Vanity Publishers

Written by Christa Gatewood
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Vanity publishers should be treated with a healthy amount of skepticism and caution. While there are a handful of reputable vanity publishers, it may be best to steer clear. Having a book published by a vanity publisher will require of the author all of the costs of production plus whatever profit the publisher has built into their rate. This can become extremely expensive, and in most cases, it is not worth the expense.

Beware Vanity Publishers Running a Scam

When you enter into a deal with a vanity publisher, you are risking your wallet and the success of your book. Not only will you have to put up all of the costs for production, many times a vanity publisher will assume the rights of your book as well. You can also be charged for additional services a vanity publisher claims to be providing including marketing, warehousing, editing, and design. In truth, the publisher may not be providing any additional services, and they most likely have inflated the costs of production incredibly. A better option is to work with a reputable house if you are looking at self-publishing. A reputable self publisher probably will require you to pay the costs of publishing, but they will also allow you to retain the rights to your creative work. This is a much better option.

A trade or commercial publisher puts up its on money to produce and market your book. Because their money is at risk, they have a real interest in selling books. When you put up the money for production with a vanity publisher, they have no incentive to sell books. One scam that has been reported is particularly despicable. If the vanity publisher cannot sell your books, likely they will not, they may require you to buy them back or they will be destroyed. This means you will have paid to produce them and had to buy them. On top of that, you might also have to buy back the rights to the book itself. Again, this is why it pays to go to a reputable self publisher.

You may be willing to lose money publishing your book, but are you willing to lose the rights to and potential for success for your book? If you publish your book with a vanity publisher, that might be the kiss of death for your book. The reviewers at publications understand how the vanity publishing business works. They know that vanity publishers will publish any book whose author is willing to pay. A reviewer will take this as a sign that they do not need to read that book. Without a positive book review, it is nearly impossible to sell a book unless you only want to sell it to your grandmother.

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