Aspiring authors have probably heard definitive recommendations against having books published by so-called vanity publishers. These companies are viewed as a last resort for writers whose books aren't good enough to be picked up by a commercial publisher. Vanity presses have a bad reputation among booksellers and the industry in general.
Another option involves self-publishing, which is not the same as vanity publishing. With today's technology, you can have a quality printing company do a short initial run of your book for an affordable price and print more copies whenever you need them.
Some famous authors originally self-published books that went on to be picked up by commercial publishers and become bestsellers:
Bestsellers That Started Out Self-Published
One of the most amazing self-publishing success stories is that of Wayne Dyer. Dyer tells the story of traveling the country with some 4,500 copies of Your Erroneous Zones in his vehicle, doing his best to get people interested in buying them. Some 35 million copies of this book have been sold since it first appeared in the 1970s.
Some other bestsellers that began as self-published works include The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.
Vanity Publishing vs. Self-Publishing
Vanity publishers often call themselves subsidy publishers. They generally promise more than a printing company does, and they charge more, too. For instance, they may claim to market the books they publish. However, since the industry does not take vanity publishing seriously, any marketing is basically pointless.
With self-publishing, you know you're in charge of everything. You'll choose cover art, or at least a color and font design that works well for your subject matter. You understand ahead of time that you must do your own marketing; no company promises to do it for you.
Hiring an editor to go over your material is worthwhile. That could mean hiring a professional editor you find online, or bartering with a friend who has editing experience. Even the biggest-name authors have editors go over their writing with a fine-tooth comb. The editor does a bit of prose tightening, makes suggestions for improvements and finds errors the author would never have noticed.
Marketing Your Book
Like other authors who started out by self-publishing, you'll be in charge of promoting your book. You can do that in a variety of ways, such as doing online networking, issuing a press release, listing your book with online stores and promoting it on your own blog or website.
Starting the Process
Contact printing companies for pricing on the number of copies you'd like to start with. See whether they have samples of similar projects so you can evaluate the quality. Soon you'll be on your way to self-publishing success.
To learn more, contact a company like M13 Graphics with any questions you have.