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What Is A True Self-publishing Company

By Expert Author: Louis Patterson

The internet is pregnant with publishers who claim they can help you self-publish your book. Most of them are either ignorant about what self-publishing is, or they are intentionally misleading in their online advertising. Of the three hundred thousand authors who will self-publish a book in 2012, most of them believe they are self-publishing when in reality, they are not.
The explosion of self-published books in the last ten years has attracted a flurry of new publishing companies, eager to get on the self-publishing gravy train. Self-published books now outnumber traditionally published books annually by a growing margin. These alleged self-publishing companies rely on the inexperience of eager, first-time authors who dream of seeing their books in print. Many online publishers are far too willing to take advantage of new authors by selling extras that are of little or no benefit to the marketing and sale of books. These greedy publishers make all their money from you, the author, and could care less how many books the public buys. They already got handsomely paid via your credit card.
If your self-published book sells well, it will have little or nothing to do with the publisher you used. However, when you need more books, the average vanity publisher will make two to five dollars on each book you print and they don't deserve a dime because they have no money invested in your book. You paid for everything. If you have been taken in by one of these so-called, vanity publishers, you will overpay for unnecessary services and more often than not, wind up with an inferior, poorly produced book. Most vanity publishers don't even require editing, but if you want an edit they will charge you for editing that will not necessarily meet modern publishing industry standards. I have a friend's book, supposedly edited by a vanity publisher for $900, that has typos on every page.
You may be asking, how do I avoid going with the wrong publisher? The answer is so simple, you won't believe it. There is one thing vanity publishers hate, one thing that makes it impossible for them to take advantage of you, one thing that will send them running like rats on a sinking ship, one thing that completely ties their hands. Curious? It is a number. Nothing else. Just a number. It's a little expensive at $125, but you can buy ten for $250. You will need a second number for an eBook version of your paperback. I'm talking about International Standard Book Numbers, that thirteen digit number commonly referred to as the ISBN. It's the number you see on the barcode on the back of books. Booksellers use it to order books listed by their ISBNs in the Ingram database.
That curious number is the key to being a true self-publisher. If you, the author, own it, you are a true self-publisher. If your publisher owns it and "assigns" it to you, you are not a self-published author. You just paid somebody to publish your book. And there is no such thing as an assigned ISBN. You either own it or you don't, period. That brings us to the question of what a true self-publishing company is. Well, it's not what you think.
I'm going to come right out and say it-there is no such thing as a self-publishing company. There are self-published authors, but no self-publishing companies. Don't let it confuse you. A true self-publishing company is actually a self-publishing "facilitator." They facilitate, or help authors become self-published. True self-publishing facilitators will help any author who wants to use his own ISBN (many, like selfpublishing.com, will insist). These are the good guys in the publishing world who will only charge you for services you order, like cover design, interior layout, editing and entry into the Ingram database booksellers worldwide use to order books for customer purchase. With a self-publishing facilitator, you will not sign a contract, you will simply pay for services you need, as you need them, through the publishing process, including final printing and shipping charges. When you need to reprint, they will accommodate you at less than the typical 50% discount vanity publishers offer. It will be more like a 70% discount.
There are no self-publishing companies-only self-publishing facilitators who will happily let you use your own ISBN. Author-owned ISBNs repel vanity publishers.
I enjoy helping new authors get published without getting ripped off.

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