Vanity Publishing – Who, What, Why

6th February, 11:00

Morning lovely readers!

Today, I thought I’d cover an interesting topic; vanity publishing. This was a term that, when first looking for representation, I had never heard of. I’m sure a lot of new writers are in the same boat with this, so in today’s blog I’m going to cover the basics in a hopefully unbiased way.

Enjoy, and I’d love to hear your own experiences with vanity publishers in the comments below!

Georgia x


So, what is vanity publishing, you may ask. In simple terms, with a traditional or standard publishing contract, the author will not pay any money towards any costs of the publication. This includes edits, marketing, cover art, you name it; the publishing house covers it all. However, with a vanity publisher, the author will contribute financially to the publishing process.


It is widely believed that vanity publishers do not look out for the best interests of their authors, and that they pocket a decent amount of money through these publishing methods. They often present a very authentic submission process to writers, inviting them to submit an extract, then the full manuscript, before ‘congratulating’ them with an offer. 99% of the time, the word ‘vanity’ is nowhere to be seen on the company’s official website/social media etc; they instead present their contracts as ‘contribution-based’, or something along those lines. They ask for a financial contribution which can often be up to £4000; primarily, they make their money from authors not book sales.


If you have submitted your work, or received an offer/contract from somewhere that looks a bit unethical or mysterious, a simple google search will most likely drudge up any experiences other authors have had with said company, good and bad.  Often, vanity publishers are the ones that advertise their services. A couple of the biggest ones include:

Austin Macauley

Author Solutions



Some authors do choose the vanity publishing route. Anything you do is your choice but do remember that, as I said, these establishments make their money from you as a paying author rather than book sales. A reputable publishing house will never ask for money from you as the writer.

If you would like to learn more, you can google vanity publishing, which will bring up a wealth of experiences and reviews. A couple of interesting articles I found are:

Olympia Publishers and the Art of the Soft Scam (Updated 2018)

Take care and pride in yourself and your work.

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