Despite the huge turnaround in the publishing world and the tremendous potential that self-publishing holds, many writers do not want to go down that road. A great many of the children’s writers want to remain just that – writers. They don’t want to take on the garb of a publisher; all they want is to see their book in print. And that’s where self-publishing companies enter the picture.
About Self-Publishing Companies
Sometimes known as Subsidy publisher or Vanity publisher,
“any company which charges a client to publish a book; or offers to include short stories, poems or other literary or artistic material in an anthology and then invites those included in it to buy a copy of that anthology.”
(British Advertising Standards Authority Advice Note, Vanity Publishing, July 1997)
Keep yourself in the Loop
The simple truth is that these publishers make money by selling their services to writers, not by selling books to readers. So they really do not have a stake in the success of your book. So while they may offer to publish book, and offer a range of services (editorial, production and marketing services), many companies cut corners to maximize their profits. To avoid being swindled, make informed choices.
- Even though you are considering outsourcing of the process, keep yourself in the loop at all times.
- Be especially careful with regard to payments and signing documents. Be clear about what you are paying for and what you are signing on.
- Do a background check on the company and talk to authors who have used their services.
- Check on the packages they offer, especially the marketing services to ensure that they are effective. Many times, the marketing service consists of nothing more than a few bland press releases that get no attention from the readers.
- Do not sign away any of your rights to the book without consulting an attorney. Protect your work by registering your work, which can also be done online.
Subsidy Authors’ Bill of Rights
All the courtesy and rights that you are entitled to as a customer are listed out effectively in the list compiled below. Check the link given below for further details of the same.
- The right to be treated with respect, honesty and transparency.
- The right to maintain control of my publication and decisions on formatting, design and editing.
- The right to know, and talk to, whoever is editing or designing my book.
- The right to know the retail price of my book before signing a contract.
- The right to a fair and true wholesale price on books I buy.
- The right to all the native application files and other elements (exclusive of copyright-protected fonts) created to produce the book, promptly and completely at my request.
- The right to cancel my contract without penalty if you fail to live up to deadlines or other contractual obligations.
- The right to receive an honest effort to market my book without inflated costs, if I choose one of your ‘marketing packages.’
- The right to a complete and open accounting of the expenses and income associated with my book, including any contribution by the publisher.
- The right to have the rights to my work returned to me without penalty at my request.