Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vanity, Vanity

The other night in my Writer's Group meeting, one writer asked about a particular publishing house. I told him that it's a vanity press and they are best avoided.  A vanity press is a press which will print whatever you like, as long as you pay for it.  A vanity press does not market, edit or see to your best interest as a writer. I know a good number of people who have used a vanity press and it's been an uphill battle for them to have any success as a result..

The reasons are numerous, but the bottom line is, in the publishing world, using a vanity press is akin to getting your degree from a for-profit university.  Once you do that, no one in the education world will take you seriously, your "credentials" will not be listed and you might find it hard to get, or keep, a viable position. Likewise, once you use a vanity press, you will find that viable publishers don't take you seriously.

Curiously, neither print on demand nor e-publishing fall into this category.  You can e-publish and use print-on-demand with no damage to your writing career. As a matter of fact, even high profile authors e-publish on a regular basis and it adds to their credibility.

So, writers, avoid using a vanity press.  Use e-publishing, traditional publishing, print-on-demand or any other means besides a vanity press.


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