Beware of vanity publishers

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print

The world of vanity publishing can be very murky. For the uninitiated, vanity publishing sits somewhere between self-publishing and traditional (commercial publishing).

However, some vanity publishers are blurring the lines and preying on aspiring authors who would do anything to see their books in print.

It’s important to note that vanity publishing is different to self-publishing, which has become increasingly common in recent years. This is where the author takes responsibility for all costs associated with printing, distributing and marketing their book. While some literary snobs pooh-pooh the idea of both vanity publishing and self-publishing, there can be merits and advantages to self-publishing – if you know what you’re doing and if the medium suits your goals. In particular, business books in niche markets may never have a big enough market to attract a commercial publisher. So self-publishing can be a fruitful and effective way to reach niche target audiences.

Vanity publishing, on the other hand, is an entirely different kettle of fish. Here, a vanity publisher charges the author to get the book printed. The Australian Society of Authors website says: “Such publishers exist from the fees that they receive from the payees, not from proceeds from sales of the book. They therefore have no motivation to market and sell copies of the book. Vanity publishers offer limited or no marketing service and transfer responsibility for the sales of the published book to the payee. They are merely an expensive production facility. If you are contemplating using a vanity publisher you should first consider self-publishing, which is likely to be both less expensive and more fruitful.”

This week, Radio National’s Background Briefing program released an investigation into the practices of vanity publishers.

Hundreds of Australian authors pay thousands of dollars to ‘vanity publishers', often based on unfulfilled promises that their books will be widely promoted and distributed here and overseas. Hagar Cohen investigates the dubious practices of one Australian publisher as she tries to find the authors’ books in any bookstore.

It’s a good insight into a world that you need to be aware of if you’re considering this path. You can read/listen to the report here.

Courses starting soon

Creative Writing Stage 1

Online, 29 June 2020 - $450


Writing Picture Books

Online, 29 June 2020 - $450


Freelance Writing Stage 1

Online, 29 June 2020 - $450


Novel Writing Essentials

Online, 29 June 2020 - $695


Copywriting Essentials

Online, 6 July 2020 - $550

Writing Picture Books Masterclass

Online, 6 July 2020 - $345

Write Your Novel - 12 month program

Online, 6 July 2020 - $245/month

Writing Workout

Online LIVE, 7 July 2020 - $550

Travel Writing

Online, 13 July 2020 - $450

SEO Copywriting

Online, 13 July 2020 - $550

Teenage Creative Writers’ Program

Online, 13 July 2020 - $395

Browse posts by date

These graduates changed their lives – you can too!

About us

The Australian Writers’ Centre offers courses in creative writing, freelance writing, business writing, blogging and much more. Our practical and industry-proven courses will help you gain confidence and meet your goals faster!

Contact us

Phone: (02) 9929 0088
Head office: Suite 3, 55 Lavender Street, Milsons Point NSW 2061

© 2020 Australian Writers' Centre | FAQs | Terms, conditions & privacy policy


Back to top ↑

Nice one! You've added this to your cart