My Twisted Writer Brain…

If Someone Wants Money To Publish Your Book–Be Very Careful

In the last couple of weeks I’ve had this same discussion with two people. It’s also a question I see quite often on social media sites.

I’ll keep this very short.

If a company or publisher offers to print (edit, format, etc) your book but the price is thousands of dollars–say thank you but no thank you.

Types of Publishing.

Traditional Publishing

source: Amakella Publishing

Some times you need an agent but there are some where you don’t.

Traditional publishers, regardless of size, only take projects where they feel they can recoup their investment.

They don’t charge the writer, but a percentage of the sales goes to them.

Whether the publisher is one of the BIG ones like Harper Collins (agent required), a medium press like Orca Publishing or a small publisher like Pulp Literature Press or Prairie Soul Press, the author must do their due diligence.

For the larger traditional publishing houses you’ll need an agent to pitch for you, the smaller ones you’ll have to prepare a submission and probably pitch the idea.

Make sure you read over the website and see if your work is a fit for the publisher. Don’t be sending horror type manuscripts to a publisher that only deals with children’s books.

Know that smaller houses, may take a larger percentage of the sales and you’ll also have to pitch.

To pitch means that you need to “sell” the idea of the book. It has to fit in with the publishers guidelines. Do your homework.

As the author, you’ll have to do the marketing and promotion of the book so also be prepared.

Start building that platform to sell you future wares.

It takes time but with hard work it will come together.

Just a note about smaller publishers… They normally do the editing and formatting but will also do smaller print runs to see how well the book sells.

Remember that when you submit to a publisher, regardless of size, your manuscript should be polished, professional, and as clean as you can make it regarding spelling/grammatical errors.

Never, ever, hesitate to ask questions. Any reputable publisher will answer all your questions.


Go for it!!

I don’t know much about self publishing but there are enough authors who’ve gone through the process I’d bet there are tutorials on YouTube.

To self pub puts you directly in the driver’s seat.

You’re responsible for the editing, formatting, proofing etc. You are the boss.

Remember not to rush to print. Take your time because you only get one chance to make a first impression and if your manuscript is full of errors and holes then you may lose readers.

Take a breath and edit it properly.
It is acceptable to pay for an editor.

If you’re in a situation where you need assistance with the computer and tech issues of self publishing then ask around and someone may be able to assist you. If you chose to pay someone for the helping you, you’re still self publishing.

Vanity Publishing.

This is where you need to be very careful.

There are publishers that will publish anything at a cost.

Often it is thousands of dollars.

If that happens, grab your work and run.


Very often, vanity publishers will tell the unsuspecting author that they’ve “accepted” the manuscript for publication. A writer’s dream, right?

Well, it can turn into a quick nightmare as the requests for money begin.

Don’t sign anything. Take to social media and ask if the situation sounds right. Remember a publisher is there as a service but also as a believer in your work. They’ll do the editing etc.

If a publisher says that it will COST –say thanks but no thanks.

Remember, if in doubt, ASK.

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7 thoughts on “If Someone Wants Money To Publish Your Book–Be Very Careful”

  1. Hello, Out standing load of information. Thanks for being so generous sharing this complex issue.

  2. There are some publishers claiming to be “hybrid publishers” these days. It is just a vanity press with a bit more selectivity. Sure, they also publish some manuscripts traditionally with contracts and royalty-only payments, but they are still a vanity press in my mind. I wrote a blog about it this spring after attending a writing conference hosted by one such press. They were pushing their “submit to our anthology” things and when I looked closer, if accepted, I would have had to pay them $750 for the “editing work.” You can believe I didn’t fall for that.

    1. Holy Moly!! Thanks for commenting Sharon! The sad thing is that many people are so desperate to get “published” that they don’t read the fine print or they read it after the fact. What a terrible experience. That would really tick me off. That is totally a vanity press where he is making money off the authors….jerk.
      Keep those eyes open for anything suspicious –always…Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it will resonate with others! xo

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