Vanity Press

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iUniverse will publish anyone. And when we say anyone, we mean ANYONE.

A vanity press is an ingenious means of making money from the unwarranted self-importance of others. Though they’ve existed for many years, the explosion of shit writing created by the advent of the internet has made them more popular than ever. Their products can usually be found crammed in the dustier corners of Amazon.com, each with a single glowing five-star review composed by a sockpuppet of the author.

Real book publishers pay authors in advance for their work. By exercising good judgment and quality control, they ensure that their products will sell well enough to make back the initial investment. A vanity press turns that business model around – knowing that 99% at least 100% of what they publish is crap on a stick, they have to make their money on the front end.

A very dead giveaway for these "Vanity Novels" is if the cover looks extremely stupid (you'll know when you see it).

How to run a vanity press

  1. Accept a manuscript. Any manuscript. The worse the better, really, because good writers are likely not gullible enough.
  2. Charge the author in advance for printing and distribution.
  3. Charge more for "special services," like basic proofreading.
  4. Skip the ???? and go straight to profit!

"Self-published" = shite

Aware of the negative connotation "vanity press" has acquired, nowadays vanity-published authors like to call themselves "self-published" instead. Whenever someone tells you they "self-published" a prose story, call bullshit on their faggotry immediately and demand to know how much they paid up front. If they admit that their "self-published" work is made from a bunch of Xerox copies, then they're less of a moron than those that use "print on demand" services (see below).

In addition to the "self-publishing" smokescreen, vanity publishers prefer to claim that they "offer print-on-demand services." This is code for "we will print anything, including your Yu-Gi-Oh fanfic and furry porn."

Examples of vanity-press authors

TL;DR -

  • Everyone on the internet - including you. You have to pay electric and line rental bills to get your inane thoughts made visible to others, and make nothing back. In advanced cases, you will pay a designer, an IT guy, and a hosting company so that your inane thoughts can be collected on one website. You will still make nothing back.

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