BookBaby Review: 6 Things To Know Before You Use BookBaby

BY P.J McNulty | Apr 16, 2020 | Reviews

You’ve stumbled across BookBaby in your quest to learn more about self-publishing

You want to know what this self-publishing company has to offer, the services involved, and if it’s worth the cost.

Before you decide on using this company to publish your book, learn more about the pros and cons to make an informed choice.

A Note To Our Readers:

We want you to make informed decisions when it comes to how and where to invest your money. That’s why our mission is to help educate authors on the various self-publishing companies and services that are on the market today.

Our reviews are meant to be unbiased, 3rd party reviews, but we will speak up if there is a scam or a clearly better option.

Here are the six things to know before deciding on BookBaby:

  1. What is BookBaby?
  2. BookBaby Services
  3. BookBaby Cost
  4. How to Login to BookBaby
  5. How to Use BookBaby Learn
  6. BookBaby Alternatives
  7. Final Rating
self-publishing company

What is BookBaby? 

BookBaby is a book publishing service provider for self-published authors. They offer a mix of done-for-you style service packages along with marketing offers and resources.

The company claims to help you self-publish, print, and distribute your book worldwide at Amazon, Kindle, Apple Books and Barnes & Noble.

Is BookBaby a publisher?

BookBaby is not a traditional publisher. They do not buy your book rights and pay royalties. Instead, they provide services for self-published authors.

BookBaby Services & Cost

No BookBaby review would be complete without a guide to the services on offer.

But first, what exactly does BookBaby do?

Here’s a one-by-one look at each of the services offered by BookBaby.

#1 – Book Printing

The first major category of services available from BookBaby is book printing.

On the website, there is a full category devoted to book printing. This contains a range of different options. Some of these are directly relevant to self-published authors, while others have less direct relevance.

The most relevant book printing options from a self-publishing perspective include the self-publishing packages, specialist genre printing options, print on-demand services, and wholesale printing packages. Let’s briefly look at each of these.

As part of the self-publishing packages option, you can select from three options – Express, Complete, and Deluxe. Each package involves a mixture of eBook conversion and distribution in addition to the printing of softcover books. The more advanced packages also involve cover design and marketing to various extents.

BookBaby also specializes in specific packages for genre authors. The genres on offer at this time are:

Each genre package involves specialist eBook and print book distribution tailored to that genre in particular, as well as full book creation services.

If you only need print-on-demand services, you can choose from either Global Print-on-Demand or BookShop Only Direct To Reader Print-on-Demand. 

The first option, Global Print-on-Demand gets your book distributed to places like Barnes & Noble and Amazon, while the other option is cheaper and gets you distribution to a dedicated BookShop only.

Related: Amazon KDP Guide

BookBaby also offers wholesale book printing for larger quantities of books.

At this time, you can order books in the following wholesale quantities from BookBaby:

  • 500 – 1499 books. Softcover in 7 days, hardcover in 10.
  • 1500 – 2500 books. Softcover in 10 days, hardcover in 10.
  • 2500 – 5000 books. Softcover in 15 days, hardcover in 15.
  • 5000+ books. Only by request.

Now that you know the book printing options at BookBaby, let’s check out their specialist eBook services.

#2 – eBook Services

The company boasts that it provides everything you need to create, release and market an eBook. But is that the case?

The first main eBook service offered by BookBaby is publishing and formatting services.

Related: How to Publish an eBook

Keep in mind, many authors format and upload their own books using tools like Vellum software, but if you want to pay for convenience, you can just pay for the done-for-you service.

BookBaby can take most source files, including Word documents and PDFs, and convert them into a file suitable for the major bookstores.

In addition to the formatting and file conversion element, you can also combine book distribution into a single package. This is more expensive than file conversion alone, but might be worth it if you don’t want the hassle of distributing your converted file to the various online eBook marketplaces. 

self-publishing company

#3 – Editing

Aside from the more technical aspects of eBook preparation, such as file conversion, BookBaby also helps with specific author services to get your book ready for publication. An example of this is their book editing services.

You can fill in a quick form on the company website, specifying the type of editing you need and your genre, and receive how much it will cost.

The range of editing services offered by BookBaby consists of:

Choose from the above, select your genre, and enter your page count between 1 and 2500 pages. That’s all it takes to get your custom editing quote.

#4 – Book Design

Another creative service category from BookBaby is their book design options. So what are these, and are they valuable for self-published authors?

At this time, you can choose from:

  • Cover design for printed books
  • Cover design for eBooks
  • Interior formatting for printed books
  • Interior formatting for eBooks

For cover design, BookBaby used to offer the choice of a basic or deluxe book cover. However, things are now simpler with a single cover design price on offer. This also includes an ebook cover design.

sample bookbaby cover designs and pricing info

If you opt for interior formatting, you can choose from either black text only, which is the cheaper service, or for color text formatting, which is more expensive. The number of words will determine the page count and the price you pay.

