Not too long ago, I was at a writers conference. During the lunch break, the people sitting at my table were talking about their publishing credentials and the state of the publishing industry in general. One person was obnoxiously bragging about her national publisher and how wonderful they are—specifically, how quick they were to recognize the quality of her work and to accept her, when all of the LDS publishers had turned her down (one of which had the audacity to tell her that her writing was not up to par).
I could tell that some of the others at the table were very impressed with her, particularly one struggling unpublished author. When the bragging published author offered to connect the newbie with her publisher, I spoke up and asked who her publisher was.
I could see most of the other people at the table mentally realigning their assessment of her and her talent.
But the newbie didn't know what Author House was, so she wrote down the URL the author gave her, excitedly promising to look them up as soon as she got home.
I didn't say anything at the table. In my experience, it doesn't do any good to tell an author like that the "truth" about her experience, but I did take the newbie aside before the conference was over. Not sure I convinced her not to try it but at least I did my civic duty, right?
So one more time for the record (and I realize I'm probably preaching to the choir here), Author House is not a real publisher. It is a vanity/subsidy press. So is Publish America. And iUniverse, and Vantage Press, and Xlibris, and. . . there's no way I can put a complete list here.
But I've talked about vanity presses before here and here.
And you can find more info on them here
Is there a time when a vanity press is a good choice? Yes. I'll talk about that tomorrow.