1. Honey
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    Honey New Member

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    Should I vanity publish my children's book?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Honey, Aug 22, 2010.

    I have written a short book for children five years and under but am wondering the best way to market it. I do not want to flood publishers with the idea only to be told that my manuscript is not part of a series and I do not want to splash out on vanity publishing if that is all it will be. What do you suggest? The book will be about the size of a Ladybird type childrens book and will need to be illustrated.

    I look forward to your valuable replies :)
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Don't do vanity publishing. Most people who do this only end up with about 50 people who buy their book, most of whom are family and friends. Vanity publishing doesn't market for you or get your books on bookstore shelves. Oh and they don't even edit properly a lot of the time.

    Be patient, revise, and aggressively reserach different publishing houses in order to get published by a real publisher. It will be worth it.
     
  3. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Personally, I would make every effort to publish with a legit publisher. Your book will probably look better and sell better. With vanities, POD's, or anything else like this, you have to do all of the illustration, cover design, formatting, etc.--either you or you hire someone to do it. And then after all of that work, you have to go out and market the heck out of yourself if you want to sell anything. (With a legit publisher you should also market the heck out of yourself, but have the advantage of having better distribution and some of the marketing will be done for you. You will also get more respect, I think approaching stores regarding book signings and similar events.)
     
  4. John Horace
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    John Horace Member

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    Vanity publishing's not so bad. It lets you do everything for yourself. And ultimately, you reap all the rewards.

    The more responsibility you have, the more control, the way I view it.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Vanity publishing is at best a waste of money, and at worst an exploitation of desperation. Vanity publishers prey upon would-be writers too impatient to see their name in print to develop their manuscripts into something actually marketable. If a manuscript is already marketable, you are much better off submitting it to traditional publishers.

    Vanity press publishing "credits" are useless.
     
  6. John Horace
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    John Horace Member

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    A agree that if you want your publisher to do all the marketing, selling, distributing, etc, for you, then vanity presses might not be such a good idea. And granted, most writers who go with vanity presses are just taking the easy way to getting published. But I wouldn't say that excises all possible uses of the industry.

    You can still vanity press if you want to retain control over all aspects of the marketing and selling and design of your book. I also agree that it is a lot harder work. But if you want to do so, I don't see any reason to call that a bad idea or a waste of money.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It is a waste of money because, unlike traditional publishing, the author pays to produce the book. Traditional publishers pay the author.

    Almost no one makes enough money from vanity press to cover the "investment."

    Some of the new vanity press, particularly in e-publishing, has a low initial investment, but it still is rare to earn back the up-front fees.

    Don't fall for it!
     
  8. zeem33
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    zeem33 Member

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    No no no no no no no. Stick with trying to find a real publisher. If you absolutely can't, then believe me, just abandon the project and work on something else. Otherwise you will waste your time, you will waste your money, you will waste your energy, you will waste everything.

    Just to recap: No.
     
  9. John Horace
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    John Horace Member

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    What about those places that don't print the book till it's ordered? Are those considered vanity presses? (just curious, is all)
     
  10. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    I've almost been caught out by a vanity scriptwriting company in the past. Go legit and do the right thing. It will be good for you in the long run.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Vanity scriptwriting company? I'm not even sure how that would work...
     
  12. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is there a difference between vanity publishing and self-publishing? I couldn't discern a difference when I looked up what vanity publishing meant.

    Someone once tried to convince me that I should self-publish, but I was quick to dismiss the idea for the reasons many have posted here (you won't get many sales, etc.). She tried to tell me that going through publishing companies are a hassle or some other nonsense. I still hold firm that self-publishing is a bad idea, no matter what pains the publishing companies might give you. Stick with it; it is worth all the trouble.
     
  13. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    They wanted me to pay all the costs of getting my script produced, and they were on the Predators list that I looked up Banzai.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    any of the various self-publishing venues are still just a variety of 'vanity publishing'...

    consider that if you self/vanity-publish your book, you'll have to either pay an illustrator a lot of money to do the art as 'work for hire' or split the credits/profits [if any] 50-50...

    but the illustrator probably won't want to be paying half the costs of getting it into print, so you will have to bear it all... and you'll also have to do all the promotion, marketing, etc. on your own and from your own pocket...

    the result being you'll have a book that you most likely won't even break even on...

    on the other hand, if your story and text is really good enough to make it in the market, then a publisher will provide the illustrator and do the promotion/marketing/distribution, plus pay you a royalty for every book sold...

    you do the math...

    i mentor many children's picture book writers, so if you want an assessment of your text's chances, or help with any other aspect of getting your ms into print, just drop me a line...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  15. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wonder why you are not first submitting your work to legitimate publishers.
    Could it be that you are afraid of the dreaded rejection letter or do you feel that your work is not quite there yet.
    If the former is the your reason, then don't let that stop you, those letters do make great paper gliders.
    If the latter is the problem, then work on your story until you are completely happy with it.

    If you are happy and confident in your work, then send it out to the publishers.
    What is the worst that can happen, they can only say no and if they do send it out to someone else.
    Best of luck:)
     

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