The technology that has made self publishing possible has opened new possibilities for scammers. The industry is so new and so confusing that it’s way too easy to get caught in a scam. But writers are artists who create with their minds – using words as their medium, and we are not helpless marks.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with support from the Mystery Writers of America formed a Committee on Writing Scams and They Have An Excellent Blog.
As a self publisher, you will use one of the dozens of print on demand companies out there to produce your book and make it available for sale online, but you should be very aware of the fees they are charging. As a true self publisher, you will be using your time more than your bank account. There are basic fees you can’t get around, like the cost of a business license, ISBN number (don’t accept the free one – buy your own to be your own publisher), and proof copy of the book… but you shouldn’t be paying extra to get the book on Amazon.com, for instance. If you choose the right print-on-demand company, there’s just the royalty schedule and distribution channel choices.
I use CreateSpace and I’m happy with them… and LightingSource is highly recommended also, and although each of these companies offers service packages so that you can pay to have things done that you can do yourself… I suggest you only do that if you would rather pay the money and save the time, not because you think you have to pay for it.
Do it yourself self publishing takes an enormous amount of time and learning – but it does NOT take an enormous amount of cash.
You also may not make an enormous amount of cash doing it… but then again, you might!