SUBSIDY PUBLISHING IN PAPER
Many of the subsidy and vanity publishers have a system for publishing the book set up so all you have to do is plug in the various components of the book. You will design the cover or pay to have someone design the cover, you will write the book blurb, and you will edit or pay someone to edit your book. They will take all this and print the book for you.
However, their services are extremely expensive, and they will take a majority of the profit and will often tie up your book's rights forever. Distribution is almost nonexistent, and the name of a vanity press on the spine of your book guarantees that no bookstore or anyone in the know will touch your book.
Even those subsidy presses who claim they can get your books on those shelves rarely do.
Subsidy presses owned by large publishers like Harlequin don't offer a better chance of getting your book onto bookstore shelves, and the vague possibility that they may recognize your greatness and move you to their regular publishing program is very unlikely indeed.
There is no good reason to go with a subsidy press.
SELF-PUBLISHING IN PAPER
With self-publishing, you must find and pay for the editing, the book cover, the formatting, and the blurb. You must also find a printer to print your book for you.
Some printers like Booklocker offer reasonably priced extras like cover art and editing, and they don't tie up your rights as a subsidy press will. But they can't guarantee your books distribution in bookstores.
The major advantage to self-publishing is you control every element of your book, and you will hold all the rights to your book.
A major disadvantage is that you control every element of your book's publication. If you don't know what you are doing, you will have spent a lot of money to make a fool of yourself.
Distribution is the biggest disadvantage of self-publishing. It is almost impossible to get your book onto the shelves of bookstores and in the catalogs of distributors. Once your book is out, you will have to literally hand sell each book. To do this, you must have the soul and charm of a successful used car salesman and lots of time.
A self-published book, unless it achieves best-selling status, is also more harm than good to a writer's reputation and future. Unfortunately, most in the publishing world have a great deal of disdain for the self-published so moving into another form of publishing later is much harder to do.
TOMORROW: Epublishing in its various forms.
Magic, Monsters and Amour: Creating a Believable Paranormal, Fantasy, or SF World. October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com
Are vampires, fairies, and space aliens real? If you create the right background for your paranormal romance, they will be to a reader. I'll show you how to create a fantasy or paranormal background from scratch and how to make it utterly believable.