What's the Difference Between Independent Publishing and Self-Publishing?

The terms self-publishing and indie/independent publishing are used somewhat interchangeably these days. In some ways they are interchangeable, but there are also differences between them. This can make it confusing to authors trying to navigate the self publishing/indie publishing landscape and make the best decision for publishing their own work. We thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance on the differences and similarities between self-publishing and independent publishing, so that you can make a more informed choice.

Independent Publishing – An independent publishing company publishes the works of other authors, and may or may not publish the work of the owner. A good independent publisher should help guide authors through the entire process of publishing – from manuscript development and proofreading to production and sales and marketing. They should be there to support you during the entire process.

Self Publishing – Self publishing means that an author only publishes his/her own books and handles all of the other tasks involved with production. There are a lot of self-publishing platforms out there, such as Xlibris, AuthorHouse, Dog Ear Publishing, LuLu, and CreateSpace, which provide tools and services that enable authors to publish on demand.

Here comes the part that can be a bit confusing … Even if you use a firm (independent publisher) that helps you publish your book, you are still considered a self-published author, as opposed to a traditionally published author.

Some of the drawbacks of working with online self-publishing platforms, especially for a new author, are the lack of support and the lack of expertise of the people you’ll be working with. Oftentimes, self-publishing platform companies claim to provide editorial and/or design services, but the problem is that this work is farmed out to cheap contractors in other countries. Authors don’t have access to them and are unable to develop relationships with their editors and designers, who are crucial to book development and production. It’s likely these contractors don’t speak English as their first language, which could become problematic, especially if they are editing your work.

Many representatives won’t know the difference between developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. These are all very important, distinct activities that are essential to ensuring the quality of a book. At SDP Publishing, we suggest that you ask any company that you are considering working with questions about these activities. If they don’t know the difference, then there could be a big problem.

One of the first steps when working with a publishing company is the initial consultation. Are you getting the support you need to help you become a better writer and develop a better manuscript? If not, then you should probably find a company that will provide this service.

Working with a reputable independent publisher means that you have a high-level, professional team behind you, supporting you every step of the way. Ensure that you are working with industry experts who have extensive industry experience. There are myriad benefits to knowing who your editors and designers are. Being able to speak with them over the phone, and knowing that the appropriate checks and balances in the production flow are in place are just two.

If you’re still confused or want to learn more, please contact SDP Publishing. To further help authors figure out the best solution for their self publishing needs, SDP Publishing has put together a handy guide “Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher!” In this guide, we provide tips to help you make the right decision in regard to the publisher with which you choose to work. Please fill in the form on our website and your download will be immediately available!

We’re also currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultationsend us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up a time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

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