What is vanity publishing?

Here is the next post in my series on publishing. I also recommend that you check out my other posts what independent publishing is, the pros and cons of self publishing, should you traditionally publish your book, and the pros and cons of traditional publishing for a better overview.

Vanity publishing is a type of publishing where you pay a publishing company to publish your book for you. It’s similar to independent publishing, but usually a lot more expensive. If you are ever approached by a publisher and they ask you to pay for the cost of your book then this would be a vanity publisher.

When I first started looking into publishing my first novel I thought this was the route to take into self-publishing. But I soon realised that not only did it cost hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, but vanity publishing didn’t have a very good reputation. I certainly didn’t have that kind of money after paying for editing and cover design either.

But there are some perks for paying for publication. It is an ideal solution for authors who just want to write and don’t want the hassle of worrying about editing, formatting, cover design or distribution. Many paid publishers also offer editing, proofreading, formatting and cover design services. Many of them also include marketing packages. So they do take care of all the work for you.

Some vanity publishers also don’t take the percentage of your royalties like traditional publishers do and just demand the cost up front.

Here are the steps to publication:

  • You write and complete your manuscript.
  • You revise your book as much as you can.
  • You set budget of what services you will pay for like editing and cover design (optional).
  • You find a paid publishing company that will publish your book for you. If you do take this route, have a good look around to see if you are getting your money’s worth. You should also be very careful on which publishing you choose as there are a lot of scams who would just take your money and not do anything
  • You decide on what services you need for the company such as editing and proofreading. Cover design, formatting and distribution are usually included in the services.
  • Your novel goes into production and the vanity publisher takes care of all of the work for you including formatting and cover design.
  • Your book is distributed to online and print platforms, which platforms depend on the type of publishing package that you purchase.

Your book is marketed, but it depends on what kind of package you purchase on how much the company will market for you. Whether you choose to decide to traditionally or independently publish, or use a paid publisher you still have to do the majority of marketing yourself.

Check out my next post soon for the pros and cons of vanity publishing

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