The following excerpt is from 2009 INDIE Finalist, “Success, Your Path to a Successful Book,” by Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill.

Just the name makes us feel like a Hollyweird, who wrote a little piece of fluff and wants to see it in print. We know that these presses have their place. Although we were wooed by the largest of the vanity presses, as well as two traditional publishers in the L.A. area, we chose to publish with POD.

Beware of the publisher who will charge you thousands of dollars.

If you choose a vanity press:

  • Read the contract carefully. If the firm does not come highly recommended by people you know, think about the relationship twice.
  • You should consider having an attorney read the contract. In fact, it’s a good idea in any situation.
  • Check with writers who have used the publisher.
  • Ask and get references.
  • Make sure they have some arrangement with Ingram and/or Baker and Taylor, even if you have to pay extra for the service.
  • Make sure you have the final price in writing.

To paraphrase a quote from cartoonist Al Capp, speaking through his alter ego, Li’l Abner, “Any cartoonist (author) what don’t appreciate what the Squeeze Blood Syndicate (publisher) done fo’ him is a ungrateful rat.” In other words, don’t let yourself be in the position of being unduly squeezed.

Maralyn D. Hill & Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
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