To self-publish—or indie-publish—you do it yourself. You don’t go through someone else.
To pay someone else is called assisted publishing or subsidy publishing. Some are good, some are not, and some are rip-offs. I’ve heard of rates from several hundred dollars to over ten thousand. And that’s a lot of money to pay for something you can do yourself.
I don’t have any experience using assisted publishing or subsidy publishing, because it’s not the right option for me. If you go that route, check references, ask a lot of questions, and treat it like a business decision—because it is.
Now, regarding my statement that for self-publishing/indie-publishing you do it all yourself, that’s an oversimplification. In truth, you will hire experts to handle various aspects for you. In essence, you’re acting like a general contractor on a building project.
For example, I hire editors, cover designers, and marketing people. I coordinate their work to move toward a finished project: a published book. It’s very much a business process.
Whichever publishing option you pick, I wish you the best.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.