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While new and smaller online publishers, with their diverse and expanding ways of creating and distributing content, may be confused about what insurance coverage is appropriate for their business, they really need not be. Insurers have long histories of covering the risks associated with publishing, and have created so-called “media liability” policies for publishers of various sorts and sizes. Some insurers have even begun to tune their media liability policies for the risks that particularly threaten online publishers.

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An online publisher has several risk areas to consider when buying insurance:

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One of the most frequent legal actions against a publisher, online or traditional, is a libel suit. Libel is published statement, asserted or implied to be factual, that defames the reputation of an actual or corporate person, and that is demonstrably false. Remember, though, that even if the claim of libel is false, defending yourself against such a claim can cost you many thousands of dollars if you do not have the appropriate insurance. Other liabilities that online publishers have include plagiarism, copyright infringement, misappropriation of property rights, and making erroneous or misleading statements.

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In addition to liability losses, sometimes an online publisher’s own operations can be disrupted, resulting in additional costs incurred by the publisher to restore operations. Events such as denial of service attacks, website defacement, security breaches, or data destruction by hackers or viruses, could force a publisher’s website to be unavailable for extended periods of time, or even permanently. Separate coverages, called first-party coverages, protect the publisher from these types of occurrences.

The following table summarizes coverages available to online publishers:
The best online book publishing services offer well-rounded and affordable publishing packages, marketing assistance, a broad book-selling reach, a wide selection of extra services beyond the publishing package, and plenty of help and support. Below are the criteria Top Ten Reviews used to evaluate each online book publishing service:The best publishers have a quick, overall publishing timeframe and give authors the most for their money. High-quality online publishers also provide a number of services, such as designing a webpage and making copies of the book available to reviewers, as part of the pre-paid package to help you sell your book once it is published.Publishing Package
The best online publishing packages offer pre-publishing consultation, broad publishing service options and promotional services after publishing. Most publishers have several packages to choose from along with paid services you can choose from independent of any package. Most publishers have detailed information at their websites and free booklets you can request to have sent. This will give you the tools you need to make informed choices about which package works best for you before you pay a cent. Be sure that when you choose a package, you find one with the services you need, so you don’t spend unnecessarily on features you won’t use.With new technology, online book publishing services now can format, print and publish books quickly and affordably. What is even better, a book can go from manuscript form to an eBook and then a handsome bound volume using print-on-demand (POD) publishing, a method most online publishers employ. With this technique, books are printed and shipped as they are ordered, which eliminates the need to have large print runs and costly warehouses stacked with books, commonly practiced in the traditional publishing world.
The following table provides several pricing examples for online publishers.

Essential Considerations for Online Publishers

To get the most effective coverage for your online publishing business, the first thing you need to do is understand the risks you face. Smaller publishers will typically have smaller risks. Considering the explosive growth of the online publishing industry, it is no surprise that more insurance companies are offering media liability policies all the time. Talk to several agents who represent several companies to get a better sense of which policies fit your risks the best.

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Additional Paid Services
Online book publishing services should offer a wide assortment of publishing and marketing services beyond those offered in their publishing packages. Some booksellers can help you with graphic design or editing. The best online book publishers also allow you to pay for individual services, independent of any package, that will let you mix and match to fill in the areas you need help with. A few of these include copyright registration, cover design, creation of marketing materials and assistance with video trailers.

*The 2016 open period for new online publisher processing will open on February 1, 2016 instead of January 1.

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In our evaluations of Online Book Publishers, we found , and to be the best online book publishing services out there. In our comparison, you will find and comprehensive reviews of online book publishing services to help you make an informed decision about which company is right for you.