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The Vampires of the Publishing World


Here’s what I can say about vanity publishing and vanity publishers. And it isn’t nice.

There are pros, cons and “iffy” aspects to traditional publishing. And there are pros and cons to self-publishing.

But it’s all cons all the way with vanity publishing. While I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, the overwhelming majority of vanity publishers are soul-sucking scum.

Told you what I had to say wouldn’t be nice.

Vanity publishing options are, unfortunately, the top results you’re bound to come up with in any “publish my book” search. They’re the ones who offer “publishing packages” to get you up and running. They’ll tell you how they’ll edit, format and make your book available for printing and ordering… even including five or 10 or – gasp! – maybe even 15 printed books of your own!

All for the bargain basement price of $2,000.

And that’s one of their cheaper “publishing packages.” They’ll take $15,000 of your hard-earned money if you let them, telling you all the while how special your book is. How it means something to them and is going to mean something to so many readers once it’s published. How they can make you a shiny, shiny star!

“You’re going to make that investment back. Really!”

Except that, as we discussed with our self-publishing video, maybe you will and maybe you won’t. It takes a lot of effort to profitably self-publish – something vanity publishers won’t tell you. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of money – something vanity publishers also won’t tell you.

These people are the leeches of the publishing world. They’re literary vampires who don’t care if they leave you merely wobbly from blood loss by the time they’re done or lying on the ground dead.

If you’re a Bible-believing person who tries to live out Jesus’ love as a sign of your faith, don’t think you’ve dodged a bullet just because you found a “Christian” vanity publisher. They’re just as untrustworthy, perhaps even more so since they’re also appalling hypocrites.

Like the merchants at the 1st-century Jerusalem temple – the ones who Jesus drove out with a whip – they’ll claim they’re just trying to make it easy for you to show God how much you love him. But they’re the same breed of literary vampire once you strip them down to their basics.

So far, I’ve never met a vanity publisher that actually cares about you enough to be honest about what’s best for you and your books. And the honest fact is that they’re not your best option.

In fact, they might be your worst.

To save you $2,000 to $15,000 (or more), check out companies like Amazon’s CreateSpace and Lulu Publishing Company. They’ll publish you – for free!

Just two words of caution about both:

  • The quality of Amazon’s CreateSpace’s printing might have fallen in the last year, which is an absolute shame since I used to immensely respect and promote them. I’m still in the process of trying to get those details sorted out.

  • Lulu Publishing Company, which I might be switching to but haven’t worked with yet as of May 20, 2018, will still offer you pretty pricey packages to edit and format your book. You don’t need those. Ask Innovative Editing today about how to save money in that area too.

Whatever you do with your publishing journey, whether it’s searching out literary agents and publishing companies, or striking out on your own, avoid vanity publishers like the absolute authorial plague.

They don’t care about you. They don’t care about your goals.

They just want your money. And they’ll tell you anything they can to get it.

Vanity publishing and vanity publishers are not to be trusted with anything… much less something as valuable as your book.

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