|Yog's Stash of Cash|
If your “publisher” is asking you for money, something has gone horribly wrong, and hopefully you've had your contract vetted by an attorney before you signed it. Even if it’s $20 to cover some kind of submission or something, you should run, far and fast.
When applied to a traditional publisher, Yog's Law is in effect—Money flows TOWARD the writer. The writer is only responsible for the writing. The publisher is responsible for everything else.
When applied to a self-publishing, or any of the shades in between, then it gets a bit trickier.
With the old school, the author of the work should never expect to pay a dime to have the book published. Once the manuscript has been picked up, a contract signed, and the wheels set in motion, the author’s work is essentially done. Why not? Well, the publisher takes on a lot on the gamble that everyone will make money. So, being an “old hand” (hopefully) at this, they are willing to take on the editing, the cover art, the marketing, etc. for the publisher, and in trade for all this, they take a percentage of the profit. All of this is removed from the hands of the artist, and “experts” take over so that the book can make money.
That's the payoff/trade-off for a publisher taking on a writer and their work.
This also means that the writer may not have as much say in things like cover art, taglines, marketing strategy, etc. The only caveat to all this is that any good author will either start their own marketing campaign or be ready to participate in the marketing to help sales.
|No reason. I just really like gender-swap|
This all shifts when we change publishing tactics.
If you're doing it yourself, then Yog's law becomes somewhat moot, because the writer has now become the publisher. In this capacity, the writer must take on all those other roles, or hire them as a publisher would. Cover art is either self-made, on your time and with your dime, or it’s contracted to an artist. Editing is either spell-check and a good eye, or it’s farmed out to a professional editor.
Since writers are not always the best copy-editors, cover-artists, etc., it is more often advisable for the writer to hire those aspects out.
To put it a bit more simply
Yog’s Law: Money flows TOWRD the writer.
Corollary to Yog’s Law: For self-publishing, money is CONTROLLED by the writer.