vanity press



So called because they may be used by otherwise unpublishable authors who want to see their work in print.


vanity press (plural vanity presses)

  1. (derogatory) A book publisher that lets the author pay the expenses of publishing up front, leaving the risk of financial failure with the author.
    Synonyms: vanity publisher, subsidy publisher
    • 1990 November 12, Jerry Pournelle, “The Vanity Press Is Much Harder to Spot on 3½-Inch Disks”, in InfoWorld, volume 12, number 46, page 88:
      VANITY PRESS? The self-published book is the joke of the literary world: whether one goes to a printer and has the books made up with one's own imprint, or goes to an “author-subsidized” publisher known in the trade as a “vanity press,” doesn't matter: It's easy to tell a real book from the pretenders.

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