My search for one thing brought me to a clear and concise answer to a question that doesn’t always have a straight answer. Or at least the answer is still defining itself in the ever-changing publishing world.
Victoria Bindery—a book binding company in British Columbia—defines self-publishing on the FAQ page #14:
What is self-publishing? Self-publishing is the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. The author is responsible and in control of entire process including design (cover/interior), formats, price, distribution, marketing & PR.
That is exactly the way I defined self-publishing in my post Four Types of Publishing except I used more words.
Self-publishing is doing it yourself, not hiring an established third-party publisher to do it for you. That is joint-publishing. I think the more writers who realise the difference, the less surprised they’ll be by their over-all experience.
NOTE: I’m not recommending Victoria Bindery by mentioning them in this post. I’ve never hired them to print and bind my books, so I do not have any experience to share one way or the other. They offer print on demand services, so it might be something I look into in the future.
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Diane Lynn McGyver is a writer based in central Nova Scotia. Her short story collection Nova Scotia – Life Near Water is enrolled in Kindle Select, and from now until Sunday September 29th (12pm Pacific Time), it is FREE. The regular price is $2.99. Canadian residents can download it here, and those in the United States will find it here. Thank you for your downloads. Everyone counts.