#5 – Sell Your Book Services

In addition to helping you create your book with the services mentioned above, BookBaby also offers some marketing services to help you sell more copies. So what exactly are these services, and will they actually help you make more money from your books?

Here are the services BookBaby offers to help you sell your book:

#1 – Facebook ads for authors. If you’re interested in book marketing on the social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, BookBaby offers a package of services. This consists of ad development, ad design, and reporting. You just enter your budget and the length of time for your campaign to get a quote.

Instagram and Facebook promotion from BookBaby

#2 – Amazon publishing. BookBaby can handle your Amazon publishing for you, including ebook publishing as well as Amazon print options. They can also enter your book in programs such as KDP Select.

#3 – Kindle publishing. BookBaby can publish your book in all the worldwide Kindle markets. 

#4 – Book metadata optimization. A lot of authors don’t want to learn the more technical aspects of book marketing such as metadata optimization. If that sounds like you, BookBaby can handle this for you, leading to optimized keywords and a great looking description.

#5 – Book marketing services. You can choose from an Amazon, general marketing, or social media package. You get a coaching call as well as a full course of action.

#6 – Bookmarks and posters. If you want to make physical marketing part of your strategy, BookBaby can print a range of bookmarks and posters to promote your work.

Overall, this is a good range of services from BookBaby, but you need to carefully weigh up if they represent value for money as part of your book marketing strategy.

How Much Does BookBaby Cost?

Of course, no BookBaby review would be complete without a guide to pricing.

If you’re considering BookBaby, you need to consider how much it will cost you. You can pick and choose which services you want to pay for, but be aware that extra charges might be incurred.

If you publish with them and later need to make edits or changes to your book, BookBaby does charge a fee to do this, and it can be pretty steep, and add up quickly.

Yes, even if it’s a simple typo that needs to be fixed!

bookbaby fee

This is one of the main drawbacks of using BookBaby’s services. Many authors that published with BookBaby have been unpleasantly surprised to find that BookBaby charges a fee to do any kind of book maintenance, even for minor edits like fixing a typo.

With that said, it’s important to keep this in mind as you explore the option of using BookBaby.

We’ve gathered together the current cost of BookBaby’s services below. 

#1 – Self-Publishing Packages:

  1. Express Package: $1090
  2. Complete Package: $2190
  3. Deluxe Package: $2890

Related: How to Get an ISBN

#2 – Print-On-Demand

  1. Global Print-On-Demand – $399
  2. BookShop Only Direct To Reader Print-On-Demand – $99

#3 – Wholesale Book Printing

  1. One-off trial book print – $39
  2. Wholesale book printing – Request a quote

#4 – Ebook Services

  1. Ebook file conversion only – $99
  2. Fixed layout for Amazon and Apple books – $499+
  3. Ebook conversion and distribution – $299

#5 – Book Editing

Use the custom quote calculator on the website.

#6 – Book Cover Design

  1. Professional cover design $599

How to Login to BookBaby

Logging in to the site is simple. Just enter the information seen in the image below.

If you need to create an account with BookBaby, it’s quick and easy. Just enter the information seen in the picture below.

account creation

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an option to create an account via Facebook or Google accounts at this time.

How to Use BookBaby Learn

As well as their suite of services, BookBaby also provides information for self-published authors. This is termed BookBaby Learn.

But what’s on offer, and is it worth your time and attention?

Here are the BookBaby Learn resources:

#1 – Free guides. A range of full guides on different aspects of publishing.

#2 – Working with BookBaby. A full guide to the process of purchasing an author service.

#3 – 5 Steps to Self-Publishing. A good overview for newcomers to the self-publishing process.

The free guides are probably the best aspect of BookBaby Learn. The info on offer is good, but it’s not anything you couldn’t learn on other self-publishing blogs.

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BookBaby Alternatives

Of course, like every aspect of self-publishing, there are other options out there.

If you’re looking for alternatives to BookBaby, read on.

BookBaby VS Self-Publishing School

If you’re looking for publishing services only, check out BookBaby.

But if you’re on the lookout for a complete self-publishing program that teaches you a proven process to write, publish, and market a bestselling book, check out our Become a Bestseller program.

To be clear, BookBaby is NOT a complete self-publishing program. If you need a comprehensive publishing program, consider Self-Publishing School.
bookbaby comparison

Bookbaby VS Lulu 

BookBaby and Lulu offer similar services, in the sense that they both have done-for-you packages and distribution services.

With both, you are paying for the convenience.

Lulu DOES charge a sellers fee, whereas BookBaby does not.

You can check out our full review of Lulu here.

Overall, the two companies are worth comparing in terms of the services on offer and the price they cost.

Although the two companies both offer similar services, including design and various levels of editing, the details will be different. Take your time to ask as many questions as you need.

Design and editing of your book are too important to rush, so make a considered choice.

