Llumina seems to have one of the more straightforward deals. They do screen manuscripts (providing you with a free editing evaluation) and require that your work be well written. Any editing that is needed doesn’t have to be done by a Llumina editor, but can be done by any qualified editor you choose. This policy ensures quality and helps them maintain a good reputation to potential book buyers.
Their royalties (10% on books sold through external channels, 30% on books sold through their site) represent a fixed percentage of list price. You always know what you get, and it isn’t a percentage of some mysterious “net” figure based on what’s left after all the costs have been subtracted from the selling price. Their price for setup is reasonable at $799 because it includes everything necessary to get the book published and into distribution. They even edit your back cover copy at no additional cost. You are in constant contact with the people working on your book, and you have to approve each major step before they go on to the next.
Author’s discounts are higher than most: 30% for fewer than 25 books; 45% discount on 25 to 199 books; 50% on 200 to 499 books, and 55% on 500 or more. And if you want to print in larger quantities, they can offer offset printing (and lower your costs per book even more). Authors have input as to their book’s format and work directly with the cover artist to design their cover. In fact, you have contact with the people working on your book throughout the publishing process.
You get distribution through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and their website, and good returnability options. Marketing programs are designed to go after reviewers. On the downside, they should probably emphasize online marketing rather than bookstores.
On the plus side:
-Editing requirement adds credibility to your book
-Free editing evaluation
-High author discounts
-Editing of back cover included
-Lots of author input into book and cover design
On the negative side:
-Needs an online marketing program