Don't fall into the vanity publishing trap


You’ll get an impressive glossy welcome pack, flattering words confirming your book’s exciting commercial potential and high literary standard. But then they’ll casually mention that as a first time author you’ll need to make a token financial contribution. Then they’ll hit you with the telephone numbers.


The aggregate cost including extras for all their illusory and/or substandard services typically comes in at over £6,000. And for that, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll lose control of your copyright.





Why do people fall for this?


Simple answer, they’re vulnerable. They’ve flayed their very souls, maybe for years, to share their story with the world, and the world has turned it’s back. Or rather the world of publishing has. Then someone comes along with all the gloss of a mainstream publisher, and with honeyed words they confirm the author’s opinion of their genius. And that’s it, job done, putty in their hands.

I’m not sure which upsets me most, the vanity publisher for laying the trap, or the writer for so enthusiastically leaping into it. Don’t believe me? Google the term ‘vanity publishing’, maybe you’ll get angry too.

To balance the argument, there’s a downside to self-publishing. It’s self-publishing, emphasis on self. Okay, so AMAZON provide design templates, and plenty of brilliant advice, they even check your manuscript for basic errors; but it’s still a very complex and technical process. And because AMAZON doesn’t have the critical filters of conventional publishing, there’s a lot of dross out there. This especially applies to the vitally important book cover – you’ll definitely need a professional for that.