Why Simon & Schuster's Archway Publishing Is Bad for Authors

Simon & SchusterI had to comment on the deal that Simon & Schuster Archway Publishing is offering to authors. No matter how S&S tries its best to package it as "self-publishing" it is a vanity publishing venture, designed specifically to make profit by taking money from authors, not selling books to readers.

I've created a handy cheat sheet / chart below for you. You can see that S&S's Archway Publishing offers the worst of the both traditional publishing and self-publishing: You'll pay for everything; you'll have no control over anything; and you'll have to split your profit with the publisher.

Do not sign up for it. There's no reason to pay someone $2,000-$25,000 to format and upload your book on Kindle. (Since S&S plans to outsource everything for Archway Publishing, you won't get the kind of editing and cover art that S&S's traditional publishing program offers.)

Furthermore, you do not need to use service providers like S&S's Archway publishing to get noticed by a traditional publisher if that is one of your goals. They are already watching Amazon's Top 100 list. The self-published novelists who got snapped up by traditional publishers did not use vanity publishers.

Trad Pub Vanity Pub Self-Pub
Who pays for editing, cover, formatting, layout and all the other costs related to publication? Publisher You You
Who selects the team/people for editing, cover, formatting, layout and all the other activities related to publication? Publisher Publisher You
Who controls editing, cover, formatting, layout and all the other activities related to publication? Publisher Publisher You
Who controls your book's price? Publisher Publisher You
Who gets paid by the retailers? Publisher Publisher You
Is the money from retailers split between the publisher and author? Yes Yes No