publishing services and being a publisher
I no longer provide eBook conversion for hire. Thank you for your interest.
While Alliteration Ink continues to be a publisher, I ceased providing publishing services to the public on 31 December 2013 under any imprint or name. It is still very important that you understand the difference between what a publisher does and what publishing services are.
We need to talk about something. There are a lot of scammers out there. A LOT.
This is really important. I am a small publisher and until really recently, I provided publishing services. There is a distinction between the two, and you need to know it.
Publishing services means that a specific service is delivered for a specific fee. I do what you pay me for, and not any more or less. (For example, I don't correct grammar or spelling during eBook conversion.) Someone providing publishing services gets paid by the author.
A publisher instead takes a percentage - usually a majority one - but handles much, if not all, of the business aspects without involving (or bothering) the author. The publisher would hire both copy and line editor, cover artist, etc without payment from the author. The author is paid an advance against royalties (most of the time) and royalties are paid out to the author through the sale of the book to the general public. The publisher makes money from sales of the book to the public.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people calling themselves "publishers" who are simply providing services, and that's crap.
Because writers often demand these services, and the powers-that-be often tell them to do it themselves, it leaves the fledgling writer at the mercy of the scammers. That's crap.
You need to make sure that the person or organizations charging you are giving you a good value for your money. Is it something you could do yourself? Is it simply something you don't want to do? Or something you don't know how to do? I just had an individual pay me for burning CDs — simply because he had the money to spare, but not the time. That's an informed decision — as opposed to someone not letting you know how easy it is to burn a CD anymore.
If you are becoming an author-publisher (or any of the other half-dozen terms floating around out there), then you will almost certainly employ someone to provide some degree of publishing services. There's nothing wrong with that.
Just make sure you know what you're getting.
Check out some of the resources on my blog - including Publishers Making Money From Author's Copies is Crap, Are You Really a Publishing House, Looking at Your Contracts, and Pirates, Pirates Everywhere.