Many Christian authors have unfortunately been caught in a popular scheme: paying huge amounts money to see their book get into print. They get caught in a vanity press, where even the simplest services cost thousands of dollars. Most of these vanity presses are now owned by large publishing houses. The largest publisher, Penguin Random House, owns the largest vanity press, Author Solutions, which goes by a myriad of names, including WestBow Publishing.
WestBow, a division of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, is actually run by Author Solutions. Authors be warned: these vanity presses make their money by selling “publishing packages” to naive, gullible writers who hunger to see their book in print. A vanity press doesn’t make the bulk of its money by selling books; their profits come from marketing to the writer and charging hefty rates for everything from editing to websites, from formatting to distribution. They even charge for some services that anyone can get for free. Frankly, they will keep coming up with more ways to spend your money until you either run-out or wise-up.
Some may doubt that WestBow is just another mask for Author Solutions, but you need only read WestBow’s own website to learn the truth. Zondervan/Nelson farm-out this business to Author Solutions. A brief quote from their about/ history page:
“Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh-largest trade book publishing company in the U.S., has partnered with Author Solutions LLC, world leader in supported self-publishing, the fastest-growing segment of book publishing, to create WestBow Press.” (quoted from WestBow’s website About/History page. Read in full by following this link.)
What other options are there for a writer wanting to get published? Thankfully, there are many options available, from traditional publishing to independent publishing. Do your research and find out what route will work best for you. However, you should NEVER have to pay thousands of dollars to see your book get into print.
What can Public Author offer to help me get published? We provide publishing services at a fixed rate, everything from book formatting to cover designing, from author websites to distribution assistance. Look around our website and see if any of our services will meet your needs. If not, then do more research to find someone who better fits to your desired route. But, whatever you do, be very cautious around any vanity press, even one that calls itself “Christian” like WestBow. Become educated to avoid buying services you have no need for.
We hope that we can earn some of your business here at Public Author, but even if we don’t we hope that you avoid going to any vanity press. This is just our opinion, but we hate hearing about authors who have lost thousands of dollars on over-priced “publishing packages.”