Page Publishing Review – What Is Page Publishing Scam, Legit or Vanity?

page publishing reviews

What is Page Publishing

According to their web page, Page Publishing is a full-service publishing house. They handle all of the intricacies involved in publishing a book, getting it into distribution, and generating your royalties. They claim:

“Authors need to be free to create — not bogged down with complicated business issues like eBook conversion, establishing wholesale accounts, insurance, shipping, taxes, and the like. Leave these tedious, complex, and time-consuming issues to us so you are free to focus on your passion — writing and creating.”

Source: Page Publishing

Page Publishing at a Glance

Company: Page Publishing, New York, NY USA

Price to Publish: $3,200.00 in total – $295.00 up front, the rest spread out over ten months of payments.

Do I recommend? No, self publishing looks very attractive – for a lot less money.

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What Types of Books Does Page Publishing Look For?

Page Publishing does not specialize in any particular genre or publishing niche.  They review all types of literary works, whether that is romance, fiction, nonfiction, religious, biographical, self-help, or a children’s book.  Once accepted, thay are prepared to help transform a book from rough draft to published hard copy and/or eBook.  They claim they provide books for consumer purchase at the world’s largest retail book outlets.

Page Publishing – What’s the Minimal Investment?

The Page Publishing website does not provide a clear detail of all the costs. However, they say that they provide their services at what they call a “minimal investment”.  Also, if you want the company to publish your book, they take twenty percent per book for every copy sold.

“Everything Page Publishing had on their site sounded too good. So I ordered their author packet which arrived about a week later. I also received email from one of their literary development agents offering to answer any questions. On their website and also in the packet there is mention of “a minimal investment” on the author’s part. How minimal? The agent replied that they need $3,200.00 in total, but required $295.00 up front, the rest spread out over ten months of payments. ”

He also stated they take twenty cents on each book sold — deducting that when the author’s initial investment has been repaid via royalties. At this point I was thinking they are clearly trying to give the author an optimistic outlook. Those of us who have spent time in the publishing world know that it’s nearly impossible to make a profit on a first book. So the author would be bearing the full cost of publishing their own book.


What is a Vanity Press or Vanity Publisher?

Vanity Publishers have earned a rather poor reputation in the publishing industry.  The term refers to a certain type of publisher that invites authors to send in their manuscripts.  Then, they charge a fee or co-payment to assess and ultimately publish the book.  In some cases, authors spend thousands of dollars on only a handful of copies of their book. In other cases, writers unknowingly give away many of their rights, including the right to re-publish their book somewhere else. Vanity presses publish anyone who is willing to pay for their services, regardless of quality.  As a result, their publications tend to be associated with lower quality.  Inevitably, these publishers do not generate the same sort of recognition or prestige as traditional, commercial publishing houses.

Vanity presses don’t rely on book sales to pay the bills. To a vanity press, the end customer is the author who’s willing to pay for services like editing and design. Vanity presses will often infer that they can sell your book to major chains. Usually, this means that they’ll list your book with a wholesaler, like Ingram— which only means that booksellers can order it. That’s not the same as it being actively sold into stores.

“A Vanity press publisher charges for author services that includes editing, formatting, cover design, and marketing.  Often, all of this is outsourced to the lowest bidder.  In the end, the author can be left with a poor quality book and no way to market it. “You get what you pay for” doesn’t equate when it comes to vanity press and the publishing scams they represent. You do pay top dollar, often tens of thousands, and what you get back for your investment lacks value. So, how can you avoid these self-publishing scams? ”


Is Page Publishing a Vanity Press?

Many authors – especially first time authors, are lured to the seemingly attractive offers made by vanity publishers to do everything for them. But, at what cost?  Will they really handle all the heavy lifting involved with promotion, distribution and sales for an unknown author?  What usually follows after initial contact with a vanity press, is high-pressure selling and big promises.  According to author Kathy Rowe:

“On their website and also in the packet there is mention of “a minimal investment” on the author’s part. The agent replied that they need $3,200.00 in total, but required $295.00 up front, the rest spread out over ten months of payments. He also stated they take twenty cents on each book sold — deducting that when the author’s initial investment has been repaid via royalties. Those of us who have spent time in the publishing world know that it’s nearly impossible to make a profit on a first book. So the author would be bearing the full cost of publishing their own book.

“Since their website seemed lacking in overall merit, I wanted to do more research to see if this was a scam. I Googled “Page Publishing Scam” and found numerous hits. I read 5-6 of them and the majority of them were warning authors to stay away because the company wants you to pay thousands of dollars to get your book published.”

“My overall feeling about Page Publishing is that they are a large vanity press with strings attached.” Kathy Rowe – Author


How is Page Publishing Different from a Traditional Publisher?

Legitimate publishers buy the rights to your manuscript and pay you royalties. The publisher acquires the rights to publish and distribute the book by paying an advance on expected sales. The publisher will then cover the costs of editing, design, and marketing. Once the book is published, and when actual sales are higher than expected , all further royalties will be paid to you. This is only after earned royalties cover the cost of the advance that was initially paid up front.  Legitimate publishers pay all the initial costs and so take the risk.

