I’m a real person. Not a robot. Or a telemarketing company. I live and work in Australia. When you contact my business, I’m the one who replies. I email you. Or Skype you. Or phone you. We can even meet in person. When you work with me, you’re working with a genuine business in publishing services – and a real person.
What do I mean by this?
I was recently speaking with a colleague – also a member of IPEd – who told me about a new client who had asked to meet her in person. The client was happy to pay a consultation fee for my colleague’s time, because, she said, ‘At least I know you actually exist.’
This lady was being harassed by an offshore company haranguing her with phone calls at all hours and trying to get her to sign up to pre-publishing editorial services.
It sounded like a vanity press business, according to my colleague. More on this below.
How do you know if you’re working with a genuine business in publishing services?
Let’s assume you’ve sent off a request for information. When you receive their reply – this would normally be by email in the first instance – you should be able to tell from the tone of their email. If their email reply addresses the questions you’ve asked and there is no pressure being applied to ‘act now or miss out’, your contact is most likely a genuine one.
If the email sounds impersonal, doesn’t address your specific questions, is full of marketing hype and buzzwords, and pushes you to act immediately or miss out on their self-professed amazing offer, then steer clear.
What does vanity press mean?
Now I apologise to those who’ve published with vanity publishers, but it cannot stop me from stating the truth to help other writers avoid the pitfalls of getting involved with a truly unscrupulous bunch.
Vanity press or vanity publishers accept for publication any manuscript, regardless of merit. Why? Because they’re not about quality, or offering a genuine service to their client. They’re about making money. And they often charge a very substantial amount for this dubious privilege.
Vanity publishers bring to mind that old adage – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. They may promise the earth, but very often they deliver a handful of sand instead. Sometimes, not even that.
What’s the difference between a vanity publisher and a subsidy publisher?
Vanity publishers and subsidy publishers are not the same thing. I get rather rattled when I read other websites where so-called ‘experts’ lump them together. This is vastly unfair to ethical subsidy publishers.
A genuine subsidy publisher only offers a publishing contract to authors whose manuscripts they believe have merit and some chance of success in the marketplace. Subsidy publishing is a viable alternative to self-publishing for those authors who still want creative input into their book – which is almost impossible with mainstream publishing – but who don’t want to go to the trouble of organising everything themselves, as is the case with self-publishing.
Author services companies
Author services companies offer a diversity of services to writers wanting to self-publish. The writers who engage an author services business to help them through the thicket of self-publishing are generally business people, first-time writers or authors who are self-publishing for the first time.
As with all businesses, there are many genuine author services companies, but there are also unscrupulous ones. If such a business is making promises that sound unrealistic, then beware.
If you are interested in finding out more about self-publishing with help throughout the process, click here.
Work with real people in real businesses
It’s not hard to separate the genuine from the unscrupulous so please, trust your instincts and keep away from those who only wish to part you from your money.
Ask me about:
- Consulting on Publishing Options, including Self-Publishing
- Writer Coaching
- Manuscript Appraisals
- Structural/Developmental/Copy Editing