It is challenging to know who to talk to first, who not to talk to, and how to know if you are getting a good deal on services that you need.
Vanity Presses or Author Services
A traditional publisher handles all aspects of getting an author’s book to market. They handle copy editing, selecting the printer, cover design, and marketing functions for the title. This is often at the expense of an author’s rights to the piece.
In contrast, a vanity press or author services company provides these services to authors at a price. The author maintains rights to their work but pays for services that a publisher would normally handle in exchange for future profits. A vanity press can be a good route for authors however do your homework.
Compare prices and get referrals from trusted vendors like printers, designers or others who you have had a positive working relationship with in the past. If you are a complete newbie to the printing and publishing world, industry associations such as the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) have links on their website to resources for authors.
Talking The Talk
Book printing and publishing has traditionally been a business to business industry. As such, there are terms that don’t always make sense to newcomers. This past post on our blog highlights some common printing terms and their definitions. Edwards Brothers Malloy also has a variety of fact sheets that outline common processes and define terms used in the printing and publishing industries. This PDF is also a valuable resource for common terms used in the industry.
A surge in self-publishing has been taking place over the past decade. Many people are passing the traditional channels of publishing their work in order to maintain rights and see more profits from their hard work. If you are currently self-publishing a book or plan to in the future, what are some of the obstacles you are facing? What confuses you and where have you been able to find help?