A dozen or more new companies appear each year, and a similar number go out of business.
Disturbingly, some of the worst offenders stay in business year after year, sucking in lots of money from wannabe authors. P. T. Barnum is credited with saying that "There's a sucker born every minute." Companies like Outskirts Press, Xlibris and America Star Books preyed on suckers.
Some of the new companies definitely don't seem "ready for prime time" and I was curious to see how easy it is to form a self-publishing company. (That term makes no sense. I fought it for several year, and gave up.)
It's very, very easy.
I did a Google search for "free website," chose a hosting company (wix.com), chose a template, put in some words and pictures, chose a business name and I was open for business in about 45 minutes. My "company" quickly became Google-able, Bing-able and Yahoo-able.
- All I needed to become a book publisher was an email address and accounts with PayPal and CreateSpace. I'll let the authors do the writing, editing and designing, and offer various services for additional fees. Books will automatically be available for sale on Amazon, B&N and other booksellers' websites.
- The "about" page on the site says "In case you have not yet figured it out, 99 Buck Books is not a real company. This website is an exaggerated parody intended to call attention to some of the worst practices and attitudes of some self-publishing companies." But, some hopeful authors skipped that page.
- Will I defeat Outskirts Press and CreateSpace? Will 99 Buck Books get bought by Author Solutions or Amazon for millions of dollars? Probably not. I'll let you know if it happens.
Haha: The site is a parody, displaying the worst aspects of self-publishing companies, but it fooled one of the major authorities in self-publishing. He thought the site was real, not a joke!!!
Note: I'm not really starting a self-publishing company. This was just an experiment to see exactly how low the "barrier to entry" is in self-publishing. I'm too busy with my own books to publish the work of other writers. I learned that it's extremely easy to form a self-publishing company. Sadly, anyone who can read, click and type can become an author—or a publisher. Before you choose a publishing service, carefully investigate its qualifications and successes—and remember: price isn't everything.