If a publisher congratulates you on the acceptance of your manuscript, then asks you to pay part or all of the cost of getting it published, or requires that you purchase a minimum number of books, that’s a subsidy publisher trying to look like a commercial publisher.
If a subsidy publisher is a division of a commercial publishing house and claims that your book will be reviewed by the parent company, don’t take that statement at face value—ask for a list of titles that have gone that route and verify it with the authors.
Here are the subsidy and POD (print on demand) publishers I recommend:
- Abbott Press, a division of Writer’s Digest (www.abbottpress.com)
- Ampelos Press (www.writehisanswer.com/ampelos_press.htm)
- Bethany Press (www.bethanypress.com)
- CreateSpace, division of Amazon (www.createspace.com)
- CrossBooks, division of LifeWay/B&H Publishing (www.crossbooks.com)
- Hit The Mark Publishing (www.hitthemarkpublishing.com)
- The Honor Network (www.honornet.net)
- InspiringVoices, a service of Guideposts (www.InspiringVoices.com/Purpose)
- Lulu (www.lulu.com)
- Smashwords—e-books only (Smashwords.com)
- Strong Tower (www.strongtowerpublishing.com)
- Vision Publishing (www.booksbyvision.com)
1. In general, you get what you pay for. You can save money if you skip having your manuscript professionally edited and proofread, or if you typeset the manuscript and design the cover yourself. But the final result won’t be nearly as good as if you pay a professional to do those things.
2. When checking out a subsidy publisher, find out all the costs. Does the quote include editing, proofreading, cover design, typesetting, marketing, distribution . . . or are those services extra?
3. Make sure you retain the rights to your work. If your book becomes the exclusive property of the subsidy publisher, you won’t be able to contract with a commercial publisher if one’s interested, or switch subsidy publishers if you aren’t happy with the first one.
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—Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series, is a full-time freelance editor/writing mentor and teacher. She is the founder and director of the Christian Editor Connection and The Christian PEN.