Re: Definition of "self publishing"
- At 10:23 AM 3/12/2004 -0500, Edward Carmien wrote:
>By manufacture I meant in the broadest sense of the process of putting aThe generic verb for what a publisher does is "publish". In the book
>book into circulation. Of course, a number of steps in that process are
>commonly done at the direction of a publisher. I couldn't find a better more
>generic word than "manufacture" for what a publisher does,
field, "manufacture" is a technical term meaning to create the book
physically, i.e. to print and bind.
>given theYes, publishing is a combination of things, which is why it's hard to
>publisher's essential task is synthesis, bringing together many different
>kinds of skill sets.
define, and why it developed relatively late in the history of the book
trade. As late as the 18th century, the job that we now call publishing
was generally incidental to printing or bookselling.
Publishing requires that you do a number of things, which if you only do
one of them, you're something else. If you only pay for the book's
issuance, you're an investor. If you only edit it, you're an editing
service. If you only manufacture it, you're a printer or binder. If you
only warehouse it and send out copies, you're a distributor. If you do all
these things and more, you're a full-service publisher.
>Oh, and of course anyone who notes that paying anyone to publish your workHere we get complicated again, because companies like Xlibris are actually
>is a bad idea is entirely correct. See also "vanity press." :)
vanity presses, and there's nothing wrong with that because they're
straightforward about what they do. If you have a book with no commercial
potential, and want to publish it yourself without handling the fiddly jobs
yourself, a vanity press will take the task off your hands.
The companies to beware of are those which claim they'll distribute and
publicize the book, that they'll provide professional editing services
without which no publisher will look at a manuscript, that imply there's a
publishing conspiracy to keep authors from selling, and which charge the
author for these services.
- David Bratman