A Rose is a Rose is a Rose…”

A topic of conversation that seems to be coming up frequently in writing groups lately is the definition of terms connected with self publishing.

  • What is self publishing?
  • Is it different from vanity publishing? If so, how?
  • Is self publishing the same as indie publishing?
  • Is an indie author also an indie publisher?

and other such questions.

There’s a lot of different opinions on this, and some people become very passionate (to an almost scary point) on this issue.

Well, I’ve been doing some research and looking at a lot of different sources and opinions on the internet. Here’s my take on this topic (remember, as always, this is just my opinion, this is not a one size fits all universe, and your mileage may vary. If so, that’s good too  )

Self publishing- where you take responsibility for all of the steps of writing/publishing yourself. You may do them all yourself, or you may contract for some tasks (editing, for instance) but, if at the end of it all, you’re the person in charge, you have self- published.

Indie publishers- some people feel this describes any publishing company other than the Big Five. Some people feel this describes any small publishers, either publishing only that person’s own books or those of a relatively small group of people. I feel that if you publish books on your own, and function in a professional manner (such as a company name, ISBNs in your name, website etc) then you are an indie publisher

Indie author- some people say this is someone who self publishes. Some people say it only counts if you are also an indie publisher or with one. I feel that if you’re publishing on your own, that also makes you a indie author, whether or not you run an indie publishing company

Vanity press- term for paying to bring out a book you couldn’t get published any other way. Derogatory. Some folks say anyone who self publishes is just using a vanity press, but I feel that there are a lot of good reasons to self publish that don’t include our book not being good enough for traditional publishing. Some include

  • more control over the content of your book
  • higher profits per book
  • traditional publishing making excessive cautious choices about what books they buy, based on what they believe will “earn out”
  • and a lot more

Bottom line, a vanity press is for books that aren’t good enough/ self publishing is for books that are good enough but don’t fit into a traditional mold.

That’s enough for now, but I’ll probably get into this more in the future. See you then!

Catherine Kane


For more information on Catherine’s books, “Adventures in Palmistry”, “The Practical Empath – Surviving and Thriving as a Psychic Empath”, “Manifesting Something Better” ,“The Psychic Power of Your Dreams”, her urban fantasy “The Lands That Lie Between”,   and her new book “Magick for Pennies”, all from Foresight Publications, click here

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