A vanity publisher, also known as a subsidiary publisher, is a publisher that requires the author to front the cost of publishing but the publisher doesn’t make any money from the publication of your book. Vanity publishers can vary widely in terms of the quality of publication that you are paying for, the number of rights that you have over your work, and the marketing of your work. On a surface level, vanity publishers share some similarities with hybrid publishers, but there are key distinctions between the two making hybrid publishers a more appealing option to vanity publishers.
Differences between a Vanity Publisher and a Hybrid Publisher
Professional Quality/Professional Connections
With a vanity publisher, they make their earnings when an author signs a contract with them and pays the publisher. They don’t have a vested interest in making sure that your book is the best it can possibly be and that it will reach your target audience. You have to be wary and know the breakdown cost of what you are paying for. Just because you may be paying top dollar to publish your book doesn’t mean that you are getting professional quality.
A hybrid publisher works in a similar way in that you pay for professional services but the difference is that the publisher has a vested interest in working to get your book in your audiences hands. With a vanity publisher, they will virtually publish any book as long as the author can front the cost of the book. With a hybrid publisher, they have more of a vetting process to make sure that a manuscript an author is pitching fits in with the publisher’s goals and values. A hybrid publisher will work closely with you throughout the entire process, guide you through each stage, and ensure that you have quality professionals editing and assisting you with your book.
Having Control Over Your Story
Each vanity publisher makes up their own contracts and sets their own rules. Typically, a vanity publisher will own the rights to your book once you sign their contract. A publisher having the rights to your book means that the publisher will make any decisions they deem necessary. This can mean the publisher will decide how your book is formatted, the front cover design, and even the way your book is written. You need to look over what you’re signing and make sure that the contract you sign is right for you.
Working with a hybrid publisher, they will work closely with you to ensure that your book comes out how you envision it. Again, you just need to make sure that the contract the publisher has is right for you.
Marketing and Printing
One thing a vanity publisher will likely not do for you is help market your book. As mentioned before, because a vanity publisher doesn’t have a vested interest in how well your book performs, and is only concerned with the initial payment they receive, the quality and how they work with you won’t be the same as with a hybrid or any other publishing route.
Working with a hybrid publisher, they will actively work with you through the marketing process and they should also have a printing/fulfillment center option. A great hybrid publisher will partner with you to develop a marketing plan that will work for you, through pre-publication and post-publication.
Signs to be Wary of With a Vanity Publisher
If the publisher that you are considering working with isn’t able to give you a breakdown of the costs and where your money is being spent, then that’s a red flag. The publisher should be able to give you a breakdown of how much is being spent for everything from editing to interior design. If they are charging any additional fees, like a book purchase requirement or any extra service fees, then it’s a good chance that you are paying too much and possibly being scammed. There are a lot of tricks that a vanity publisher might use to get more money out of you. Be wary of fee add-ons and be sure to vet the publishing team that is working on your book.
How Publish Your Purpose different than a Vanity publisher
Publish Your Purpose (PYP) works with purpose-driven authors and business owners who have a story to tell. PYP is a hybrid publishing house that works with our authors from the beginning to end. We work closely with our authors to make sure that they get the vision they see for their book into their audiences hands. Throughout the publishing process we make sure that the author’s book is exactly the way that they want it, and make sure that they maintain ownership of their book at the end of the process. We also work with quality professionals who will help get our author’s book across the finish line. To see the professionals that we work with click here. To get a full breakdown of the cost of PYP’s publishing costs click here.
Something that PYP does when working with our authors is help them get through the emotional process of writing a book. When you are writing about your personal experiences unexpected emotions may bubble up to the surface, and we help support our authors through these moments. Writing a book is also a long process that can take anywhere from months to years to finish. It’s an exhausting process and having that emotional support whether it comes from a friend, family member, support group, or even your publisher will get your book across the finish line. Click here to learn about how to deal with the emotional overwhelm when writing your book and if you’d like more support, contact us today.