The Vanity Press Rant

I copied this off my Facebook page so that it could be more easily found.


I just turned down a cold call from a publishing company. Seems someone noticed a copyright I filed awhile back and they want to know if I am interested in submitting to them. It seems they currently have an “open submission”. I wasn’t interested. And you shouldn’t be either.

I am not going to name names, as I am not interested in getting hit with a bogus libel suit, but I get so many questions about publishing at conventions that I thought I should bring this up, as it rarely comes up.

If you get these letters and calls when someone notices you got a copyright, or anything else really, you need to stop and take a good look at the company sending them to you. 99.9% of the time, it is from what is called a ‘vanity press’. This is a company that wants you to PAY THEM to publish your book. You will never see a profit on that. Don’t do it.

If you are going to pay to publish your book, then pay in a few man-hours (woman-hours) and learn how to do it yourself for FREE. Do not get sucked into one of these scams.

See, here’s the part they would call libel. They would say they really do publish you, that they really are providing you a service.

Sure. They are. But not the service they want you to believe. They want you to believe you will be the next big thing on the bookshelves, but your book won’t be there. They want you to believe your book will be professionally edited and formatted. Sure.

Define professional? From Google: (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.

Notice there is nothing in that definition about competency.

They also want you to believe they will help sell and market your book. They will. They will put it in the same listings you can put your book in yourself for free when you self-publish.

And they will do all of this for $6,000 to $10,000 dollars.

And you could do it all for yourself for free

-and get their level of competency.

If I had a completed manuscript in my hands, I could hire a COMPETENT editor for $200 to $500 depending. I could hire a COMPETENT copy editor for less. I can publish myself for free on CreateSpace, or through Lightning Source for fees less than $100 depeding on what services you want. I can publish on Kobo, Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and iBooks for FREE.

And for less than $1,000, I can have a better product, done more compentently, and with wider distrubution than they can provide at ANY COST.

Watch out for the “vanity presses”. They really want to make you feel important, because they really want your money.

A “Professional” Author gets paid for their stories. We don’t pay others to publish them.