Clarification About Self Publishing

My recent blog about self-publishing prompted a response from an Acquisitions Editor for a publisher called WinePress Publishing. She wanted to point out that many publishing companies who offer self-publishing do screen manuscripts for quality and do not simply accept anything that comes to them. They do this because they want the work published by them to be of a certain quality.

I understand her point. Some publishing companies will only publish work that they find suitable, even though they charge a fee for publishing. I have no problem with that.

My problem comes when publishers present their acceptance as being anything other than the willingness to publish for a fee. If at any point the author is lead to believe that their work was accepted as part of a competitive process, then I do have a problem with the publisher’s tactics. I also have problems with publishing companies that accept work on the contingency that the authors pay them to edit the work. It is acceptable to offer editing services, but it is not acceptable to force them on authors.

My main point remains the same as before. There is nothing wrong with self-publishing as long as the author is fully aware of what they are agreeing to and is fully aware of the problems associated with self publishing. I believe, however, that the author should solicit paid publishers on a competitive basis rather than the other way around. My problem is with publishers who use deceptive tactics in order to solicit business. By no means do I wish to imply that all paid publishing operations are scams.

One thought on “Clarification About Self Publishing

  1. Thanks John. I whole heartedly agree. I have been disturbed at how many subsidy publishers try to pass themselves off as royalty publishers only to come back and offer a cooperative/subsidy agreement. I have also seen lots of hype and sales tactics that lead authors to think they will appear on Oprah, have their books on all bookstore shelves, become famous, and on and on. Then of course there are those “royalty” publishers who keep you under contract for 7 years and publish anything that comes through the door! And the contests, well those are a sham as you have said.

    Those ways of doing business make it more difficult for those of us who work hard to offer great services and make a point of under promising and over delivering. I am always having to warn authors to do their due diligence and get references.

    Thanks for all you do to do the same!

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