It would seem that the days of vanity publishers and publishing scams are supposed to be over, with all the wealth of information out there about how to put a book together. But not long ago, while hanging around a writers' forum, I was simultaneously saddened and infuriated by someone's post about how her dad is seriously considering giving 10,000$ to a "publisher" who raves about their book and is offering to "include all costs in the package". Older folks who are not very tech-savvy, or newbies, or people who have gone through round after round of rejections and are just desperate for validation, still fall prey to scammers. And there's absolutely no reason why this should happen.
10,000$ for a book? Man, if you can cash out 2000$, that's a generous budget that would cover everything: editing services, formatting, cover design and promotion. A good-quality book can be published for much less, actually. Uploading to KDP is no rocket science.
It's at moments such as these, when I hear/read about someone about to be lured into a trap set by unsavory "publishers", that I'm particularly happy to be able to point to those champs who are like beacons of light helping navigate the murky waters of publishing. So, without further ado:
Joanna Penn - Joanna is probably my top go-to for anything that has to do with indie publishing. Her website and blog are just packed with practical, step-by-step advice that will get you started and keep you going. Her free Author Blueprint is my favorite all-encompassing how-to author guide.
David Gaughran - David Gaughran gets right into the nitty gritty of Amazon, the biggest digital store out there and the bread-and-butter of most indie authors. He shares helpful tips on choosing categories and keywords, building your email list and keeping it engaged, and more.
Derek Murphy, also known as Creativindie, generously shares many no-nonsense hacks. Also check out his book covers website here - reading Derek's book cover guide completely revolutionized my approach to covers (in a nutshell: a book cover is not a piece of art, it's a graphic statement of your genre and what readers can expect from your book).
Jane Friedman offers tips on both sides of the coin: traditional publishing and self-publishing. More and more authors are choosing to do both.
Chuck Wendig' s blog posts often feel like a punch in the face, like for example this one. But if you are ready to take a good honest sober look at your writing and publishing attempts, Chuck is your man. That's the indie publishing place I go when I want to laugh (at myself).
So don't let scammers rob you of your hard-earned money, time, energy and self-esteem. Learn all the time. Read everything you can get your hands on. And keep climbing up.