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If you’ve written a book that you think is worthy of the local bookstores shelves and you’d love to see it in print then perhaps vanity publishing is for you.

Before you do contact a vanity publisher however, do send your manuscript to a ‘proper publisher’. If accepted, your manuscript may earn you some money rather than take it away from you as it probably would with the vanity route.

To take the view that having your novel or collection vanity published is likely to cost you more money than earning it isn’t a reasonable standpoint. Almost all of the works that are published this way hardly ever recoup the costs for the producing of the book. To put it harshly, a book worth being published will be snapped up by a ‘real publisher’.

However, choosing a vanity publisher is entirely up to the individual author. It really depends upon how much you want to see your book in print. If you understand the job of the vanity press and your job in this transaction, and are happy with it there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your treasured book in print.

Before you choose a vanity publisher there are a few things to look out for and remember when looking for a reputable company to take your business to:

1. Make sure you have heard of the company before. Never pick an advert out of the local newspaper if you can help it.
2. If you do have to choose from an advert, make sure you enquire about all their services.
3. The first question you should ask is: What exactly will I get for my money?
4. Make sure you are aware of all that they do not do i.e. do they help with promotion (most do not).
5. Ask for a copy of something that have recently produced that will look similar to what you hope your book will look like.
6. Does the author have any say in the front cover illustrations/format/fonts/lettering etc?
7. Make sure you remain in control.
8. Get a few quotes from other companies and compare.
9. If you can, try to pay for the book outright. Paying on payment plans or loans is not advisable.

Most vanity publishers do not help with the sales, marketing, press releases, signings and the general admin of the book. For the most part all the vanity publisher will do is produce the book, which you have paid for. It is then up to you to try and sell it. If you are happy with this then vanity publishing may be for you.