Monday, November 23, 2009

Another vanity press that hides behind a deceptive, respectable label



BookPros claims to provide "Traditional Publishing, Redefined."

Their homepage says, "BookPros is a traditional publishing firm offering design, publishing, printing, distribution and publicity services to authors..."

Another page says, "If your manuscript is accepted by our team, we will work together to produce the highest quality product. BookPros offers organization, guidance and the industry experience necessary to provide authors with every service needed to present their book to the world. Each service is carefully executed by an experienced staff dedicated to every author's vision, while authors retain full artistic control of their book, its rights and its royalties."

That sure sounds like a traditional publisher.

But if you dig a bit deeper in the website, you'll learn that the company is "author funded" and that "fees run higher than some other publishing companies."

OOOOOPS.

If BookPros is author-funded, the company is a vanity press, and definitely not a traditional publisher despite their claim to have redefined the term.

The company has three "imprints," with publishing packages starting at $3950, $5950 and $6950. Writers can easily spend many thousands more, and must commit to paying to print 500 to 2,500 books -- that may never get sold or read.

Printing hundreds or thousands of copies of a new book is a major gamble, made worse by the company's charge to store unsold books. With the easy availability of Print-On-Demand, there is just no need to risk money with BookPros to print and store books that may never be sold.

Apparently the BookPros definition of "traditional publishing" is traditional vanity publishing. It's like saying that slavery is "employment, redefined," or that walking is "transportation, redefined."

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, Humpty Dumpty said to Alice, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean.”

Accepting BookPros' redefinition of traditional publishing can be a very expensive English lesson. Be careful.

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