The Quick-and-Easy Way to Spot a Vanity Press

Anyone can call themselves a “publisher.” Vanity presses know that. And that’s what they call themselves. A publisher. I’m reminded of this at least weekly, sometimes more, as I go through my routine of monitoring message activity on indie author, self-publishing, and creative writing forums and their ilk. I just saw another.

Guaranteed, a usually excited wannabe author’s going to post something along the lines of, “My book was accepted! Bunco Publishing said it meets their quality standards, and wants to work with me. Their prices don’t look too bad either. Does anyone here have any experience with Bunco?”

Run away from Bunco, and others like it, who basically make a living preying on dreamers. It’s obvious, and here’s the quick-and-easy test:

A legit publisher pays you,
never the other way around.

Otherwise, they’re just providing publishing services, and very expensive ones at that for what they imply they’ll deliver (which, of course, they don’t).

Your manuscript will definitely meet their quality standards. Everyone’s does.

At least once a week, I see those posts (and these are just the ones who bother asking around before signing the contract). Oh, the forum members burst their bubble; you can sense the disappointment. But sometimes, the wannabe argues back, and vigorously. You really can’t help some people sometimes.

Remember that test. Share it if you happen to know anyone being preyed upon.

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