The Value of Full-Service Project Management Teams

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The term “self-publishing” is often associated with the vision of an author struggling to do everything—from editing to marketing—on their own. It’s true that self-publishers wear many hats, but that doesn’t mean they’re doomed to do everything without help.

If you’re a self-publisher, you likely understand how overwhelming the publishing process can be. Even if you hire various professionals for each stage of production, it can be difficult to keep track of project deadlines, revisions, and overall progress.

Book production is complex, but it doesn't have to be a headache. Deciding to hire professionals to help you bring your book into the world is a great first step in ensuring a quality finished product. However, if the thought of finding, qualifying, and managing the necessary experts to produce your book seems overwhelming, a full-service project management team can help.

What Is a Full-Service Project Management Team?

In publishing, a full-service project management team (or author services company) provides complete oversight of your project from start to finish. Some only offer pre-press services (editing, design, etc.), others also assist with setting up your printing accounts in your name, uploading your files, marketing, and advice.

When you hire a full-service project management firm, your book will be handled by a seasoned team of publishing professionals who will bring it up to traditional publishing standards. You’ll be shepherded through the entire process by an experienced project manager who can answer all your questions. You retain control of all your files, accounts, and earnings.

This is different from working with a publishing company. Publishing companies publish your book for you (though they usually go through IngramSpark). They charge you upfront and often take a cut of your royalties. They may also own your book’s ISBN, which means they, not you, are the true publisher. In reality, you don’t need a middle-man. If you need help through the process but don’t want to lose any rights or royalties, there are other options.

In a nutshell, full-service project management teams provide the freedom and control of true self-publishing without the pitfalls of doing everything alone.

Other Advantages

More Time

Hiring a full-service project management team will enable you to have the time to focus on what authors do best—write. Rather than spending hours finding and vetting multiple vendors and trying to keep all the conversations in order, you can focus on writing, marketing, and collaborating with your project manager to bring your book to life.

Peace of Mind

Such companies also take the risk out of production. Knowing your files are being handled by qualified publishing professionals can take a huge weight off your shoulders. 

Expert Advice When You Need It

When you hire an experienced, knowledgeable firm to manage your publishing project, you also have access to a priceless knowledge base. This is more reliable than the varied information pulled up by internet searches.

Ability to Plan Ahead

It’s impossible to know exactly how long a project will take, and unexpected issues can arise that impact the timeframe. However, most experienced project management firms will have a rough idea of the timeframe once they review your files. They can let you know whether any deadlines you have are doable. This is helpful in planning ahead for your book launch or other events.

How to Select a Company

Always research any company before working with them. Never sign a contract without reading the fine print. Some companies claim to offer book project management, but if you dig a little deeper on their website or read their contracts, you may discover that they will, in fact, take control of your book.

The Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot are two good places to search for company reviews. Companies may also post reviews on their websites, and you can scan their social media for complaints or any other red flags. You should ensure the companies you find aren’t listed in the WriterBeware scam archives, and you can even reach out to WriterBeware to get their advice if you’re not sure about a specific company.

Don’t hesitate to shop around before making your decision; just be sure to weigh out each service’s offerings, experience level, and reputation to balance value with price. You may want to check IngramSpark’s Recommended Experts Page or the Alliance of Independent Authors Watchdog List, to find reputable companies and avoid scams.

IngramSpark offers a wealth of information on their website and via their academy. The more knowledgeable you are about the publishing process, the less likely you’ll be to fall victim to a scam. So, be sure to learn as much as you can before diving in.

Read the Complete Guide: How to Self-Publish a Book





Michele DeFilippo

Michele DeFilippo has 50 years of experience in the book publishing industry. Her author services company, 1106 Design, offers a full range of editorial, design, and marketing services with the quality of traditional publishing—all with integrity, advice, handholding, and turnkey project management.