The digital explosion has resulted in the creation of many new publishing platforms. if you are interested in publishing your own work, in general, a print-on-demand operation is the best way to go because the investment is small and there is no inventory. Operations like CreateSpace and Lightning Source International can set up print-on-demand for a few hundred dollars, and authors with a fan base who are familiar with book review processes and distribution, and are interested in spending the time and effort necessary to effectively market their own books have been increasingly successful.
Sadly, the explosion of self-publishing platforms has also brought out tons of scammers and rip-off artists. Writers are often easy targets, frustrated by rejections and seduced by someone posing as an editor or agent who tells them their book is the best thing since Charlotte’s Web, and will sell even better thanks to their editing services and marketing program — which the writer can purchase for a fee. These “editors” and “agents” may do little more than take a fee for having the work printed by a print-on-demand printer, with the writer paying all of the costs.
The first thing anyone who is approached by a publisher, agent or editor asking for a fee should do is conduct an internet search. Start with a place like “Preditors and Editors” and an internet search using the name of the company and the word “scam.”
For more information, SCBWI Members should consult THE BOOK, which you received with your membership, for the article on self-publishing.