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Chris A. Baird | July 29, 2020
vanity publisher definition

You might be wondering why these people are referred to as vanity publishers. Learn about the vanity publisher definition here.

Don't Be A Milking Cow

The question that was sent to me today has three answers. The third answer is one you're going to want to stick around for.

Because it can cost you an awful lot of money if you get this wrong regarding vanity publishing. So, the question that was sent to me was the vanity publisher definition.

The person who asked the question is trying to figure out whether or not what they're doing or considering doing is vanity publishing.

So, if you publish this route, does that count as actual publishing a book? Or is it just vanity publishing? So we are going to hopefully be able to explore this a little bit better today.

But before we get into the answers, check out my Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist that is free. It will help you get started on your journey. To help you make sure you aren't missing any steps.

When I first started publishing, I realized quickly that I wasn't going to get some major publisher to pick me up. I just wanted to see is it possible to get your ideas out into the world?

So I started with Amazon. I wrote a thousand words a day until I completed my very first book. I put it on the market and the sales were terrible.

Then, I began to understand there are lots of rules for this game. But in the process, I started listening to podcasts, reading books, watching Youtube channels, and taking courses.

Check out this related article: Where Can I Find A Good Self Publishing Podcast?

I went through a whole series of things. It helped me understand what exactly I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. But one thing that I took in from some of the podcasts was people who were commenting.

That they were paying other people to do all of the services for them instead of writing the book themselves. But then all of the other services from the cover to everything else, they were then giving those rights over to those other people.

Having their book frozen and continually being milked for more and more money. That was when I was first introduced to what exactly this vanity publishing is.

So, let's get into the answers to vanity publisher definition. The first thing is that the authors pay to have their books published. Somebody else will do a lot of the work that's involved in it.

The traditional ones would be if you are paying money and then they will put together everything as opposed to the opposite way. Which is you get paid, you send them the book, and they put the cover and everything together.

They own the rights and then you will make the money afterward. Now, some vanity publishers even take control over the rights of the book itself which is terrible. It is a really really bad deal.

It's A Bad Idea

The thing is that you lose the rights to your books. You have to pay them to produce all of the covers and working with the title, the keywords, and the description. Then the distribution and all of these things.

At one level, you don't have to consider any of that. They'll just take care of it all for you. The downside is, of course, they want thousands of dollars.

They initially will tell you that it's only going to cost you a little bit of money right you pay them $1,000 or $5,000 or whatever it is. They do in fact get the book out there.

And each time, they are like "you know, you could get the really better cover if you just paid this a little bit more. You could have a better description if you pay more and we can do even a huge marketing pack if you pay more."

So, you get in the door and you think you're only going to pay several hundred thousand. But then you discover your book isn't going to sell unless you do the additional packages.

The other final point here is that some of these people are serious scams because they're going to own the book itself. Now, it's one word to say scam but you just say it's a bad deal.

Check out this related article: Is It Better To Self Publish A Book?

The fact is that if you read all of their terms and conditions, they will have of course said everything. They are not doing any illegal.

But obviously, the reason you're going through them is that you don't want to take the time and effort to learn how to do self-publishing yourself.

You don't want to have to deal with finding cover designs like what I found on Fiverr. That is a fantastic one and you don't want to do the formatting yourself. I use Jutoh, a tool that is amazing and gives you better results.

You just want somebody to do it all for you. They will do it for you, they will charge you a lot of money, and they will own the rights and the distribution and all of it.

You will get into a nightmare of trying to sue these people to get your rights back for your book. So, as you can see, I'm definitely not a fan of these people.

Another thing is the phrase vanity publishing isn't negative. It's pejorative and many people don't particularly like this terminology. Because it's like you're doing it because you're so vain.

You are not willing to put in the work to write a quality book that an actual publisher would pick up. Now the problem of course is that the actual publishers only take a very small percentage.

Have The Time And The Energy

Usually, you should have already proven the fact that you have a quality book. That you are going to be able to sell copies of the book and that it's worth their time.

Which of course can be a bit challenging if you haven't even written a book. Or you don't have a blog, you don't have a following. This can be very difficult for you.

So people would say vanity publishing, you're so vain you're going to publish this way. I'm not saying this is a terrible idea. If you don't have the energy and the time, you might go this route.

But Almost everybody I've heard of who went this route regretted it afterwards. The secret answer for the day is you should just stay away from vanity publishing.

You will have more control and you will make more money. Because you are not going to be sharing the money and all the stuff goes through your own dashboards. Not through their dashboards on Amazon and these other locations.

You'll learn the process. I know exactly why you'd be tempted to go with the vanity publishing route. That would be because you just don't have the time or energy.

I would say, look, if you simply don't have the time and energy, okay fine do it. But otherwise, in 99% of the cases, if you just use a little bit of time every day, you can work your way through the process.

Check out this related article: Why Self Publishing Is Better?

You will be able to learn how to publish on your own without the help of these other people. You can fix the books later if you have issues.

Whether it's proofreading problems or whether you've got problems with your cover quality. Even the title, I have changed this many times on many of my books.

You improve and you discover that you can sell more books just by changing the name of the book or the description. So, it's very exciting as you go through that process.

But if you don't have the energy, then I would say, okay fine, use vanity publishing. The same by the way goes if you self-publish and later on somebody or a major publisher wants to pick you up, that's not going to be a problem.

Because they are going to be able to own the rights to it. So you can give them, you can sell the rights away to them. Then, they can do the publishing through theirs.

Now, you would get a lower percentage margin but at the same time, you'd be traditionally published. So, you have to decide in your particular case if it's worth it to you to get it published on a major platform?

So, vanity publisher definition, what definition have you found? Is there a different definition? Maybe you've had a positive experience regarding this or maybe you've had a negative experience.

I would be very interested to hear. Go ahead and let me know below in the comments. Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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