Revised: Five Types of Book Publishers

While attending a recent event, I realised there is some misconception about the types of publishing available for writers. I reread my post on The Four Types of Book Publishing and decided it was time to revise the information. In this ever-changing world of publishing, things like this will happen.

Although there may only be a thin line separating some of these types, and at times, one might overlap with another, the core of each type has its own tone and/or structure.

I also feel it’s time for self-published authors (indies, independent publishers) to define themselves in the true spirit of being independent. Being independent and self-creating means not paying someone else to take control of your project. It means doing it yourself.

Perhaps the distinction will dispel the myth of what self-publishing truly is, and perhaps it will save unsuspecting authors from falling into the pitfalls of many who have paid thousands of dollars to ‘self-publish’ and who have had horrible experiences, and some who spent the money and didn’t even receive their published books.

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Four Types of Book Publishing

publishingBack in 1998 when my first article was published in a magazine, I knew very little about book publishing. I believed there to be only two forms: publishers’ publishing (what is today known as traditional publishing) and vanity publishing. I realise now that self-publishers did exist back then, but I was a greenhorn and had limited knowledge.

Fast forward fifteen years and I can identify four ways a writer (or a book) can be published. Below are my definitions of these four methods according to what I’ve learned in the past decade and a half.

Traditional Publishing

A traditionally published author is one who submitted their manuscript to a publishing company and was accepted. The company assumes all financial responsibility for the publication of the book. This means the writer pays nothing, not a penny to see their work in print.

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