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Publishing Unveiled: Methods, Business Practices, and Scam Prevention

Publishing Unveiled: Methods, Business Practices, and Scam Prevention

If you’re an author ready to take the next step and get your book out into the world, you’re probably facing a daunting decision: How do you want to publish your book? With so many options available, from traditional publishing to self-publishing, it can be challenging to know which path is right for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different types of publishing, the pros and cons of each, and provide tips on how to navigate the publishing world successfully.

Types of Publishing

1. Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing has long been the gold standard for authors. Here’s what you need to know about this type of publishing:

  • Legitimacy: Legitimate traditional publishers will pay authors an advance against royalties. This advance is essentially a pre-payment of royalties that the author will earn from book sales.

  • Acquisition: Authors are usually found by literary agents, and not the other way around. Literary agents act as intermediaries between authors and publishers, helping authors get their manuscripts in front of the right people.

  • Quantity: Traditional publishers only publish a limited number of books each year. This means that competition for a publishing contract can be fierce.

  • Risks: Even with a traditional publishing contract, there’s no guarantee that your book will be published. Publishers take on significant financial risk when they choose to publish a book, so they’re very selective about the manuscripts they accept.

2. Print-only Publishing

Print-only publishing is ideal for personal projects like family journals, children’s books, or personal memoirs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Purpose: Print-only publishing is perfect for authors who want to create physical copies of their books without going through the full publishing process.

  • Examples: Services like offer printing without the need for full publishing. Authors can upload their manuscript, choose their desired format and cover design, and order as many copies as they like.

3. Self-publishing (KDP, IngramSpark)

Self-publishing has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and IngramSpark. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Accessibility: Self-publishing allows authors to share their work with a broader audience without the need for a traditional publishing contract.

  • Platforms: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and IngramSpark are two of the most popular self-publishing platforms. Both allow authors to upload their manuscripts, choose their desired format and cover design, and set their own pricing.

  • DIY: Self-publishing requires authors to handle formatting and publishing themselves. While this can be intimidating for some authors, it also gives them complete control over the publishing process.

  • Costs: Self-publishing through KDP is free, but authors are responsible for formatting their manuscript and cover design. IngramSpark charges a small fee to upload a book, but authors can also choose to pay for additional services like formatting and cover design.

  • Editing: Authors should consider investing in professional editing and proofreading services to ensure the quality of their book. While self-publishing gives authors complete control over the publishing process, it also means that they’re responsible for ensuring that their book is professional and error-free.

4. Self-publishing with an Imprint (e.g., As You Wish Publishing)

Self-publishing with an imprint is a hybrid approach that combines the control and flexibility of self-publishing with the support and services of a traditional publisher. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Support: Publishing service companies like As You Wish Publishing handle all of the publishing tasks, including formatting, cover design, and distribution.

  • Legitimacy: These companies provide ISBN numbers and legitimate publishing support, giving authors the credibility of a traditional publishing contract without sacrificing control over their work.

  • Marketing: Imprint publishers may offer additional services like marketing and author coaching, helping authors reach a wider audience and sell more books.

  • Costs: While authors might pay for publishing services, they retain control over their work and receive a higher percentage of royalties than they would with a traditional publishing contract.

Warning Signs and Potential Scams

Warning signs suggest potential issues with a publisher's practices, while scams involve deliberate attempts to defraud authors.

Warning Signs:

  • Vague or Ambiguous Terms: If the publishing contract or agreement contains unclear or ambiguous terms, it could be a warning sign that the publisher is not transparent or upfront about their practices.

  • Lack of Communication: If the publisher is slow to respond to your inquiries or fails to communicate openly and honestly about the publishing process, it may indicate that they are not trustworthy.

  • Poor Quality Services: If the publisher's services, such as editing, formatting, or cover design, are of poor quality or do not meet industry standards, it could be a warning sign that they are not reputable.

  • Hidden Costs: If the publisher requires you to pay additional fees for services that were not previously discussed or included in the initial agreement, it may indicate that they are not transparent about their pricing.

  • Publishers that don’t provide transparent reporting: If a publisher is vague about their reporting practices or refuses to provide access to sales data, proceed with caution.

  • Poorly formatted books with unattractive covers: A professional-looking book is essential for attracting readers and generating sales. If a publisher doesn’t prioritize quality, look elsewhere.

  • Publishing companies that target influencers: Some publishing companies target influencers and social media personalities, offering to leverage their audience for marketing purposes. While this might sound appealing, it’s often a sign of a predatory publisher.

Potential Scams:

  • Requiring Purchase of Author Copies: If the publisher insists that you purchase a large number of author copies of your book at an inflated price, it is likely a vanity press scam. Legitimate publishers will never ask authors to buy their own books, especially as part of a contract.

