What is the difference between self publishing, Indie publishing and book publishing

In the past 10 years we have been publishing many books, and during this period many people came up to us with the question if we do self publishing or not?

And while we’re on this subject… what is the difference anyway?

Self publishing

This is when an individual person decides to write a book and make it available to the public. Usually these people use services like Createspace (Amazon.com) or Lulu.com to help them with the process of publishing their book.

The process of self publishing is an individual program where you as the author do everything yourself.

Indie publishing

Sometimes you want your books to reach further than an individual sales channel. To do this, your books need to be more professional and you will need to set up a company to be able to publish your book(-s). Many publishing services and distribution services for books only work with companies, not with individual persons.

Once you have set up a company to act as the ‘vehicle’ for publishing your book, and you use external sources to help with editing and proofreading etc. you are considered to be an Indie Publisher.

Small – medium publishing house

One step up from Indie publishing is when you create enough publications each year to warrant the employment of a team of editors, proofreaders and graphic designers. You may or may not organise print runs for the books you produce and most small publishing houses will work with ‘Print on Demand’ services to keep the production cost low.

The publishing house is small – medium when it’s not part of the big 5 companies for trade publications:

  • Hachette Book Group
  • HarperCollins
  • MacMillan Publishers
  • Penguin Random House
  • Simon & Schuster

or the top 4 educational publishers:

  • McGraw-Hill
  • Pearson
  • Reed Elsevier
  • houghton Mifflin