Writers face many traps in building their careers. One such trap is the vanity press, a publishing venue that has left many writers bereft of large sums of hard-earned money and bereaved by the resulting failure to reap the promised results.
What is a vanity press? Its definition is inherent in its name: Vanity is defined by the Free Online Dictionary as “excessive pride” or “conceit”. I find it interesting, then, that vanity presses appeal to an author’s pride.
Vanity presses require that authors pay to get their work published. This requirement should be a red flag to any author. You should NEVER pay a publisher to publisher your work. A publisher should pay you.
Authors fall prey to vanity presses because of lack of knowledge. Our Lord gives us the following warning in Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” When we fail to secure the knowledge we need from the right sources, we end up in trouble.
To avoid falling into the vanity press trap, remember this critical points:
• You alone are responsible to learn all you can about the writing profession.
• Participate in writers’ forums to learn from those who have walked before you.
• Never pay a publisher to publish your book. Vanity publishers prey on a writer’s pride. Beware of this temptation to pride. Scripture tells us that “pride goes before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
• Stay filled with the Word of God. When you know the Word of God, you will instantly recognize a lie from the enemy.
• If you have fallen prey to what I call a “predator press,” repent for not seeking God’s counsel and forgive the one who hurt you. The Word of God commands us to forgive, to bless, and to pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:28).
As you follow these points, you will make wise choices that will lead to a solid writing career.
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