Pay to Publish

Authors sign checks on the back, not the front.

Because Caffeinated Press is not a vanity publisher, we will not solicit the author for a financial contribution to support publication, nor will we accept any query from any author who wishes to pay for publication for works we otherwise would not accept.

We very strongly encourage early-career authors to steer clear of publishers that guarantee publication in exchange for an up-front payment. This pay-to-publish practice is known as “vanity publishing” and often functions as a significant black mark on your credibility as an author with more established, legitimate publishers. We’re aware of several authors who were rejected by large- and mid-sized publishers solely because of a vanity imprint in the author’s publication history.

Pay to Publish

2 thoughts on “Pay to Publish

  • 2018-06-27 at 12:11 pm

    Does this pertain to , “self-publishing”? Do you advise against this? I am not sure of the meaning of vanity publishing.

    • 2018-06-28 at 7:41 am

      “Vanity publishing” is sometimes known more politely as “subsidy publishing.” There are three types of publishing, broadly speaking:

      * TRADITIONAL, in which the publisher assumes all of the financial risk of bringing a book to market
      * SELF, in which the author personally brings the book to market
      * SUBSIDY, in which the author pays a publisher to bring the book to market (called “subsidy” because that big, fat check subsidizes the publisher’s risk of the book failing on the open market)

      We do not advise for or against self-publishing. If you can do it and believe that self-publishing is aligned with your goals — go for it!

      We do, however, advise against subsidy (vanity) publishing for most projects. If you have just one book you ever want to write and it’s got a built-in tiny audience (e.g., a history of your family church), then subsidy presses are probably ok for people who don’t want to learn how to self-publish. Otherwise, don’t do it.

      The general rule is a good one: If you’re writing someone a check to get your book published, you’re probably making a big mistake. Covering the costs to self-publish your book, however, is perfectly legit.


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