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Vanity Presses Play with Writers’ Hopes

16 September, 2015
A robberfly with its prey, a hoverfly. Insecti...

Robberfly with its prey, a hoverfly.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The article below, from my local library’s blog, provides a useful overview on how vanity presses prey on unpublished writers, while often promising them everything.

I hope it helps writers who are interested in a contract with a vanity press to understand the poor odds they will face in terms of getting their work
* published
* distributed widely and appropriately
* publicised sufficiently to encourage sales
* recompensed in terms of royalties.

The article identifies the unprofessional tactics used by one scammer-publisher. It is a cautionary tale about how these crooks prey on their clients’ dreams of seeing their cherished manuscript published. Many writers are sucked in after their manuscript has been rejected by a number of legit publishers.

The lesson in the article is for writers to ask questions about costs, distribution, and royalties–and to get on the web to see if anything negative has been written about the publisher.

However, it’s easy to be misled. Such publishers raise writers’ hopes by giving overly positive information about potential sales.

One writer was over the moon when a publisher—unfortunately, a notorious vanity press—selected his novel to publish. The writer talked about how his book would get international publicity when the publisher attended a well-known, international book fair. However, the publisher may not have had any intention of attending the fair. Even if the publisher did show up and had a display table, this author’s book may not have been on show.

It pays to ask questions, check the person or company out on the Internet, and ask reputable writing associations for information.

Writers in the Mist

This is a great article that just brings out the potential dangers of Vanity Press publishing (that is paying a publisher up front for having your book published).

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/the-vanity-presses/6759616

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