Once an author finishes a manuscript, they have many publishing options available to them, and one of those options is a vanity press, which is a publishing house that charges for their services. In fact, you’ve probably seen some of their commercials. They usually say something like: “Are you an author? We can get your book published today!” Exciting! Right? Well, maybe not. It depends on your goals and your wallet.
A company that produces books for writers in a physical or digital format and charges the author 100 percent of the fees is known as a vanity publishing house. To make it more affordable, the publishing house may offer a-la-cart services or take payments after each stage, like editing, formatting, cover design and publishing.
Vanity publishing may not be for you. These publishers charge high fees and don’t care what they accept.
Lower Quality Book – Vanity publishes are typically going to produce a lower quality book. Part of this is because they don’t care what they publish or how well it’s written once they have your money.
Expense – Printing a book could involve significant expense. A writer will be paying for all of it. Some vanity publishers charge thousands of dollars. This is money that is not refundable.
Low Exposure – A book published by a vanity publisher won't be available at a local bookstore, but readers should be able to order it through the store's website. Unless a writer is willing to pay for additional services, they will be responsible for all the marketing associated with their book.
Image – Many individuals in the publishing world don't consider vanity publishing to be legitimate publishing. It is often associated with a poor quality book. Should a writer later have a book published by a trade publisher, editors and agents won't list a vanity-published book as a writing credit. These books will not qualify for any type of major literary award.
Spending all the money and making such a tremendous effort to publish your book can be beneficial.
No Follow-Up Pressure – If you want to write another book immediately after the publication of your book or not write another one, a vanity publisher won't try to influence your decision.
Freedom From Technical Necessities – A vanity publisher will free you of dealing with all the technical labors associated with publishing a book.
Availability – Print On Demand (POD) technology is utilized by vanity publishers. This means copies of your book can be ordered and manufactured whenever you want them. This makes certain your book will never go out of stock.
Niche Markets – A trade publisher isn't going to be interested in any book that has a limited appeal. This could be the history of a home town, family memoirs, and more. Using vanity publishing makes it possible for you to publish a book for those who are interested in what you are writing.
More Royalties – When your book is published with a vanity publisher you get to keep more of the profits. Some companies let a writer keep up to 75 percent of their book sales. However, it’s important to remember that you may have spent $5,000 or more upfront, so it will be some time before you break even.
There are many things to consider before moving forward with a vanity press. You need to be honest with yourself about what works best with your situation. If you can pay all of the associated costs and want to control the number of copies made of your book, and are willing to do all of marketing and advertising, a vanity press could be a good choice. If you can easily handle rejection and are focused on providing only the best possible work, as well as having a book that appeals to the general public, you may want to consider pursuing a trade publishing company. Of course, you could skip the publishing houses all together and go the self-publishing route.
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