As you write your book, one thing hovers in the back of your mind: Which publishing route do I want to take? Self-Publishing? Self-Publishing Service? Traditional Publishing? Vanity Publishing?
Let me define the four publishing routes first:
Traditional Publishing: These are the major publishers of the paperbacks and hardcovers you find in bookstores. They buy the rights of the work, paying the author a royalty. The cost to the author is zero, but getting your work accepted is tough. Your best bet is to find an agent first. Books published this way are what you find in book stores everywhere.
Vanity Publishing: An author pays the vanity publisher to publish their book and the costs to the author can quickly add up into the thousands of dollars.
Self-Publishing Services: This falls between Vanity Publishing and Self-Publishing. You pay for what you need, either individually, or a bundle deal. The costs can add up, but are far lower than a Vanity Publisher.
Self-Publishing: This is the solo route that a writer takes to publish their book. The format for the most part is eBooks. You can also use a service like Lulu for POD (Print on Demand). Which allows you to have print versions of your book. Something like this allows you to make available signed copies as prizes in giveaways, or as a gift. With Self-Publishing, you are responsible for everything: finding an editor, paying to have a cover created or doing it yourself, formatting, and marketing. You can do all these things with minimal costs, making your bank account happy. Your biggest expense is an editor, next is cover design. If you don’t get your story edited, you receive bad reviews. Bad reviews mean loss of sales. A cover is the first thing seen by a potential reader, so make sure it looks great, not something done by a six-year-old.