An old friend from high school recently posted about a new book deal he’s gotten himself into. In his post, which was on FB, he admitted that he was also looking for an editor; the publishing company wants for him to pay for editing and all “perks” himself. To me, this sounds like a vanity publisher.
I do admit that this old friend is a born-again Christian, and there is a good chance that his publisher is a Christian publisher. I don’t know much about the Christian publishing industry, though I do read a few blogs published by people in Christian publishing.
I would ask my old friend more, but he’s gotten on the defensive. He won’t say which company will be publishing his book; he just says that it’s a “sister company” of a “large publishing company.” They want to “make sure his book will sell before they invest real money into it.”
While I can’t say whether or not his publishing company is legit, I can say that it is important for a writer, especially in an age of scams concocted through the ease of the internet, to educate herself about common practices in the industry. One of my favorite websites for doing this is Writer Beware. It is hosted by the SFWA, and it has provided priceless advice to me over the years. I subscribe to the blog. It is all free and readily available to anyone with an internet connection. I advise all writers, especially new writers, to become well acquainted with it.