"Vanity publishing" and "vanity press" are undeniably pejorative terms. Critics like me use those terms, but no company calls itself a vanity press.
Here are some of the labels used by pay-to-publish businesses, and the keywords they advertise to attract customers:
Arbor Books: self-publishing, subsidy publishing
Author Solutions: alternative publishing, self publishing, indie book publishing, cooperative publishing, on-demand publishing service, independent publishing, indie, do-it-yourself publishing, supported self publishing
Aachanon Publishing: self-publishing service provider
Beckham Publications Group: joint venture publishing, self-publishing
BookPros: subsidy publishing, traditional publishing—redefined
BookSurge: do-it-yourself publishing, Publish-On-Demand
Canmore Press: assisted self-publishing
CreateSpace: do-it-yourself publishing, Print-on-demand publishing, self-publishing, subsidy publishing
DellArte Press: assisted self-publishing, self-publishing
Dog Ear Publishing: co-publishing
Fertile Ground Press: assisted self-publishing
GM Books: co-publishing
Infinity Publishing: author originated book publishing. Print-on-demand publishing,
Isaac Publishing: subsidy publishing
iUniverse: print-on-demand publishing, self-publishing
Leonine Publishers: hybrid publishing company
Llumina Press: publish-on-demand, self-publishing, print-on-demand
Lulu: free self-publishing, Print-on-demand publishing, self-publishing, Publish-On-Demand
Mill City Press: self-publishing
Outskirts Press: custom book publishing, on-demand publishing, do-it-yourself publishing, Print-on-demand publishing, and independent self-printing, Publish-On-Demand.
PublishAmerica: Book Publisher, Publish-On-Demand, traditional, royalty paying publisher.
SpiderWize: assisted self-publishing
Tate Publishing: subsidy publishing
Trafford Publishing: self-publishing, independent publish-ing
Vantage Press: subsidy publishing
WestBow Press: self-publishing
Xlibris: do-it-yourself publishing, Print-on-demand pub-lishing, self-publishing, subsidy publishing
Advertising what can’t be sold
Even though PublishAmerica insists that "publish-on-demand" is the real meaning of “POD,” and Llumina Press, BookSurge, Lulu and Outskirts Press also advertise that phrase, there is no such thing as “publish-on-demand”
It makes no sense, but companies still want you to think they’ll provide it for you.
The ads featuring the meaningless phrase are aimed at ignorant writers who don’t know the difference between printing and publishing.
They’re not the same thing. Printing is part of publishing. Printing can be done on demand. Publishing can’t.
Publishing is a complex, multi-stage process that takes a writer’s words from manuscript to books being sold. The end result of a publishing project — which may be a million books or just one book — can take weeks, months, or even years.
With Print-On-Demand, books are printed one at a time or a few at a time, as orders are placed by readers through booksellers. That does not mean that a publishing company starts the entire publishing sequence each time an order arrives.