Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What do vanity publishers call vanity publishing?

This blog and my book Become a Real Self-Publisher condemn vanity publishers, and warn writers of the potential perils of using them (paying a lot of money to publish a lousy book that few people will read).

"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

Xulon: self-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.


1 comment:

  1. Michael,

    Thanks for this post. It's actually really helpful, because when you've got wool completely covering your eyes, it's hard to make out exactly how you're being lied to.