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Vantage Press Suspends Operations

self publishing house suspends operations

Looks like that should be “Disadvantage Press”

The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is concerned about reported happenings at Vantage Press, a US-based self-publishing service which also owns two small trade publishing imprints. The company has “suspended operations” leaving many authors out of pocket and with books undelivered.

According to The Independent Publishing Magazine (TIPM) who broke the story, several authors began to report delays in due royalty payments since late October of this year. They then reported non-communication from the company by phone and email.

Suspended Operations

Then, just before Christmas, Mick Rooney of TIPM obtained confirmation that Vantage Press has ‘suspended’ operations. TIPM is also in possession of the names of at least thirteen former staff and freelance workers who departed the company over the past nine months.

Rooney reports that A Facebook Group has been established for Vantage Press Authors. “The Together Group was created so all Vantage Press authors could have a single meeting point to unite and deal with this appalling mess,” Mick explains. The trade industry and media shy away from covering it and authors are left isolated and confused and don’t know what to do.”

The Alliance urges Vantage Press authors who have been left in a troubling situation to get in touch by writing to our services watchdog, Ben Galley: [email protected]

This Post Has 11 Comments
  1. I, Debra Fagan Golden, self published my book “Tyler” with Vantage Press in March 15, 2001. My contract ran out in 7 years. However, I notice on Amazon that my book is possibly being sold still. I am not receiving royalties. I have the contract/agreement and the copyright certificate. I have called all of the phone numbers that I had and they are all turned off. I now have the copyrights totally. How do I go about finding out what I need to do?

  2. I am an author and self-published my book through Vantage Press. I need to find out the status of Vantage for the unpaid royalty. For almost one year I could not locate Vantage anywhere. As I found the email address today for the “alliance independent authors” and tried to send an email to Ben Galley, but it was returned as invalid address. Could someone help?

    Much appreciated!

    1. Here’s his website address, which will help you reach him one way or another! But if it’s a Watchdog issue re Vantage, I suggest you contact Mick Rooney and/or Orna Ross as I don’t think Ben is currently involved in the Watchdog work.

  3. In fact, regarding authors marketing their own books, more and more traditional publishing companies are requiring their authors to do more of the marketing themselves. Also, more and more traditional publishing companies are writing into authorss contract that they are to purchase X number of books themselves (at a discount); and that’s before they’ve seen one dime earned from a sale.

  4. Actually Robin, the Select program that is offered by KDP is what’s exclusive. Do have a number of titles published through KDP, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc.

    I wouldn’t ever go through a vanity press regardless. Just the idea of paying someone to publish me is something I find absurd in the least. You still have to market the books because a vanity publisher doesn’t do much of that. The marketing is not only the hardest job but is necessary or no will know you have a book. You might get lucky here and there but books don’t sell themselves as a rule.

  5. Vantage are not the first and won’t be the last self-publishing company to go under; over the last 15 years at Matador we’ve witnessed about 10 well known (at the time) names who have gone under, usually leaving their authors in an unholy mess and out of pocket.

    If I were self-publishing I’d take the following precautions:

    1) Check out a company’s financial situation (this can be done for free on the Companies House website)… if no annual accounts have been filed or they are kate, warning bells should ring.
    2) Make sure that you retain all rights to your work in your contract… this ensures that any insolvency practitioner cannot dispose of your work to help settle debts!
    3) Ensure that you are sent copies of all of your electronic production files. This is so important because if you do have to republish because a company has gone under, you don’t want to have to pay to get your book produced again!
    4) Don’t pay for all services in advance; any reputable company should stagger payments as work is undertaken.
    5) Pay by credit card; your card provider will cover you if a company goes under, but this doesn’t work if you pay by debit card, bank transfer or PayPal.

    One other tip… watch out for companies that suddenly spring from the ashes… some companies effectively choose to go under to clear debts but then resurface under another name and offer (no doubt for a fee!) to republish your book for you. As usual it’s buyer beware….

    Mick Rooney at TIPM does an excellent job as a self-publishing industry watchdog, and I’m sure that he’d be happy to offer impartial advice to anyone about any companies in the industry.

  6. It isn’t often this type of thing occurs, but it does happen. It wants for the question, are the authors locked in on exclusivity contracts or are they free to self-publish as well? Even Amazon has a “division” of their business that requires 90-days of exclusivity’ it’s called KDP. It all boils down to either a financial drain on those who are being published by Vantage, or just a small portion of the pie being taken away from their pocketbook, yet still annoying as hell. It’s terrible to not receive their royalty checks.
    Imagine, if you will, Amazon doing this same thing to authors. Yikes! And rightly so. But by self-publishing and doing so with as many different epubs as possible, the damning disaster this is affording some, could be mitigated. If a book isn’t available now through a publisher because of operations suspension, readers will look to other supply houses for the same book. I pray for all those self-publishers who were using Vantage, that there was no exclusivity contract attached. Being self-published through other epub houses will allow royalties to continue, as readers don’t quit reading just because one supplier goes under. Reading for some is like breathing air. They just have to do it. They can’t live without it. These self-publishers will go on. But the fact is they have been cheated by business mismanagement, something we all need to pay attention to as we offer up our works for the world to see. We all just wish businesses in Vantage’s position would post on their enticing websites, “Mismanagement is one of the services we offer!” so we have a chance to avoid them. It’s sad to say that good staff members who slowly trickled away through the preceding nine months more than likely could see the writing on the wall. But informing any of us about their suspicions would have ended them up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. With the growth in the self-publishing epub industry, more of these businesses will arrive on the scene. Be watchful, be wary, be well-distributed.

  7. I feel awful for all of the self-publishing authors impacted by this. I’d never heard of Vantage Press, but obviously many people have, and this whole situation reminds me of how careful writers need to be before they decide to pay anybody to publish their work, especially the so-called vanity presses. Personally, I’ve always steered clear of operations like these.

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Karen Lotter

Writer, photographer, workaholic info-junkie, Wordpress fan, blogger, aging geek, toyi-toying optimist, social media trainer, web writer. www.ethekwiniweb.co.za

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