The key in self-publishing in "self", not "vanity".
Self-publishing is sometimes used interchangeably with the term vanity publishing with the former being treated as just a "nicer-sounding" term for the later. But we don't think the two are the same. Vanity publishing is throwing money at someone to paste their name on your book. Self-publishing, on the other hand, is all about taking control of your book. When you become the publisher of your own book, you would end up investing some money to put out the best possible book. But a publisher pays for specific services she avails, which help in either making her book better, or in taking it to more readers, not for the vanity of being called a "published" author. She will also (proudly) identify herself as the publisher of the book. Since she herself is publishing the book and taking all the risks, she will not sign away her rights and retain it with her.
Pothi.com is a self-publishing platform, which is open to all, and which helps authors who want to take control of their books. We are not a vanity publisher and do not identify ourselves as the publisher of the books that are published through our platform. That would be unfair to the authors and readers alike.
You take control of your content.
We do not ask you to sign away any rights. We do not even ask you to be exclusive. You are free to take your book to other providers and publishers even when it is published through our platform. It is your content, and you are truly its master.
You take control of your expenses.
We do not sell packaged services and it is so by design. Each book and each author is different. We do not believe a packaged solution can suit all the books and authors. We do not require you to take our pre-press services at all. Most of our authors have published through us without paying a single penny. So long as you bring us the files according to our specifications, which are put up on the website, you can publish at no cost at all.
This doesn't mean that we won't provide you the services you need. We have various pre-press services available. You are not stuck with a package. You can pick and choose individual services. If you have an editor you want to work with, but want us to design your book, you can do that. If a friend has designed a nice cover for you, you can use that while using our typesetting services.
And no! You aren't stuck with higher prices because we don't package the services. They are each priced reasonably and you won't spend anything close to what the other self-publishing package providers want you to spend.
We don't promise the moon!
We don't sell outrageous dreams. If we provide a service, we charge reasonably for it. We don't want to do a shoddy job because we underpriced ourselves. But we do not sell what can't be delivered. We don't charge you for vague marketing packages. Selling books is a tough job with no silver bullets. We don't put you in a bubble by promising magical solutions and make you pay extravagantly for it. We can provide you online distribution and we do that through our Extended Distribution Service. Through our design and editing services, we help you bring out a professional product. If we find that our services will not be suitable for your book, we tell you so. We don't take your money and do a fake job of it.
We are transparent in our dealings.
We try to put out as much information as possible openly on our website. If you go through the pages on our website and read the FAQs, in all likelihood you would not even need to contact us before publishing your book. You can estimate prices and royalties yourself. You can track your sales and royalty payments on your author dashboard. If there is a need to pay for something, you know beforehand. No charges sneak upon you. We give our best prices upfront and don't waste your time in negotiations.
Our interests are aligned with the author.
Most of our revenue comes from printing and selling the books and not from the upfront amount paid by the authors. Our interests are aligned with yours. We earn only when your books sell. That keeps us trying hard.