Self publishing options ...
The publishing industry has authors in a bind. It is extremely hard to get into the big five publishing houses as an unknown, and the smaller ones range anywhere from experimental to vanity press. Then there are the known entities - those of Amazon, Lulu, Ingramspark and Smashwords for your printed books; ebooks are a whole different kettle of fish.
I was with two small publishing houses there for a while, but the constrictions of a contract can be exactly that ... constricting. So when I was free of all that is legal and binding I decided to go it alone, taking to the path of indie publishing like a duck to water. First I tried Createspace; easy enough to use - but at the time they were only working out of America. Then Createspace was made defunct, Amazon then moved into Australia and a lot more rules and regs were put into place with it. I decided to opt out.
I had in the meantime I had found Lulu - a nice easy site to use. Files are easy to upload, their printed product is of good quality, royalties are paid every month, but the downside is ... they are pretty pricey.
I had noticed lately that a lot of people were pointing a finger the way of Ingramspark. I decided to take a look. Everything seemed fine, pricing was good, people seemed happy, so I made my move. What a mistake that was. Not only have I paid to be registered on this site but for free they threw in a mental breakdown. The site is a nightmare to negotiate, help is hard to get ... as for uploading a cover file - one week later, three tries and now they're closed for the weekend. So I have no idea what's happened with the last file ... apart from nothing. Now I have to wait ... again!
Will I be happy with the finished product? That remains to be seen for if they knock back my cover file for a third time I think I will be asking for my money back. Will I be recommending Ingramspark? Probably not - unless you have money to burn. I know I will not be using them again.
Is this the first time this has been said? I know the the answer to that one, and it's no. Too late I found a couple of reviews that reflect my own. The stated the same thing, so I guess they got the option with the mental breakdown as well.
At the end of the day the choice is always yours, but I'd be thinking long and hard before you travel this road. Give yourself time to work your way through all the obstacles and maybe - if you can afford the extra expense on top of the money you have to fork out for everything else - hire yourself a cover artist. It will make your live a lot easier than trying to do it on your own. Ingramspark will provide a template but unless you're a right clever clogs, or there is some way of using it that I am not aware of ... it's as useless as tits on a bull.
Anyway ... that aside ... congratulations on reaching the publishing stage of your wirting and I wish you good luck with your book.