The High Price of Vanity Press

I spoke with a new client last week to discuss coaching her in the creation of her online courses. The first thing she said to me was, “I wish I’d found you a year ago.”

It turns out, she hired a vanity press to publish her first book. A vanity press resides somewhere between traditional publishing and self publishing.

A vanity press provides editing, format and design, and typically 1-10 copies of your published book. They usually don’t retain any rights to your work, but they do charge you for the entire book production process. Except, as I’ve written in a previous post, the math never adds up for me.

And it certainly didn’t add up for my new client.

She was charged … wait for it …

Eleven thousand dollars!!!

And she received zero copies of her book. She had to order them from her vanity press publisher at their predetermined rate. And they missed their deadline … and her launch date.

She had zero books to take to her speaking engagement on launch night.

I don’t go looking for these stories, and I hope this is the exception, though I’m beginning to suspect it may be the norm. She did ask me to share her experience, in order to inform other writers.

I’m not sure if her cover design included gold leaf.

Or, maybe, she wrote a thousand-page tome and her printing costs pushed her over.

She, of course, was livid. And disheartened.

By self publishing standards, she could have more than halved that cost, or at least received 1,000 copies or more of her book to sell.

In contrast, I met with another new client last week who self published her first 2 books. She gave me a copy to read. And it’s gorgeous! The formatting is beautiful, the cover design is clean, and she spent substantially less than eleven-thousand dollars.

Do your research, folks.

I share what I can here in order to help you along your journey from writer to author, but you have to do your due diligence when it comes to your book.

If you have a publishing story to share, please post it below. Likewise, any questions.

Keep writing. You’ve got this!

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