Books: Vanifas

To judge from the wares on the bookstore counters, anyone with a manuscript on his hands can find a publisher these days. Yet every year produces thousands of would-be writers whose work is so dreadful that even the most tolerant publishing firms will not put it in print. For these devotees of letters wait the "vanity presses," which print almost anything—at fees from the authors ranging between about $900 and $6,000. While there is nothing illegal in paying for the pleasure of seeing one's words in print, the Federal Trade Commission objects to vanity publishers who mislead clients into thinking that...

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