Truth About Vanity Publishing (Part One)

Vanity publishing is sometimes referred to as: subsidy, co-operative, shared responsibility, or joint venture publishing. Vanity publishers may also use the term self-publishing, but while they may share some similar qualities, vanity publishing should not be confused with the self-publishing term.

A vanity publisher will publish a manuscript at a cost to the author. They will take a manuscript and manage the process on the author's behalf. They will edit, proofread, typeset, and print the book, then give you an invoice that covers all of these costs plus a service fee.

Some vanity publishers can offer further services. They can provide a ghost writer who will sit down with you and record your thoughts on tape, before writing the book and continuing with the rest of the production process. Vanity publishers can also be connected with distributors, which means that they are also able to co-ordinate your books into bookshops.

In some circles vanity publishing is not a term that is often looked upon favourably. This is because unlike conventional publishers, vanity publishers will publish work regardless of its content or quality and is done so for the sake of the author's vanity - to be printed. Vanity publishers make money not from the sales of the books, but from the author, and it's this approach that prompts sceptic views from bookstores and other mainstream publishers.

It should be noted, that genuine publishers exist that trade under the title of ‘vanity publisher'. Many advocates who ensure vanity publishers trade fairly in the marketplace have websites that outline credible vanity publishers.


Dale Beaumont is the author of this article. He is an internationally renowned book publishing expert, the author of 16 best-selling books and the creator of the Get Published Secrets Program.  

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