Book Publishing Scams

Writers, Beware of Vanity Presses Who Promise to Publish Your Book!

A publishing professional discusses the negative ramifications of paying a vanity press that promises to publish your book and make you an author.

Unfortunately, there is a notion that book publishing is merely a matter of the writer’s choice. That there are instances when it is OK to pay one of those companies who spend big money to advertise their fake book publishing schemes in magazines and online websites targeting writers.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It’s a scam! It’s a scam! It’s a scam!

Get this straight: vanity publishing your book is a scam. Repeat it over and over until you get it firmly in mind. It is never, ever a good choice for book publishing. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed or just plain ignorant.

Pretend publishing

Despite their claims, vanity publishing is not legitimate publishing. It is not self-publishing, either. I call it pretend publishing. They pretend to publish your book, and you get to pretend that you are a book author.

Empty promises

The contracts are completely unfair to the writer, making or implying promises that will never be kept. Even worse, once you’ve signed, they’ll try to sell you all sorts of additional add-on services to milk more money out of you. Because you aren’t aware of how book publishing really works, their sales talks sound reasonable, as they keep feeding your “vain” desire to get your book published and take advantage of your limited knowledge. They are clever at making their company sound like it is a real book publisher.

It is all one big, profitable scam.

You may or may not even get actual copies of a real book with your name on it. Or, the books they deliver may be so poorly-made and rife with errors that they can’t be used. Some writers get books full of blank pages. Even if you do get decent print copies of your book, you’ve paid many times more per copy than you would have, had you gone to a legitimate printer for the job.

No turning back

Once you’ve signed with them, your ability to do anything else with your text is over forever. Kiss your book goodbye. You will never be able to take your book away from this so-called publisher and have it self-published or trade-published elsewhere because they’ve got you contractually bound to them.

Future ramifications

You can’t use your vanity book as a stepping-stone to getting a real publisher interested in your next book. Publishing professionals know the score and consider you an amateur, because a professional author would know not to get involved with a vanity press. You look like a fool because a simple Google search would have revealed the truth about these fake publishing company frauds. You have embarrassed yourself and jeopardized your professional reputation, all in the mistaken belief that you were getting your book published.

Should you ever pay to print your own book?

There are times when it is a good business decision to pay to self-publish your book, which is entirely different from vanity publishing. Self-publishing, where you pay a printer to print, not publish, your book, can be a viable alternative to legitimate book publishing, where a real book company pays you to really publish your book. We’ll be discussing this further in our Self Publishing category.

Copyright 2007 by Barbara Doyen. All rights reserved.

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