Okay, folks, I received yet another email about using a subsidy press like AuthorHouse or Xlibris. I have now reached the point where I no longer even need to read them. I already know what they say.
This writer was slightly differently in that she had already read Dan Poynter's book, The Self Publishing Manual, so had some sense of what the industry is like and what is required to sell a book. I give her credit. She is the first person out of the dozens of these emails over the last several years that has done her homework.
Here's her situation: She believes she is a good writer, but a lousy business person. She also does not want to ship books. (Ed. note: Can't fault her there; I don't and I won't.) She would rather have someone else handle the intricacies of actually getting the book printed.
Fair enough. Here's the problem, though. If you are not a good business person (or are willing to learn), it becomes doubtful that you should self-publish. Why? Because it's a business.
However, setting that aside, if you want to self-publish, I recommend one of two things:
1. Get a cover designed, format your text, and submit it all to Lightning Source. They will produce a book for you that will be listed fairly quickly on Amazon. You can then direct people to Amazon from your website. That's what I do. You can get the code to set up a link by becoming part of the Amazon Associates program (which will also pay you a little money for the referral in addition to the money you get from Lightning Source).
2) If you must have your hand held through the process, then go to Booklocker.com. It is the one and only subsidy press that I trust. While I am sure there are others out there that are reputable, I prefer a subsidy press that makes most of its money off selling books and not on selling services to authors.
Both of those are reasonable options for people who do not want lots of inventory on hand (and, in most cases, I do not think you should have a lot on hand).