August 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm #657239
Not too long ago, I got into a discussion with an author who was getting his book published via a vanity publisher (VP). More like a third edition, as he’d self-published it in two editions already.
The aspect of this that bothered me was that he considered this at one point or another to be either self publishing or traditional publishing.
Vanity publishing is neither.
This isn’t meant as a put-down on vanity publishers. If the author is happy, so be it.
But let’s be blunt about the vanity publishers and their business model. It isn’t based on selling the book. It’s based on payments from the author. That IS the business model, in fact. Get the author to pay for services and product that so-called “traditional” publishers include as part of their contract with the author.
Editing, copywriting, book cover, promotion/marketing, even copies of the final work, the author pays for this all.
Now, some VP’s are straight up and transparent about this. Some… well… not.
The fact remains, however, that the vanity publisher makes the lion’s share of their profits from authors. Traditional publishers make their profits from readers.
That’s different than self-publishing, too, whereby the author is on his or her own to find providers of the various tasks that go into producing a work of writing, getting it on the market, and getting it into readers’ hands.
I, personally, consider vanity publishers to be undesirable. It strikes me as an inherent conflict of interest that VP’s are both the provider of a service and the consultant recommending it. But that’s a point of view, not God’s Truth, if you know what I mean.
Make sure that you know what you’re getting into. In the case of the person above, I think the author was being told what he wanted to hear, which would add pages to his work, and make raise the price-per-copy that he’d pay for the minimum purchase that all vanity publishers require of authors. Perhaps not black/white good/wrong, but definitely with a significant shade of gray.
August 14, 2018 at 11:11 pm #657250
too many naifs out there who do not do any research but have a ‘book they wrote and fall prey to the tv radio and magazine ads for ‘publishers’ looking for authors.
then they get suckered with the sales pitch about how great their book is and dont they also want to buy a cover to help sales, and also some editing to make it greater, and of course they need formatting, and marketing collateral, and many other wallet draining ‘aids’ including publicity and marketing, and advertisments yada yada, to make them succeed.
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