Self Publishing: Boutique, Custom or Independent?

I recently returned from the inaugural Ghostwriters Unite! conference held in Long Beach, California. I sat as a faculty member on four different panels. This integral group of dedicated writers came from all corners of the world including England and Australia to discuss the industry of helping people get their stories told. Whether CEOs looking for a book to market their ideas or Vietnam vets finally releasing some of the nightmares to paper, a ghostwriter coordinates and/or writes the manuscript.

I am happy to relay that the idea of self-publishing has been thoroughly embraced by many of these attendees. Much of the discussion pointed to the fact that a writer needs to approach publishing in a professional manner with editing and design work to keep the quality of work at book industry standard.  The now “five sisters” publishing houses in New York have set high standards in the quality of writing and readability of pages.Any book published today should have no less attention paid to it. Self published books should look like they came out of New York.

Interestingly, the term self-publishing wasn’t always used during discussions. A Thesaurus has been thrown in to tweak the label or moniker and maybe shy away from the negative vibes still out there for do-it-yourself books. The most frequently used is independent publishing. Many small presses and mid-size publishing houses consider themselves independent publishers. As you’d find indie music labels. Now, though, in various groups the terms custom publishing or boutique publishing are gaining speed. Do you think there is more validity in calling yourself or using a boutique publisher? Does it seem more of a niche idea where the titles might fall into one genre or category?

It’s true anyone can publish a book today, and whether you call yourself an indie publisher or boutique, the book should be put through the rigors of decent (read here professional) editing and a dynamite book cover. 

Whether you write for yourself, for others or everything in between, the world of publishing is changing and the road to success is paved with a variety of stories. Short-run book printing is an excellent part of the publishing journey. You might start with fifty copies for friends and family or use them for advance review copies or place an annual order for a thousand copies. You can be a published author.

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