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Definition: A vanity press is one option for writers who have not found a home for their work at a major press and do not have the means to entirely self-publish their book. A good vanity press will proofread and copyedit your manuscript, design a cover, print the book, and even provide some basic marketing services.

However, it is expensive to publish your book through a vanity press, and most authors do not recoup the expense. Nor will major publishing houses take your book more seriously as a result.

If you have a memoir or family history that you would like to see in print to distribute among friends and family, or if you have a nonfiction title -- such as a business book -- you feel confident of being able to sell on your own, a vanity press is a good option. For fiction writers hoping to attain critical attention and decent sales, independent or small presses are a better route.

Also Known As: subsidy book publisher
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