Writing your book? Vanity presses, self publishing, publishing

I emailed last week with Cassandra Yorgey upon the topic of friends who self publish, to understand the implications of using LuLu, a vanity press, versus a traditional publishing model. It’s important to be clear on what it is and what the differences are because vanity presses are sometimes deceitful.  I told her that I have friends all the time who are working on books and ask me about book publishers, which I know zilch about.  But some seem to think Lulu is the way to go.  Not wanting to be an author, I don’t care enough about it to want to research it myself. I asked her is there somewhere I could refer them to?  Is there a good site or blog post that gives helpful basic info to the ones who ask me to be referred somewhere for info?

Cassandra Yorgey responded: “I generally send people to Writers Beware first.  Self-publishing doesn’t tend to get credit as a professional reference and rarely earns back the money invested into it. A general rule of thumb is that money should flow *towards* the writer, not away. I would suggest to anyone who has a completed manuscript that querying a literary agent would MOST LIKELY be a better use of their time. Not always, but most likely.

Very recently Harlequin, a noted romance publisher, made the mistake of opening a vanity-pub branch and got kicked out of all the respectable groups like SFWA and RWA. Here’s a pretty accurate discussion of how the industry feels about that.”

I get so many requests about how someone may get their book published, and I was glad to get this info to share.  I’d like to hear your experiences.

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