As if writers and authors didn’t have enough to worry about, I found yet another “fun” waste of time. (No it’s not a new social media site ─ though I’m sure there will be plenty more of those soon.) Most everyone in the publishing world knows about vanity presses. Some authors choose to work with them knowing that they have to pay to get published because it takes some of the burden off. That’s my guess at least.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but if I were going to pay to publish, I would cut out the bloodsuckers and do it myself. I’m not a huge fan of self-publishing being that the writing world is hard to struggle through without the right help. It takes a team of highly skilled people to make a book a success. From the formatting, cover, writing style, all the way to marketing and beyond, it’s more work than many self-publishers expect. Not always, but often.
Well now I’ve learned of a new in-between form of publishing. Because we don’t have enough options already?
Hybrid publishers are apparently a thing. These presses present themselves as successful publishers who take unsolicited material but promote that they aren’t vanity presses. What they don’t tell anyone is that in the back of all their contracts, in teeny tiny print, is a fee for authors to pay to publish. It is supposedly not the entire cost of the book production, marketing, and materials, but a significant enough amount that an author would be in the hole if they sign without reading.
Thank the gods I always read through everything thoroughly.
I myself, have no problem with the existence of such companies. There are plenty of businesses that now see authors as their paycheck and work us for all we’ve got. I understand that some authors don’t mind paying fees to get published. It’s insulting to me, but it’s not my place to say what anyone else should do with their career.
The companies need to state what they are from the beginning. Pretending to be a legit publisher and then sneaking fees in along the way is sinister. It’s disgusting. It’s enraging, and does nothing but break the trust authors have in the process.
It saddens me that some writers are so desperate to see their work in print that they allow these kinds of corporations to take advantage of them. This is why agents exist; THIS is why the big 5 are the big 5. As hard as it is to break into their world, they protect their authors because it is in their best interest.
I always read everything and research publishers. I look up their new releases and study the stats for this very reason. (I am currently seeking representation)
Be careful out there. Publishing can open many doors, but a select few lead to brick walls.