Writer’s Digest Partners with BookBaby to Offer Services to Self-Published Authors

Writer's Digest Partners with BookBaby to Offer Services to Self-Published Authors Self-Pub BookBaby, a leading ebook distributor, has formed a new publishing services company in partnership with F+W Media' Writer's Digest. Blue Ash Publishing, named for the Cincinnati suburb which houses Writer's Digest's editorial department, will offer a suite of services to self-published authors.

With prices ranging from $417 to $3,137 the new publishing services company will offer a variety of packages from a basic ebook only deal to a premium print+digital offering. Authors will received $100% of net revenues generated on all sales.

BookBaby and Writer's Digiest would have you beleive that this is a great deal, but I disagree: "Blue Ash Publishing authors are truly getting the best of both worlds in self-publishing," said BookBaby president Steven Spatz. "It’s a perfect marriage between two leading companies in the self-publishing space, and authors will reap the benefits."

That sounds nice, but after I spent a few minutes looking at the costs of the various packages I began to question whether the bundle of services were really a good deal.

For example, Blue Ash Publishing's $417 eBook package offers a suite of features which are virtually identical to a $249 package offered by BookBaby. The only real difference is that Blue Ash throws in a weekly newsletter and a basic ebook cover design (a $120 cost if bought direct from BookBaby).

Considering that Writer's Digest offers a weekly writer's newsletter for free, I question whether the ebook cover design by itself can justify the markup on BookBaby's services.

I cannot verify who provides all of the services at the higher price tiers, but if they have a similar markup then I question their value. I think it would be worth an author's time and money to find who is actually providing the services so you can deal direct.

While I think paying for a professional service can be a good idea, I also think that it is often better to split up specific services like cover design. Not everyone needs them, which is why I don't like bundled services like the packages offered by Blue Ash.

image by Milestoned

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. fjtorres13 August, 2014

    Not a great deal.
    But it is at least a step up from Writer’s Digest previous partner in “servicing” aspiring writers.

    1. Nate Hoffelder13 August, 2014

      Indeed. I thought about mentioning it but it just sounded mean.

  2. Angela Booth14 August, 2014

    I’m a longtime fan of CDBaby, BookBaby’s parent, but the prices are too high.

    The “Ultimate” package made me wince. It looks like a lot of junk.

    Obviously they’ve worked out that they can afford to spend 50 per cent of their net on marketing. Writer’s Digest must have a great database of names, so they’ll start with that.

    1. David Gaughran14 August, 2014

      Writers Digest have been spamming the hell out of those names for years. Really dodgy 90s-era internet marketing stuff.

      I doubt their “audience” is too receptive to marketing emails at this point. And if you doubt that, here’s an example of one:

      Dear Writer’s Digest Subscriber,

      Do you know what most writers regret?

      When I found out, I was surprised. Especially because it really struck home—yet wasn’t what I would have guessed.

      But I’m one of the lucky ones. I found a way to avoid those regrets, and live a satisfying, well-paid life as a writer.

      You can, too. Click here* to learn how.

      To life without regret,

      Mindy McHorse, Barefoot Writer


      *Link goes here: http://www.awaionline.com/p/tbw/dbr/

  3. […] ended its relationship last June when it closed Abbott Press. A couple months later Writer's Digest opened a new imprint, Blue Ash Publishing, in partnership with the much more palatable and ethical […]


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