  • False Promises: If the publisher makes unrealistic promises about the success of your book or guarantees that it will become a bestseller, it is likely a scam.

  • Refusal to Provide a Contract: If the publisher refuses to provide a contract outlining the terms and conditions of the publishing arrangement, it may indicate that they are not legitimate.

  • Poor Reputation: If the publisher has a history of complaints or negative reviews from other authors, it is a clear sign that they are not reputable and should be avoided.


A traditional publisher's contract typically requires authors to relinquish certain ownership rights and royalties in exchange for fair compensation, utilizing their extensive marketing and distribution channels. However, most non-traditional publishers do not require such contracts, as they lack large distribution channels and do not have a basis for asking authors to waive their rights.

A publishing services contract, such as self-publishing with an imprint, outlines the terms, conditions, and scope of work for publishing the author's book. This type of contract should not require authors to waive any of their rights, including ownership of their book or royalties.

A scamming publisher may not offer a contract at all, and if they do, it will often be used in a predatory manner. These scammers exploit authors' excitement to obligate them to unnecessary expenses, such as purchasing thousands of books or relinquishing rights, despite lacking the infrastructure and distribution channels for book sales.

Legitimate Publishing Practices

Now, let's talk about what legit publishing practices look like, ideally. When evaluating publishing options, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Authors should receive royalties directly: Royalties should go directly to the author, not through the publishing company. This ensures that authors are fairly compensated for their work.

  • Transparent reporting and access to sales data: Authors should have access to real-time sales data and be able to track their royalties easily. This helps ensure that authors are being paid accurately and on time.

  • Publishing companies that prioritize authors and their work: Look for publishers that are committed to helping authors succeed and are invested in the success of their books.

  • Transparency in pricing and services offered: Make sure you understand exactly what services are included in the publishing package and how much they will cost.

  • Authors retain 100% ownership of their work: You should always retain full ownership of your work, regardless of who publishes it. This ensures you have the freedom to republish or expand your book series.

  • Quality of the book: The quality of the book, including formatting and cover design, should be top-notch. A poorly formatted book with an unattractive cover is unlikely to sell well, no matter how good the writing is.

  • Quality services: Look for publishers that offer quality services such as professional cover design and manuscript validation. These services can help ensure that your book is the best it can be.

What Authors Should Consider

When evaluating publishing options, here are some important factors to consider:

  • Determine what type of publishing experience you want: Do you want the prestige and support of a traditional publisher, or are you comfortable with the DIY approach of self-publishing?

  • Understand the terms and conditions of any contract before signing: Always read the contract carefully to avoid hidden costs and obligations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek legal advice if something isn’t clear.

  • Consider your long-term goals: Think about where you want your writing career to go and whether the publishing company you choose can help you get there.

  • Seek advice and guidance from reputable sources: There are plenty of resources available to help authors navigate the publishing process, from books and websites to writing groups and conferences.

Benefits of Working with a Publishing Services Company Like Us

If you’re considering working with a publishing services company like As You Wish Publishing (i.e., self-publishing with an imprint), here are some benefits to keep in mind:

  • Authors retain 100% ownership of their work: You retain full control over your work, from the rights to your book to the royalties you earn.

  • Transparent pricing and services offered: We believe in being upfront about our pricing and the services we offer, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

  • Access to quality services: We offer a range of quality services to enhance your manuscript, including professional cover design, editing, and manuscript validation.

  • Authors receive royalties directly: You earn royalties on every copy of your book sold, and you receive payment directly, without passing through us first.

  • Access to professional services: We provide access to a range of professional services to elevate your manuscript, including expert cover design, thorough editing, and manuscript validation, ensuring your book reaches its full potential.

  • Personalized support and guidance: We’re here to support you throughout the publishing process, from manuscript submission to marketing and promotion.

Final Advice for Authors

Navigating the publishing world can be challenging, but with the right information and support, you can successfully publish your book and share your work with the world. Here are some final pieces of advice to keep in mind:

  • Prioritize your goals: Think carefully about what you want to achieve with your book and choose a publishing path that aligns with those goals.

  • Educate yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about the publishing industry and understand the terms of any contract before you sign.

  • Seek advice and guidance: Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. There are plenty of reputable sources available to help you navigate the publishing process.

  • Have fun: Above all, remember to have fun with the publishing process and enjoy the experience of sharing your work with the world. It’s an exciting time, so make the most of it!

By following these tips and advice, you can successfully navigate the publishing world and achieve your dreams of becoming a published author. Good luck!

Contact us today to learn more about our publishing services and how we can help you bring your book to life.



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