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Books-a-Million Outsourced Its Self-Pub Unit to an Iffy Services Company

When Books-a-Million launched its self-pub division, BAM Publishing, in 2015, it outsourced the actual work to FastPencil, a respectable publishing services company.

FatPencil was still the tech partner when BAM relaunched the division last November, but sometime in the past couple months that changed.

Indies Unlimited discovered, and I can confirm, that Books-a-Million has outsourced BAM Publish to Pensylvania-based Infinity Publishing.

I think Books-A-Million is only using FastPencil’s publishing software, and has contracted author services to somebody else. Here’s why: I gave up my email address to get a BAM! Publish bookstore marketing guide. When I immediately unsubscribed, it turned out the mailing list to which I’d been added belonged to Infinity Publishing – a vanity press in Pennsylvania with a 100 percent negative rating from the Better Business Bureau.

I followed up myself, and I can confirm that the mailing list is managed by Infinity Publishing. Also, BAM Publish’s customer service numbers have a 610 area code (the same region as where Infinity Publishing is based) and the landing pages for Infinity Publishing look identical to that of BAM Publish.

So yes, Infinity Publishing is the man behind the BAM Publish curtain.

And that may be a problem for anyone thinking of doing business with BAM Publish, because Infinity Publishing has a poor reputation.

Indies Unlimited would have authors flee for the hills because it describes Infinity Publishing as a vanity press, but that is not actually a good reason to avoid doing business with the company.

There’s nothing wrong with paying someone for a service or even buying a package deal from a company like FastPencil. Service providers like FastPencil are simply one of many valid ways to reach the market, but as with any service, one needs to make sure that one is getting a good value.

And in the case of Infinity Publishing, the answer is a resounding "maybe not". This company has 16 complaints lodged against it with the BBB, most of which are focused on customer service, print quality, and speed.

Sixteen complaints may sound like a lot, but that is only a tithe of the number of complaints against Author Solutions. Furthermore, CreateSpace has 3 times as many complaints as Infinity Publishing.


If Createspace is a legit company with a blemished public record, can anyone really criticize Infinity Publishing for not having a spotless past?

I can’t.

If we had more first-hand accounts, including both positive and negative, then it might be possible to make a recommendation. But as it stands Infinity Publishing rates a question mark, not a down check.

On the other hand, there are competing companies like FastPencil with better reputations, so it might be best to play it safe and go with a name that doesn’t raise questions.

Have you used Infinity Publishing? What did you think of their service?

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Frank February 6, 2017 um 3:31 pm

Here is a comparison of small book publishers written in October 2016:
Note that website is owned by BookLocker, one of the publishers listed, so it is not neutral in its reporting. It does list some additional sources of criticism about Infinity.

Nate Hoffelder February 6, 2017 um 3:42 pm

Thanks, Frank.

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