I think I may have answered my own question... but here goes. "Hybrid" was Mac's suggestion, but he thought I could put it here for you fine folks.
First, a bit about me. I am trade published, with two small presses not of the big 6 or 8. So I could also be called independently published. That's me a few years back.
I didn't like it. I look back now and I see that my advance was a loan. My promo was non-existent (hey! Where's my book tour? Yeah, right.) And I did, in the long run, actually pay for my editing, cover art, etc. because ever since then, every copy of my book sold here and in German language abroad, has resulted in exactly 6% of the net coming to me. That means that 94% is going to the publisher, to pay them back for all the cash they put up front. The problem I have with this, in the long run, is that even after they've been paid back for their investment, they keep taking 94%. As they should, mind you. They are in business to make money.
Which brings me to my question. What would you call:
A publishing venue that is not a vanity press, because they (full disclosure: I mean me, this is my new publishing venue) does not "accept" every manuscript. There is an acquisitions process and the book has to make the cut.
It is not a trade publisher, because we don't pay advances, and we don't foot the bill for anything.
On the vanity side: Yes, we charge for editing and art, etc. but we do NOT require that the author use us for this process. If we get a book in and it needs work, we tell the author, "It needs work, but we're interested." They can hire their own editor, or they can hire us. We don't care in the long run. So long as the final product is good enough to put our name on.
If they choose someone else, then want to publish with us, they would pay for their ISBN and barcode (if they needed one) at a big savings (since we bought in bulk, we can pass the savings on to other self-publishing authors) and everyone is happy. In fact, we hold a contest to give away ISBNs every month and the author still doesn't have to use our for-fee services.)
The point is, the debate about self-publishing vs. "indie" publishing is a very real one. Talented authors self-publish all the time, and they end up being lumped in with just about anyone who can afford to have their book printed, which is lots considering POD and the very reasonable costs of self-publishing without the interference of a vanity press.
So how can the really good authors, the ones who are not only talented, but who realize talent is not a substitute for a fantastic editor, separate themselves from the pack?
I think these authors, myself included, need to seriously create a new sect of the industry.. .the true "indie" author that publishes in a way that they keep 100% control over their projects, but also shows readers and the trades that they didn't just regurgitate a thesaurus into a word processor and hit the print or upload button.
What if there really was a difference between self-published and "Indie"? Again, the term Hybrid came up, along with Co-op. I like both of them, although co-op suggests a community ownership, and for right now its just me and my biz partner. So maybe Hybrid is better?
Anywho, I thought this discussion might be a good one, and a little different than the normal bru-haha.