Now that it's possible to get your book published for free, you'd think the vanity presses would just fold their tents. But there are still some out there, hoping to snag the few remaining suckers. One such company is Bookpros, also known as Turnkey Press, Ovation Books, Synergy Books, Bridgeway Books, and Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists…and probably some names I don't even know about. They've billed themselves in the past as "an author-funded traditional publisher," meaning they are a vanity press that wants to confuse newbies into thinking they're something else. Their crack publicists recently sent me a press release that read, in part:
I noticed you cover self-publishing topics from time to time, and I thought you might be interested in a trend piece on the evolution of self-publishing. […] With the promise of in-store distribution and full-service publicity campaigns, BookPros’ authors have easily competed at a national level. In the seven years since their founding, they have had eight bestsellers and have received more than 50 prestigious industry awards for editing and design. Many of their titles have been picked up by major commercial publishers, while others have attracted the interest of movie producers. BookPros offers a unique author-funded approach to publishing, giving authors access to quality editing and design, real in-store distribution and award-winning publicity.
Of course, they don't mention any of their "bestsellers' by name nor any of the "prestigious industry awards" that they've won because you wouldn't recognize any of the books nor any of the awards. Saying that their books have "attracted the interest of movie producers" is so vague that it's utterly meaningless. But empty boasts like that are typical in the vanity press biz.
What's truly special about this come-on is that they are touting their "unique author-funded approach" — as if they are the first people to come up with the idea of charging writers outrageous sums of money to print their books. That's chutzpah (and almost as ridiculous as vanity press huckster Brien Jones' claim in his bio at Jones Harvest Publishing that he "pioneered the concept of selling self-published books to bookstores." Yeah, right, Brien, nobody ever thought of that before).
At this point, anyone foolish enough to go with a vanity press as blatantly sleazy as this one deserves no sympathy.