Bookbaby VS Createspace

Createspace is no longer active. It’s been absorbed into the wider brand of Amazon publishing services.

Therefore, if you’re looking for an alternative to BookBaby, it’s worth weighing it up against Lulu.

Final Rating

So what’s our overall take on BookBaby now we’ve looked at it in depth? Is it worth using, or are self-published authors better off elsewhere?

Our Rating
Based on value, quality of services, support, and company reputation, we give BookBaby a 3-star rating.
3 star rating

We’ll share the pros and cons of BookBaby to explain our reasoning.


  1. Range of services. The range of services on offer at BookBaby is truly impressive. There is something to help with almost every stage of your book release journey.
  2. Free information. If you just want to learn, BookBaby is a good place to do that. Their free guides will help you get an overview of the current state of self-publishing.
  3. Marketing options. A lot of authors would rather leave marketing to specialists. It’s nice to see BookBaby offering innovative forms of marketing such as Instagram advertising.


  1. Past complaints. If you’re looking into BookBaby, you might see some complaints relating to the company from years back. It’s worth noting that the company currently has a four and a half star rating on TrustPilot, so those may be worth checking out.
  2. Extra fees. As mentioned, BookBaby might not charge a seller fee, but they do charge for book maintenance, and that adds up. Let’s say you need to fix a typo in your book, or make a quick update to the content. Instead of being able to do this yourself, you’ll have to pay BookBaby to do it for you.
  3. Price. To use the paid services on BookBaby, you need to be willing to invest money. While it’s probably inevitable that you’ll have to invest in elements such as your book cover, it’s worth weighing up the cost against other options out there.

Overall, BookBaby is worth considering if you’re looking to outsource aspects of your book creation project.

Give what they have on offer a look for yourself, and weigh up if it’s worth investing in your book.

If you’re new to self-publishing and need a proven strategy to write, publish, and market your book, it may be worth the investment to invest in a proven strategy and individual consulting with a self-publishing program.

Looking for more reviews like this?

  1. Balboa Press Review
  2. iUniverse Review
  3. Zondervan Publishing Review
  4. Archwayway Publishing Review
  5. Hay House Publishing Review
  6. BookBaby Review
  7. Scribe Media Review
  8. Self Publishing Formula Review
  9. Lulu Publishing Review
  10. Xlibris Review

What’s your experience with BookBaby?

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P.J McNulty


  1. Richard Carson

    I supplied BookBaby with a 300 page academic text that was complete and ready to print. I encounter several non-starter problems and finally asked for a full refund. The first problem was that they did not honor the price they quoted me. Once I got started with them they asked for more money for items they never mentioned. Then they made me do the formatting that they said they would that was included in the price. Understand that my book was already formatted in Word. Finally, I had about 75% of my email automatically sent back and undelivered. I had this problem after I tried to send messages from two different emails. I found them to be generally unresponsive to my questions.

  2. Randy Alan

    Well, writing a book can be a challenge, fun at times, heart breaking in others. After being ripped off by a company promoting themselves as a “Book Coach” I found someone far more honest and brilliant to help edit my book. Finally it is ready for publishing so I reached out to Book baby and quickly discovered they lack customer service and appreciation. I agree with the commenters below, I would not recommend them at all, they are expensive, non responsive and if you do not fit into their cookie cutter profiles, they have little to offer.

  3. 9 ETHER X

    I hate to say this but I paid close to $1500 for a partially edited book. They didn’t meet the first estimated deadline and didn’t contact me to tell me anything about not meeting that deadline. When I finally called them for an update they told me my project would take another 14 days to complete. What I received after those 14 days wasn’t worth $1500 or anywhere close to it. I had to get the book edited by a completely different company. I WILL NEVER USE THEIR SERVICES AGAIN. I caution anyone that takes their writing serious to be sure that Bookbaby is their only option.

  4. Antony Cooke

    The bad reviews are not my own experience. I am new to BookBaby, having grown tired of the really poor service, limitations and restrictions of other companies. For all the negative comments, I have found this company to be very responsive, unbelievably fast, and capable of really first-rate results. There is no discernible difference between what they put out and any non-print-on-demand book, and virtually nothing to give it away to the eye. So far, I cannot fault this company; I am getting what I am paying for, and can say that without reservation. Admittedly, I have supplied my own files, and took care of all layout and editing issues ahead of the game, even the creation of the cover. Therefore, I have not dealt with these areas in working with them, although they were very willing and helpful in helping me resolve some issues that arose because of the software I had used. No complaints here form me.

  5. disqus_xFqLbAkYJ4

    Book Baby is not a good company to recommend: 3 stars is generous, but I understand the restraint in aiming to be objective. The negative TrustPilot reviews are very detailed and you can tell these are real people who have been frustrated by the process, while the positive ones are short and vague which reeks of fake news lol. Just an all-around difficult company to work with, poor customer service, should not get anyone’s business until they learn to value customers more.

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