The New World of Publishing: What Should Indie Publishers Be Called?

This post, by Dean Wesley Smith, originally appeared on his site on 9/8/12.

We have indie publishers, self publishers, specialty-press publishers, small-press publishers, and so on and so on. Are there any differences and does anyone care?

Well, it seems some people care. Those people with far too much time on their hands, in my opinion. But alas, I have been asked questions about the differences now for some time and I figured it was about time to lay out my opinion on the subject.

So here is how I break it down….

(I will not defend this because, honestly, I have too much actual work to do. And I honestly don’t care. But for the sake of future articles, let me be clear how I see each term. Then you all can agree or disagree.)


Writers who are publishing their own work and have not started a press, don’t have a press name, and when they publish a book, it says only their author name as the publisher.

I have zero issue with authors publishing this way as long as they never hope to grow a larger business. This way is for occasional writers wanting to get something into print. Nothing wrong with it at all.

In fact, this article is self-published. So for this blog and other articles on this web site, I am a self-published author.

Indie Publishers

Indie publishers are writers or fans or whatever who have started a press name that publishes either their own work or someone else’s work. Indie publishers run their press like a business. They often don’t even have their own checking account under the business name, although most do.

Again, nothing wrong with that.

Indie presses usually have more than one author name under their press, have a press web site, and act like a business with their writing. In my columns called “Think Like a Publisher” I try to help writers set up their own presses and act like a business.

Specialty Press Publishers 


Read the rest of the post on Dean Wesley Smith’s site.

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