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A Word About Vanity Presses

There are some publishers who would offer to publish your work after you have paid them a fee.  Sometimes, this fee can be quite large, and in one case we know of, it was a fee per page, with images and photographs extra, and the author was even required to typeset the manuscript...and guarantee the first hundred sales, for which he would not receive a single royalty.

This is, to say the least, a very bad idea if you are an author.  While academic publishing does tend to revolve more around just getting the information out there than making money, the economics of a vanity press are frightening.  The fee that is charged is more than enough to cover the entire print run, while making a significant profit on the side, without ever selling a single book.  Which brings us to a couple of very important questions:

  1. Seeing as you’ve just paid them enough to make a healthy profit before the book even goes to the presses, what motivation do they have to give you any marketing on the book?  In short, is the information really going to get out there?
  2. If you’re paying them to print the book, are doing the typesetting yourself, and setting up the first hundred sales on your own, what precisely are you paying them for that you couldn’t do yourself for less?

Let’s look at that second one for a moment.  To get a book onto Amazon.com yourself would require signing up with them as a publisher (a roughly $30 annual fee), shipping some books to them (a shipping fee), and then waiting for them to sell.  For a 300 page book with a print run of 100 copies, your total cost, including the print run, would probably be less than $800, and you get to keep the profits.

Legacy Books Press was founded by an author, for authors.  We know that the grind to finding a publisher is hard.  But, don’t give your rights away to your years of work to a company that is a publisher in name only, that will rip you off, and that will never feel obliged to give your book the chance in the market that it needs.  If your book is good, and you keep looking, you WILL find somebody.