Self-publishing has been growing at an impressive or alarming rate, depending on which side of the fence you are. Authors tired of waiting for the bigger publishing companies are taking the reins of writing, editing, cover designing and publishing into their own hands. Some are making money. Most are falling by the wayside.
For authors who are exploring self-publishing options, vanity publishers are waiting with their arms outstretched. But across various websites and author forums, vanity publishing started getting a bad name due to the operational model they follow.
Rather than targeting the regular readers of a book, for vanity publishing companies, the primary customer is the author. These are publishers who have no interest or incentive in seeing the sales numbers for your book sky rocket.
Many vanity publishing players, aware of the stigma associated with the label, started presenting themselves in new ways to break away from the clutter.
Self-publishing and vanity publishers have existed in various forms for a very long time. Despite the contrasting views about the pros and cons of this approach, the market for vanity publishing has grown within the writing community, especially for first time authors.
And there’s a reason for that. The traditional publishing model makes it very difficult for new writers to break into the industry. In comparison self-publishing allows anyone who wants to be known as a published author an equal shot at the game.
Whether you are a fiction or non-fiction writer, it helps to understand the entire life cycle for a book. If you are just getting started, here’s a short primer to set the ball rolling.
Writing the book
Your writing will fall under two broad categories – fiction and non-fiction.
In a novel (another label for fiction books) is where you create a plot (imaginary or inspired by the real world), characters (that your readers will love or hate) and bring them to life with your narration.
The sub-genre (romance, thriller, fantasy, young adult, humor, chick-lit, erotica, horror) will decide the twists and turns in your plot and the tone, style of writing.