One of the oldest of the vanity presses, Vantage, has apparently closed up shop.
Founded in 1949, Vantage is/was one of the pay-to-play publishers that only cared about an author’s writing ability as far as it extended to writing a check. Like other vanity presses, Vantage’s primary market was its own authors.
Following an attempt to save money by relocating from New York City to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, this year, Vantage apparently ceased operations in November, without notifying all of its authors. Some are reporting that they suspected something was wrong when their October royalty payments were missing, others that they found out when they were unable to order their books through Ingram’s. In the last two weeks, Vantage has removed its Facebook page, closed its webpage, and abandoned Twitter. Their blog is still up, but hasn’t had a new entry since March of this year, and they’re still on LinkedIn (which still lists their New York address).
My suspicion is that the easy and free availability of electronic self-publishing is what put the final stake through this vampire’s heart.
In other vanity-publishing news, Author Services Inc, the POD-vanity group that has been buying up other vanity presses (e.g. Xlibris and iUniverse), and fulfilling the vanity-publishing arms of some otherwise-respectable publishers (e.g. Westbow for Thomas Nelson and DellArte Press for Harlequin), has reportedly been bought by Pearson.