Insanity Press … Oops … I Mean Vanity Press

And so it has happened again … another well know and highly respected company has crept in with promises of, um, brighter days for the Indie …

A while back I posted about Bookcountry … the twist of Penguin that was offering author’s insanity vanity publishing services.  Well, they are far from alone … joining the ranks today is Writers Digest with their Abbott Press imprint.

This time, we’re talking BIG BUCKS.  Fees that branch upwards to … hold on, you better sit down … $9,000!  Yes … that’s dollars not rupees.  I know, I know … I threw up a little too.

Here’s what kills me … It’s such a “take all” mentality.  It reads as greedy.

What Abbott Press is offering is nothing special … their “starter package” is around $1,000, and for that you get a cover, ISBN, and blah blah blah blah blah (I should mention, that editing is not one of the services) … for $9,000 you get blah blah blah blah blah blah plus a social media publicist.  Yeah.  Whose going write the check first?  (I ask in jest)

I did the query thing.  I had a few nibbles, no real bites.  Would I have liked to be published by a big brand like Writers Digest … sure, of course!  I’m not stupid, I know what that means and what doors that would open.  But … since I never agent’d up, I never had a prayer.  Writers Digest doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Now … we have a vanity press under their moniker.  They will take my money, publish my book and eat my royalties without the benefits of really being published by them.

Fair?  No.  Worth it?  Not really.

But their site is beautiful.  It’s alluring with columns heavily weighed down by check marks.  But what do those check marks mean?  Not much.  Nothing any everyday Indie couldn’t do for his or herself.  And as someone mentioned, imagine the less than tech savvy author who has fought against slush piles for years and read Writers Digest since they were a child …

And that’s my problem.

I have no issue with branding or business.  I have no problem with innovative offerings and remaining relevant in the face of a revolution like the boom of self publishing.  But be honest about it … if you’re going to charge up front, fine … but why snag the royalties too?  Because you put a sticker on my book?

Abbott Press … Thank you, but no thank you.




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