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How to Spot a Vanity Publisher

There are many publishers that cater for different writers. For example, Wild Rose Press and Decadent Publishing are dedicated to publishing various forms of romance, perhaps even a bit of erotic romance every now and then. Big traditional publishers such as Harper Collins and Penguin Random House specialize in print books of every genre, though some are begining to open their doors to ebooks as well. Meanwhile, many self-publishing services such as Amazon and Smashwords can help you get your book into the hands of readers as well, though it depends on the amount of money the author is willing to invest in marketing their book. There are even hybrid publishers, where, though the author pays for a majority of the costs, the publishers are dedicated to exposing your book to equally dedicated readers. However, there is a certain type of publisher that everyone must be aware of; vanity publishers. 

Vanity publishers are essentially publishers that require authors to pay a rather large fee, or even buy something from them, in order to have their books published. There’s little, if any, editing done to the books, and the author’s books typically come across as lower quality. Vanity publishers primarily make profits from those fees, so they aren’t necessarily eager to get your book in front of readers. Some examples include Northwest Publishing, Sovereign Publications, and Vantage Press.

It’s important to know that vanity publishers can disguise themselves as other reputable publishing houses. This can include saying that they’re a self-publishing service, or even a hybrid publisher, though you’re paying for a majority of the marketing costs. Other telling signs of a vanity publisher include:

* Having a pre-sale requirement

* Withholding royalties

* Having a purchasing requirement

When you receive the final copy of the book, and you realize that your precious book looks like absolute garbage, you’re working with a vanity publisher. When you have little to no support in the publishing process, you’re working with a vanity publisher. When you have to pay a large fee in order to have your book published, then distribute your book with little to no help from the publisher, and then be forced to buy copies of your books, you’re working with a vanity publisher. 

Remember that there are other alternatives to this kind of publishing service. For example, you can choose the self-publishing route. You can also write blurbs to make your book better. You can learn how to design your own covers, and even learn to fall in love with the process of writing again. You could even submit your book to other indie publishers and learn how to become an expert indie author. Even so, remember that you shouldn’t blindly trust any publisher, especially when they seem incredibly fishy. Just make sure you do research, talk with other authors, and make sure that the reputation of the publisher is secure.

Because after all, writing is an art. And we need to treat it as such.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Robin Goodfellow