreateSpace not available
Mill City Press $3,095
Epigraph $1,572

Epigraph exclusives or best pricing

  • Lowest cost for basic custom design and distribute package
  • Lowest cost for multiple format publishing including hardcovers and eBooks
  • Least expensive hardcover add-on
  • Highest potential royalty rates
  • Only contract giving author full and unambigious control over setting wholesale discount
  • Only company offering the ability for authors to use their own imprint without additional cost
  • Only company offering professional publishing consultation throughout the publishing process

Advantages of Epigraph over CreateSpace

  • Higher potential royalty
  • Lower design and distribute cost
  • Ownership of print and eBook files
  • Ability to set own wholesale discount
  • Hardcover editions
  • Professional publishing consultation
  • Better pricing on high volume printing

Want to learn more? Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation. You'll be glad you did!