“A traditional book publishing company buys the rights to an author’s manuscript. Buying rights from the author is how book publishers have traditionally acquired books. …The advance is deducted by the book publisher from any royalties the author receives from the sale of the book.”

“That’s right, they pay you an advance for the book. You don’t pay them anything. It depends on the publisher’s contract but they will pay for [some] marketing. The editing, cover design and formatting is taken care of by the publisher [in most cases]. There are a lot of nightmare stories of authors signing on with traditional publishers, but that usually equates to the publisher not trying hard enough to sell any books. In this case the author may end the contract and, after that, many authors take up with self-publishing and find better success. After all, why not be in charge of building your own book business?”


Hybrid Publishers

Hybrid publishing is emerging as a middle ground between traditional publishers and self-publishing platforms like Amazon.  This is a very large area and includes many variations to established publishing business models.  Authors have a choice between either paying for everything themselves or finding a publishing house to accept their manuscript.  The publishing landscape is evolving, and hybrid publishers offer wider publishing options.

The idea is simple: authors participate in the costs of production, but in exchange, get a greater split of the royalties. Most hybrid publishers will advertise a 50% split on both costs and royalties. For a first time author, this might seem like a great idea — so long as the company has the intention of creating quality books.

The problem is: many vanity publishers have decided to surf on the “hybrid” wave and disguise themselves as such. They’ll take on any submissions they get, ask you for a bunch of money upfront for editing and design (all the while assuring you it’s only really 50% of the costs), and make a profit off of that. Which means they don’t really care afterward how the book sells.”


Page Publishing – You Pay To Publish

There are things to watch out for with companies that charge fees to produce your book.  Potentially, these operations have no investment in your success as an author.  They can publish anyone who pays for their services.  If the fees are met, they seldom reject anyone. What this mean is is that they market to you, not for you. You are the end customer and their end goal is to sell services to you. Often, they will cost you money, generally far more than you will recoup in sales. How is this different than a traditional publisher?  Well, the end goal of a legitimate publisher is not to sell to you, but to sell your books and make you money.

If a publisher wants payment from you, whether for the cost of materials or for copies of your book, you are dealing with a vanity press. To say anything different is a publishing scam. More and more people are using vanity presses, and for some people it makes sense—those who are writing mostly for family and friends, people who have tried and failed to acquire a traditional publisher, or those who wish to promote a good cause by writing about it, for example. However, to use a vanity press and then refer to it as “my publisher” will make any author sound foolish and uninformed.”


A traditional, legitimate publisher will not charge a fee to read your work.  They will not insist that you purchase their ‘sample’ books before you submit your own manuscript.  Further, they will not require you to commit to buying copies of your own book after it is published.

Publishing Scams to Watch – Pay For Reviews 

Trade publications are read by booksellers, librarians, and others who work inside the industry.  They do not target readers and consumers. Typically, these publications have been operating for a long time and have a history of serving publishing professionals.  they primarily provide pre-publication reviews of traditionally published books.  However, with the rise of self-publishing, some trade review outlets have begun paid review programs especially for self-published authors. The majority of authors will not sufficiently benefit from paid book reviews, and should invest their time and money elsewhere.

Because of the increased demand for professional reviews of self-published work, you can now find online publications that specialize in providing such services.  It’s considered unethical to pay for reader reviews posted at Amazon or other sites.  Be aware, Amazon is actively trying to curb the practice.

Publishing Scams to Watch – Promises of Higher Royalties

The average book – especially from a new author, typically sells less than one hundred copies.  Beware of publishers promising to pay royalties significantly higher than a conventional publisher. They may entice you with higher royalties but only after you have paid all the production costs.  Once you have paid all the production costs, you will never get your money back selling only 100 copies.  Royalties don’t matter if a new author only sells a few hundred copies of their book.

“They will entice you with higher royalties but what does their share cover? They’ve taken none of the risk.They have no boxes of books sitting in storage. And, they didn’t pay an editor (you did). No one is visiting bookstores on your behalf. And, they didn’t pay a publicist. They didn’t send you on tour. Nor, did they run ads in print media.

If they sell a print copy of the book, at least they have to print it out, bind it, and ship it. That’s worth something. If it’s an ebook, you’ve already paid all the production costs—all they need to do is accept more money and deposit some of it in your account. What they’re really doing is taking a commission for any sales they make on their web site. Fair enough, as long as the commission is also fair.”


Publishing Scams to Watch – Reading Fees

There are circumstances where paying for an editorial review makes sense for a new author.  That said, you should never have to pay anyone to review your manuscript just to find out if they want to work with you. Not if they’re above board.  Agents, presses, and freelancers should all be willing to look at your manuscript for free before any agreements are reached. Editors should also be willing to provide you with a sample edit of a few pages.

