Author Beware

When the author pays a company to publish their book, it’s called a Vanity Press and after 100 plus years, it’s still a bad idea.

Linda Joy Myers passed this along to me through her Facebook feed. I’m passing it along to my blog readers as a public service announcement to Newbie Writers everywhere:  Watch out for Bogus Presses.

The author, David Gaughran discusses the latest conflation of what used to be called Vanity Presses but now are just called ; vanity presses.  Companies like Author Solutions – the display of which authors will find at every conference, promise everything and deliver little more than a book that you paid for, and a marketing plan that any 13 year old with a phone could create – in fact the 13 year old would do a better job, for just a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints.

top book is from Author House, second book is from iUniverse - both bad news.

top book is from Author House, second book is from iUniverse – both bad news.

What our word is – to you writers – is that the publishing world has certainly become more complicated, and because it’s easier and easier to publish, the promise are more grand, and the results more disappointing.

When it’s time to send your beloved book out into the world – you’ll have to pay some money: for copies, for editing, for distribution if you choose hard copies, for promotion.  boutique presses and Author Assist presses do charge authors for services and copies, but these smaller establishments also vet the book, help you hire the right editors and deliver good advice for marketing and promotion.  Larger legitimate houses deliver a small advance and all of the above at no charge to the author, however you “earn back” those monies in book sales, and that situation can be fraught with challenges as well.

Or you can be your own publisher and simply do it your self.  Again, you’ll need at the very least, a final copy editor and cover designer.  And you’ll need to buy (at a discount) copies of your books to mark-up and sell.

It’s depressing to learn that no one will really “take care of us”, on the other hand, as adults, it’s our job to figure out what is the best course and just do it.

I keep telling writers that writing their book, the drafts, the challenges, the late nights, the obsession, is really the best part.


Categories: Newbie Guide Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Author Beware

  1. Self-publishing is easier than ever though now that it’s digital and you can do POD. So you’ll really only need to pay for an editor and cover designer (but since I do my own cover designing, it’d just be an editor). But I went the independent house route, so the only thing that’s on me is to do the edits my editor gives me and the social media, and I have learned social media is so much more work than writing my book ever was. It is so painstaking trying to build a following and establish your platform.

    I mean, we forget there is an in between with traditional and self-publishing, and that is the independent house. You’ll have to do more research on these because some of them will charge you fees they don’t list on their websites, but they have higher acceptance rates (not heinously high) as well as higher royalty rates. Often no advances, but if the marketing team is good, you can more than make up for that in sales.

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