Welcome to the Jungle: Vanity Partnerships

Dodgy Writing Competitions

22 Writing Contests in September 2018 - No Entry Fees

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
More money is made from selling writing services to insecure authors, than is ever generated by the sales of their books. Particularly vulnerable, are new writers who don't understand how publishing is a jungle, with wild creatures waiting in ambush to gobble them up! :eek:

Some of the worst are vanity presses, which charge an arm and a leg for doing things that most newbies could accomplish if they just applied themselves. If a writer's principal goal is to see their book in print, to declare that it has been published and to hold a physical copy of their hard work, then that can be achieved for a reasonable charge via sites like D2D, Create Space and KDP.

This outspoken article by David Gaughran exposes the shady practices of vanity presses, particularly the notorious Author Solutions. How they cuddle up to respectable book publishers is nauseating; the prices they charge are jaw-dropping:

Vanity and The Media | David Gaughran

(It's worth reading the Comments section)

Certainly, if you've got the spare cash, then pay for editing services and book cover design, but to fork out $2,499 to Archway Solutions for a boxed ad in the New York Review of Books, that would cost you a mere $300 had you approached NYRB yourself, only proves that you've got more money than sense.

All of this reminds me of French poet Charles Baudelaire's pithy observation that:

"The finest trick of the devil is to persuade people he doesn't exist."

Also, the old adage, "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is."

That's a good article. Thanks for the link.

What I extracted from the article was the fact that major publishers were directing writers to vanity outfits. Lending legitimacy to the bad apples in the industry is disgraceful.

A friend's daughter recently self-published a book using the services of a vanity publisher. In fact it was one of the imprints mentioned in David Gaughran's article. To lend our support we ordered a copy from Amazon, paying the princely sum of £13.99 for a 200 page paperback in 6 x 9 format. Apart from the exorbitant price, the first pages are likely to put off prospective purchasers because of the poor standard of editing. As at today's date Sales Rank Express records only one sale for this book which was published on the 26th March this year.
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Dodgy Writing Competitions

22 Writing Contests in September 2018 - No Entry Fees