Here's a useful definition. Think of a publisher as an individual or entity that assumes the financial risk for a . A house buys your , pays you a small advance against hope for royalties, and earns a profit only if they sell thousands of . They assume the risk, they reap the rewards.

A self -publisher hires an , contracts with a typesetter, and engages a cover . They establish a relationship with a distributor and hope to cover at least their costs of production. They assume the risk. They reap the rewards. In between these models lies the vanity publisher. Vanity charge you for and , and that's fine. You'd have to pay for these services anyway.

And they handle and distribution and collections, et cetera. Well, that sounds great. What's the problem? They also set the and they take a cut of the profits without assuming any risk. Remember our definition, a publisher is an individual or entity that assumes the financial risk for a . Paying someone to be your publisher is like paying someone to take a vacation for you so you can stay home and work.

Seek a contract if that makes sense, or self -publish if that's the best route for you. Do some homework on how to make that decision without silly preconceptions that big are somehow more prestigious or legitimate, or that self - is not. And stay away from vanity presses who want to pose as your publisher and skim your cream without sharing any of the risks.