It is not too often we get to hear the considered thoughts of an insider from the vanity press industry. Phil Whitmarsh is a Book Coach and he spent several years working for one of the biggest self-publishing service providers in the industry—an imprint of ASI (Author Solutions Inc). Mind you, he is the first to say that it was when he started out working in book marketing and before ASI signed agreements to run self-publishing imprints for several of the big publishing houses.
"In my own defense, I didn’t know what I didn’t know."
Whitmarsh now works for Self-Publishing.com, a company that specialises in providing a host of publishing services for authors looking to self-publish without the trappings and pitfalls of vanity publishing. This week Whitmarsh has written a piece for Publishing Basics and his regular Coach's Corner column about the shifting sands in the industry and how some large publishers are now positively salvating over the slush-piles they once dreaded. It's well worth a read. I won't spoil the read for you here but I will leave you with one of its kicker points.
"I remember spit-balling—and salivating—with the sales team over there (before the company was bought, moved, and the sales process moved to the Philippines). 'Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a hold of the Simon & Schuster’s slush pile? Wouldn’t it be great to get Penguin’s rejections?'
'Never happen,' was the assurance from our then-president, herself one of the only folks in the entire vanity press industry with a genuine, traditional publishing background and pedigree. Hope as we might, dream as we could, traditional publishers would always hold their reputations and practices—and slush piles—to the highest standards."