In a recent interview, I was asked about the advantages of publishing through Hammonasset House Books, an Independent Press set up by several writers to publish their books. First, I pointed out that all the writers involved with Hammonasset House Books had been widely published by commercial presses. One writer has published more than 20 books by conventional commercial presses. Another, a member of the Writer's Guild, has published and produced more than a dozen screenplays, yet another published several dozen articles in magazines. A fourth is a Television writer, member of the Writer's Guild, and the founder of an ongoing theater group in which he has been honored for the year's best work.
So, I answered the question by saying that the Independent Press approach gives us extraordinary control over our books, from the control over copyright, to design, and certainly to editorial content. This model would not necessarily work well for writers who have not yet published book length works, but for highly experienced writers it offers a freedom that has been earned in the world of commercial publishing.
The Indie Press has control, too, over the means of publicizing and maintaining the life of the book. Commercial presses are well known for publishing a book, giving it a little push if the author is not a celebrity or a best-seller, then letting it languish. The sales rankings on Barnes and Noble and Amazon tell that tale clearly. The Independent Press, with fewer titles, is able to keep pushing the book as long as it wishes. True, it may not have the distribution potential of the commercial press, but that potential works best only in the first 6 months of a book's life. With online outlets like Amazon, the Indie Press can promote a book for life.