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« Bookshop Bloggers Unite! | Main | RankTracer Interview with David Mercer »

January 14, 2008


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Dan Poynter


Writers are confused and it’s not their fault. In searching for the best way to break into print, they come across self-described “self-publishing companies”. I get emails asking if I can self-publish for writers. That is impossible!

The problem is that many vanity publishers are calling themselves “self-publishing companies” to make their companies appear legitimate.

We have been building name recognition for self-publishing for more than 35 years; there are more than 85,000 of us in the U.S. Self-publishers, write, publish and promote their own books.

According to Wikipedia, Self-Publishing is the publishing of books and other media by the authors of those works, rather than by established, third-party publishers.The only “self-publishing company” is you—by definition. If you contract with a publisher, your book is not SELF-published.

Now that people know what self-publishing is, we find we have to re-educate the public to the fact that we are the real self-publishers and the other DotCom digital publishers are really just vanity publishers masquerading as us. They are trading on the good reputation we have built.

On the other hand, there are digital printing companies. Most provide excellent prices, service and quality. They should refer to themselves as “book printers.”

For information on the choices for breaking into print, get the f-r-e-e Information Kit #2 on Publishing at

Let’s respect historical and common definitions. Let’s stop confusing people new to the book trade.

Diane Eble.

Thanks for this informative interview, Joe. There's so many options out there for self-publishing these days, it's good to know of a company with a track record. I also feel strongly about "vanity publishers masquerading as true self-publishers and trading on the good reputation" companies like Dog Ear have built. I just hate it that so many companies out there take advantage of people's dream of getting publsihed.

Brian Pasch

This industry is fiercely competitive. I wrote an article about how Dog Ear Publishing uses Adwords to market their business and attack competitors. As an Internet marketing consultant, it would seem that the industry needs to have a higher standard for their marketing efforts. The article can be found on this page: Internet Marketing Ethics

Ray Robinson

Brian - You are correct, the industry is fiercely competitive, and to combat the often incredibly deceitful advertising tactics and service promises of most companies in the self-publishing industry, Dog Ear uses some very 'in-your-face' tactics. Did you take the time to follow the link? Did you read the content on the pages to which the link directed readers? If you had, you'd find extremely relevant and fair analysis of most of the largest self-publishers. What you actually appear to be doing, with this and other posts, is disparaging a strong competitor of Tate Publishing by attacking a valid and widely used marketing technique - the comparison - without actually providing any tangible information yourself. I understand Tate Publishing only hired you to help them market their product via the Internet - not evaluate their services in comparison to others in the industry. If attacking our fair and objective comparison to Tate Publishing - - (the content of which was reviewed by Ryan Tate) is part of your strategy, then so be it - but you really should refrain from dismissing a style of marketing that works well for most successful companies in some way or another (Pepsi vs. Coke anyone?).

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