Tag Archives: What is Vanity Publishing

What is Vanity Publishing?

What is vanity publishing? Vanity publishing is one of the three options today’s authors have available to help you publish a book. But this option doesn’t have a good reputation. Today’s post discusses why that’s the case and what you can do to improve your book’s image.

What is vanity publishing?

What is vanity publishing?

You have three different book publishing options available to you: traditional trade publishing; vanity (unsupported self-publishing); and hybrid (professionally supported self-publishing). For a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each, I recommend you download this free ebook. It’s a short book. You should be able to read it in under two hours.

What is Vanity Publishing?

The vanity book publishing model was introduced as an alternative for writers who were tired of waiting around to be accepted by traditional book publishers. They had, instead, decided to self-publish their books themselves. As noble as the vanity publishers’ intentions might be, they are the least respected book publishing alternative of them all within publishing circles (i.e., traditional publishers, reviewers, booksellers, and distributors). With good reason.

These companies are more aptly described as book printers than publishers. They’ve earned their notoriety by accepting and printing 100 percent of the manuscripts that are submitted to them. Little consideration is given to the quality of your book—the opposite extreme of trade publishing. A vanity publisher will take what it receives and print it as is, matter what it looks like.

Vanity Publishing is Unsupported Self-Publishing

Some of these companies run a “self-service” type of operation using a selection of generic template builders. This allows self-publishing authors to upload book files online (or via email) and then draft them into ebooks or paperbacks.

Other vanity publishers are simply printers with in-house design staff. They will take your raw materials (e.g., manuscript, graphics) and do all that formatting for you for a fee. Then they’ll print however many copies you want printed.

There is No Editing Included

Both vanity publishing options share one commonality: although their staff might be knowledgeable about printing and electronic file formatting, they are wholly unseasoned when it comes to the essential publishing practices (such as professional editing, graphic design, and proofreading) that ensure the polished result every serious author is after. Vanity publishers never actively encourage their clients to improve the quality of their work in any way. This lack of improvement is truly a disservice to the serious-minded authors who wish to present themselves as professionals.

Best for Personal Gratification (Hence the “Vanity” Reference)

For those who wish to publish your books solely for personal gratification, then the vanity book publishing route is probably the best one to take. This is a great option for family history books, scrapbooks intended as gifts for loved ones, and other non-commercial projects.

If you wish to sell your book commercially, then you’ll need to produce a more professional product. Copy editing is a crucial step in helping you to achieve this. But there are ways to produce your book economically. Click here for details.

Related reading: Sneak a peek inside How to Publish a Bestselling Book for even more details on your publishing options.

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