Another phone call. Another author who is frustrated confused and stressed out. Another author who step into publishing without wearing the “author beware” hat.

“I’ve been taken.”
“My book looks awful.”
“The publisher hasn’t delivered on anything it promised.”
“There are too many hidden charges.”
“I’m not getting paid.”
“I thought this was a reputable publisher.”
“I’ve been screwed …”

Look in the mirror. Did you really check out the company? Did you go to Google and put in its name, then “problems,” “complaints” or “scams” after its name? Did you do your homework?

Some authors who get caught in the publishing maze think it’s insane. It’s not really insanity for the author—unless the author keeps repeating the same thing over and over again. It is insanity that these “publishing professionals” keep doing the same thing over and over—taking advantage, misrepresenting and basically delivering the shaft to the naïve and vulnerable author-to-be.

Before you jump into the publishing boat, clearly understand that there are differences. If you go the vanity route or the pay-to-publish route or the subsidy route and that publisher uses its ISBN, you are not self-published. You are not independently published.  Rarely will any legit reviewer give it the time of day if the vanity/subsidy/pay-to-publish imprint is on your book.

Why is there a stigma associated with this crowd? How about editing?—in 99 percent of the publishing cases, editing in non-existent. The cover is a cut and paste job and the interior designs are one of maybe three templates—all a bit like vanilla, vanilla and more vanilla. And, they usually look blah in the outcome.

You have paid someone/something to publish your book. Do you thing they really, really care about your book? Guess again … what they care about is your check book … or your credit card.

To create a legitimate book, one that looks good, reads well and has integrity about it, you don’t need someone else’s name as the publisher. You can self and independent publish—the goal is to have a well-done book. Have some fun, create a publishing name that has a little pop (don’t use your name). Learn the dollars and sense of publishing. Get educated. Then publish.

Selling the book … that’s where a savvy marketing plan comes into play.  And you, dear author, are going to be the one that funds it. Don’t expect a publisher to…that’s the very long ago, good old days.