Sunday, February 14, 2010

Christian publisher descends deeper into hell

Last fall  "the world's leading Christian publisher" Thomas Nelson made a deal with the devil  (or at least with diabolical vanity publisher Author Solutions). The two companies are operating an allegedly "Christian" version of vanity publishing, called WestBow Press.

WestBow exists to extract big bucks from wannabe authors who are not good enough to get a normal royalty-paying contract from Thomas Nelson, and are attracted to the "Christian" label.

Sleazy WestBow lies about providing "self-publishing" and "free books." Lying does not seem very Christian.

For a sign of how important Thomas Nelson now views vanity publishing, take a look at its website (a piece is shown above).

The dominant feature at the top of the homepage is a big ad for WestBow. The placement shows that Thomas Nelson now regards vanity publishing as a  more important source of revenue than the sale of books. The company wants to convince someone who might have gone to the website to buy a book or Bible for $25, to instead fork over up to $6,499 to become a "published author."

The vanity ad is even positioned above books about "Spiritual Growth and Christian Thought,"  including How to Reach Your Full Potential for God.

Apparently Thomas Nelson thinks its full potential is in vanity publishing.



  1. Why are you so obsessed with this? Do you ever write about anything else? Also, you seem very self-serving since you yourself publish a book about self-publishing. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

  2. Andrew is blind, or stupid, or both.

    Aha! I get it. He works for Outskirts Press.

  3. To Andrew:

    I have posted nearly 400 entries since this blog started in 2008. Some of them -- like today's -- have nothing to do with vanity publishing, or books.

    If you've been following the blog for even ONE WEEK, you should have noticed that I cover a wide range of topics. Only a small percentage of my posts deals with vanity publishers.

    I am not obsessed with anything. I admit, however, that I enjoy writing about the vanity publishers because their ineptness and dishonesty are often amusing.

    I regard honesty as very important, and I feel obligated to point a finger at liars. Most of the vanity publishers are liars and I think people should be warned about them.

    Your remark about self-serving talking pots is just stupid.

    I've written eight books. Only one is about self-publishing. I do not provide publishing services. I do not compete with vanity publishers.

    The cover of my book about self-publishing says "valuable advice for every writer." That includes people who have chosen to use vanity publishers.

    While I detest the ineptness and dishonesty that is widespread in vanity publishing, I have stated that it may be the right choice for some writers. It is possible for a writer who is knowledgable and cautious to get good books from those companies.

    I would be extremely happy if the vanity publishers would stop lying and producing terrible books. If that happens, I won't write about them.

    If you disagree with the content of this blog, you can start your own blog. It costs nothing, and you can write about anything you choose to. You can even praise vanity publishers and condemn other bloggers.

  4. to Andrew:

    You're a fucking idiot.

    If you've read the blog for more than a few days, you'd know that Michael writes about many aspects of writing and publishing; but some of his funniest and most important posts are about crooked and fucked-up vanity publishers.

    With a little bit of reading, you would have known not to ask the stupid question, "Do you ever write about anything else?"

    You're blind enough to work as a proofreader for a vanity publisher.

  5. Any author who has been around a little while learns that the vanity publishers are mostly corrupt, and charge big bucks to leave you with a lot of print books and zero sales. It is a scam in most cases, a scam in nice clothing. Just because Thomas Nelson has decided to join this scam and dignify it does not make the scam any more righteous.

    I do provide some services to help authors, and I constantly hear tragic stories about how people have been "fleeced" by vanity publishers. Then we have to repair the damage, such as getting control of their book back into the author's hands. Usually they have to start over because the vanity publishers will not release the print or ePub files.

    One lady came to me for advice after having spent $30,000 with Infinity and having had less than ten sales. That speaks for itself.