I 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|