It is an old and dirty trick.  Yet, new authors fall for it. In general, you should not have to pay to get a publisher or an agent to read your work. Many scammers will try to lure new writers into paying a reading fee. A reputable agent and publishing house will never ask you to pay for them to read your manuscript.  The bottom line is that a real publishing company does not get paid until your book is published. That’s why they are so interested in selling your book.  According to author Adam Rowe:

Reading Fees

“A reading fee is a fee charged by a literary agent for reading a submitted manuscript — typically, anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars,” Strauss explains. “The idea is that the agent is investing valuable time to read the manuscript — which, if they wind up rejecting the manuscript, will be uncompensated. So why shouldn’t they request a fee to offset this?” While some agents did indeed only accept and charge for manuscripts that they would genuinely consider, others opened the floodgates, leading on any would-be authors willing to pay up in order to have a manuscript “read.”

“The Scott Meredith agency, for instance, which represented many well-known authors, had an entire separate department that functioned as a reading fee mill,” Strauss says. “Still others were straight-up scams — fake agents with no intention of actually representing manuscripts, bilking authors with big fees and false promises. In the pre-internet days, it was much harder for writers to research legitimate business practice, or to tell a fake agent from a real one.”  Adam Rowe, Contributing Author


Other Publishing Scams to Watch

The publisher needs to secure your ISBN 

The assumption for a new author is that the ISBN process is difficult and expensive.  That is not the case. You can buy an ISBN if you reside within the USA at a cost of $125.00. In Canada ISBNs are free through ISBN Canada. This is just a ploy to make you think it is a difficult process.  They want you to believe you are better off leaving complicated details to professionals – meaning them.

The Publisher Needs to Handle Your Listing on

The great thing about self publishing with Kindle Books and other major retailers is that it’s almost always free. Very little technical skill is required.  New authors shouldn’t have much of a problem uploading a book to Amazon or Kobo or Apple Books.  It only takes a few minutes.  So, getting your book uploaded and listed on Amazon is not something you need to pay for.

Scammers prey on the naive when they ask you to pay them to list your book on Amazon. Many authors don’t realize that it only takes a few clicks of the mouse to sell your book on Amazon.  A few more clicks and you are ready to go  Barnes & Noble and Apple Books. Some publishing companies will make it sound like a complicated process, but it really is not.

Publishers With Unnecessary Costs and Fees

Unethical publishers are a fact of life.  They often charge authors unnecessary fees. Watch out for:

  • Required purchases of your own book. Traditional publishers don’t require authors to purchase copies of their own book. Be wary of companies that ask you to buy bulk copies of your book to “sell at book signings” or “re-sell yourself.”
  • “Traditional” publisher fees. Legitimate self-publishing and hybrid services charge reasonable fees in exchange for split royalties.  Traditional publishers buy the rights to your manuscript and pay you royalties. Traditional publishers do not require authors to pay for book publication.
  • Book contest fees. Scammers may claim that your book qualifies as a finalist in a paid contest.  When you bite, they charge you a fee to submit your book. Also be aware that illegitimate book contests may also require you to sign away your publishing rights.

Publishers With Deceptive Claims and Advertising

Be immediately suspicious if a publisher makes unrealistic promises or makes unsolicited contact by phone or email.  Reputable publishers won’t try to mislead you with tactics like:

  • A bestseller guarantee. No legitimate publisher guarantees that your book will become a bestseller or sell a certain number of copies.
  • Direct solicitations. Be wary of any publisher with “book scouts” or “agents” who contact authors first. Avoid unfamiliar publishing services that call, email, or write to you out of the blue.
  • Hidden conflicts of interest. Some publishers are secretly connected to literary agencies that charge fees. Then the publisher “acquires” your book from the agency while keeping their business partnership quiet.

Publishers With Unethical Contracts

Always read publisher contracts, terms, and agreements carefully to avoid getting ensnared by:

  • A minimum sales guarantee. Shady publishers may require authors to sell a certain number of books within a certain time period. Authors who don’t meet that requirement must then pay back the difference or the book production costs.
  • Restrictive copyrights. Beware publisher contracts that have authors sign away the rights to their book or limit their future publishing options.
  • Predatory royalties. Keep an eye out for substandard royalties and reverse-accounted royalty provisions.

Conclusion – Is Page Publishing a Scam?

Do Your Research And Avoid Publishing Scams

Publishers are banking on the likelihood that new authors have no idea what to do.  This is exactly why many authors consider turning to a publishing company in the first place.  The single most important first step is to Educate yourself on how to publish a book. You’ll be surprised the things you actually don’t have to pay for.

Many writing forums on the Internet feature other authors who provide useful information about which publishers are genuine and which you should avoid. If you are curious about a publisher, look for lists of reputable publishers as well as publishers that have received complaints and should be avoided. A simple Google search on the name will often turn up valuable information.

How Much is the Cost to Print a Book?

It depends on the book size.  For a book that is about 30,000 words in length and text only, expect the cost to be less than $4 per copy. Turn around and run when a publisher charges a new author $15-20 dollars per copy.

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