Publishing Expert Says Writers Confused by Self-Publishing Claims
Publishing expert says that many "self-publishing" companies are really vanity publishers, and that would-be authors can save thousands by avoiding them.
San Diego, CA (I-Newswire) February 18, 2013 - D.L Hughes, an expert who helps people write and publish their own book, says that the publishing industry is confusing writers by referring to their services as "self-publishing."
"Print on Demand (POD) technology and mass distribution systems like Amazon.com, have revolutionized the book publishing industry in the same way the Gutenberg's invention of movable type," he said. "Unfortunately, many self-publishing companies are using the technology to bilk their clients out of millions."
He contends that the hype from publishing companies is confusing people and they are paying vast sums to get their book published. "That's not "self-publishing," he said, "it is nothing more than old-time vanity publishing in new dress."
He noted that many historical people, like Thomas Paine and John James Audubon, self-published, prior to the rise of traditional publishing companies in America. They saved their money or got a patron and paid a printer for copies. Later, traditional publishers opened shop in America. However, they had limited resources to publish books following the royalty model.
That's when vanity presses emerged. They were willing to publish any book if the author had the financial means to pay for it.
In the 20th century, a "Small Press" or "Indie publishers" emerged. They continue to publish authors with worthy topics and a limited audience, without resorting to the "pay-to-publish" or "co-pay to publish" tactics of the vanity press.
Hughes said, "The distinction between vanity publishing and all other types of publishing is that vanity publishers sell services, not books."
Today, there are many companies calling themselves "self-publishers," but they are plying the same trade that vanity publishers has always done.
"When an author pays to publish under another publishing company’s imprint and International Standard Book Number (ISBN)," Hughes said, "then they are a victim of vanity publishing. If an author publishes under his or her own company name and ISBN, then they are the “Small Press” or “Indie Publishers,” which are respected in the creative community."
Some self-publishing companies are adding insult to injury by referring to themselves as an "Indie Publisher, Hughes said.
One of them is WestBow Press, Hughes alleged. He noted that they identify themselves as an “Indie Publisher” in their promotional material. However, the brand is the pay-to-publish division of traditional publisher Thomas Nelson, which itself is a division of News Corp, a major media conglomerate that also owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and numerous other newspapers and media outlets around the world.
Hughes said, "Only the most uniformed or gullible person would consider WestBow to be an Indie Publisher. The high-jacking of the term appears to be an attempt to mask their vanity press business model."
Hughes cautioned new authors about paying to publish. "Many companies charge $2,000-$10,000 for services that most writers can do themselves," he said.
D.L. Hughes is the author of "How to Write, Publish & Sell a "How-To" Book." He has been a writer, editor and publisher for 30 years. He helps people write their vision at BookPublishingMentor.com.
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Published On:February 18, 2013
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