Vanity press is for an author to publish his own works by a publisher that provides only the technical part of the publishing and distribution, outside the editorial proper choice. So the author pays the costs of printing and publicity of his book. It remains owner of the copyright and controls the number of published books. Vanity press is not always carried out by publishers but by “service providers” which have no “editorial risk”. Traditional publishers can practice a publishing genre of vanity press: It is often the case of books ordered by a municipality, a general council, a regional council or by a company, to promote city, state region or various economic and tourism aspects, and financed either totally or partially by these communities.
This way of publication is considered as a commercial service rather than editorial. The pejorative nature of the practice is emphasized by its name, “Vanity press” (editing using the vanity of authors).
The most common criticism against vanity press is to be chosen by the authors who failed, having been refused, or did not want to go through a professional editor that supports the costs of publishing and advertising. Publishing houses of this type are expected to publish anyone and anything, without exerting any control. However, some of these houses do their job properly, and quality books can also be published by vanity press. The disadvantage of this type of issue often lies in the privacy of books and edited this way.
Vanity press contract must be fully transparent and should be avoided “half” formula as found in some editors. The publisher can bring its expertise in the realization of the book, its assistance in terms of diffusion. However, the author remains the owner of the works, and especially the rights of the published work.