Is the Publisher Misleading You?: Subsidy Publishers Posing as Traditional Publishers
Guest Post by Irene Watson
Recently I was contacted by an author for advice regarding an acceptance letter to publish her book she received. She was all excited but cautious for good reasons. I remembered hearing about this specific company and decided to do some checking. (Did you know if you enter into Google search the name of the company and add “scam” or “fraud” you will get hits of posts, if there are any, in that regard?)
The publisher, on the home page, states:
We do not require any money from any of our authors for any aspect of production. We are not a self-publisher in our approach, operation, or philosophy in any way.
Although this may be true in some aspect the contract the author received said differently. If signed, the author was committing to using their fee-based editing service, cover art, publicity package, and purchasing bulk quantities of the book.
The author didn’t sign the contract.
After this incident I went on a search to see if I could find others that misled and I did:
We are not a subsidy publisher because the fee we charge covers only part of our cost; we pay the rest. Makes no difference, a fee is a fee is a fee whether it covers all the costs or not.
We are a traditional publisher. We don’t charge fees to have your book published. However, when I perused the site I found that actually they are a co-publishers and require the author to buy a minimum number of books.
I’m sure there are others but what I realized is, because of the bad rap that subsidy/vanity presses get, some are trying to justify so as not to get pigeon holed into that category.
There are many self-publishing firms (aka subsidy/vanity) and it seems like new ones are popping up daily. I’m constantly getting emails alerting me to the new service.
No doubt there is cost involved, whether you truly self-publish or use a self-publishing firm, and it’s important not to get distracted. If you go with a self-publishing firm keep in mind you are buying a service and not specifically chosen to be published. If you choose to go that route it’s important to be sure the service is honest and reputable as well as cost-effective. Doing your research and comparison-shopping is a must. An honest self-publishing firm will be upfront with the fees and will have no need to justify or try to convince you to go with them.
There are many experts that are totally against self-publishing firms and are adamant in their opinions. They encourage authors to self-publish for many reasons and one is that you are apt to make more money. However, it’s one of those decisions you have to make yourself. Do you have the time to put into self-publishing your own book and make more money or would you rather have someone else do it for you? I equate it with deciding whether you are going to hire a housekeeper or do the housecleaning yourself. Which one will it be?
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.