This is a form of vanity publishing It is much the same as vanity because, once again, there are no quality standards applied. In this case, the author does their own layout and typesetting in MS Word or similar and then uploads it to Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble or others. I will cover Amazon in a subsequent blog.
In this case, the author is possibly even worse off than she might be with a vanity press. This is because of a lack of skills and professional software programs such as Photoshop or InDesign and a general lack of skills. Their books can be poorly presented with boring pre-designed covers supplied by Amazon for example. I have in addition often seen books with sloppy grammar and generally untidy.
Presentation is important. You wouldn’t return to a restaurant that just slopped food onto a plate. Likewise, readers are unlikely to buy a book that looks amateurish in presentation.
These authors have none of the facilities that regular publishers offer such as:
- No distribution to bookshops.
- No listing on the BookSearch software. This means that they cannot be found.
- A limited market. Some authors advertise on Amazon, but in general there is very little exposure in a hugely crowded market.
I have been told by some very proud authors that they have been ‘published’, where all they have done is take files to their local printer that has printed and bound a few copies. They have performed none of the functions of a publisher.