If you’ve spent as many days, weeks, and months as I have writing your very important and extremely special book, it is vital that you know the difference between publishing your book independently or relying on vanity presses or pay-to-publish companies. They are worlds apart. The latter wants you to pay them to perform a variety of services that you will be doing yourself no matter how you publish your book. They will also be making promises and claims that no publisher can make with regard to sales, marketing, and book exposure.
When you independently publish your book, you are essentially creating your own imprint. You are essentially creating your own small press. You will be in charge of all creative aspects of the process. Yes, you may want to contract with a professional book designer to facilitate the process, but that book designer will answer to you. You may want an artist to create your book cover, but you will be sharing your ideas and having the final say on the cover that graces your book. At Graham Publishing Group, we understand that the relationship we create with you is one of publisher (you) and publishing advisor (us). As all effective independent publishers do, you will be asking questions and heeding advice, but, in the end, you are in charge.
Vanity presses expect you to be afraid of the process. They expect to prey upon your inexperience and convince you to pay to alleviate both the fear and the uncertainty. That is not a partnership. That is not an effective and productive working relationship.