I had a brilliant post on the subject of self publishing half finished when my computer burped (its been doing that a lot lately, as it is Mercury Retrograde–back up your computers!) and I lost it.
The two posts I did this week on writing and self publishing garnered lots of comments, and not the usual, short, zippy, cheery ones, but long, and thoughtful ones. (Not that the short zippy posts aren’t thoughtful, but you know what I mean.)
One thing I wanted to add.
I should have defined vanity publishing. Traditionally, vanity publishing was the lowest of low in the publishing world, lower even than self publishing. Wikipedia has a good article on it here. I think the definition they offer is great: that a vanity press makes most of its money from the author, not the public.
Self publishing does not necessarily fit that definition. You could write a great local guidebook, come up with the money to print it yourself, distribute it, and earn a nice little sum from it. Or not. Lots of people have gone broke trying this. But the point is that your goal is to earn money from the public.
Not so with vanity presses.
I-Universe and Publish America burst upon the scene with the internet boom, positioning themselves as the writer’s salvation. When in truth, it appears they are nothing more than the most recent incarnation of vanity presses, with their main goal to make more money from the author than the public.
They’ve prettied up the message and added editing packages (that the writer PAYS extra for, unlike with traditional publishing houses) but its basically the same old dog doing the same old tired tricks.
So approach these outfits with caution.