I want to publish my book!
Once an author decides to become an “indie”, the question is how to self-publish.
Why do writers end up there?
Basically there are 3 ways: the traditional publishing companies, the vanity press and self-publishing.
Indeed, for the great majority of aspiring writers the traditional publishing houses don’t work (again, read David Caughran). They rarely accept your manuscript and if they do, they take away most control over both your writing, the pricing and your net income. The other way is to be an “indie writer”, basically doing self-publishing by yourself and ignoring the traditional publishing companies. But there are two ways to do it.
What to avoid: the “vanity press”
There are a number of companies that claim to assist indie writer: the “vanity press”. They offer several “plans” to help the authors to publish their book, most often promising a lot and doing much less than what the author expected. The plans can be pretty expensive (easily over US$10,000). Some of those companies are real mafia-type and use deceptive tactics.
The most infamous and biggest is the group of Author Solutions, coming on the market with different company names to give the author the false impression they have a “choice”.
Unfortunately they are all the same working under the umbrella of the mother company.
Author Solutions was acquired by Penguin parent company Pearson in 2012 and became part of Penguin Random House following the 2013 merger of Random House and Penguin. PRH has sold its Author Solutions division to an affiliate of the Najafi Companies, a private investment firm, in December 2016.
All those member companies of Author Solutions are to be avoided at all cost. For more, see the books and blog of David Gaughran who unmasks their shady tactics. See among others: https://davidgaughran.com/2014/06/03/the-case-against-author-solutions-part-1-the-numbers/
Those companies are also called “vanity press”, a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published; vanity publishers have no selection criteria to accept a manuscript as opposed to the traditional publishing companies.
What to do?
The obvious choice for self-publishing: Amazon. More about that in another post.