A Subsidy press or vanity press (often the terms are used interchangeably) accepts books from authors without regard to the content of the book. They accept the book for publication, but then charge the author a set amount of money to publish the book. The costs vary from publisher to publisher but it's not uncommon to see ranges of several hundred to $5,000.
An author choosing subsidy/vanity publishing needs to really do his homework to make sure he understands exactly what he is signing. The publisher may or may not copyright the work, may or may not set it up for distribution, and may or may not agree to promote the work. Some charge extra fees for copyright, distribution, and promotion of any kind.
*Usually vanity presses are more expensive than a self publishing company, so it pays to look into any press before you sign a contract.
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