From Writer Beware:
Vantage Press, one of the USA’s oldest vanity publishers, closed its doors at the end of 2012.
. . . .
Vantage was found in 1949 as a classic vanity press operation, with authors paying a premium to the company to print and bind their books. Like so many vanity publishers, however, Vantage engaged in deceptive advertising. In 1958, the FTC issued an order prohibiting the company from claiming that it was selective and that it aggressively promoted its books. In 1977, a class action lawsuit was brought against Vantage for similar misleading claims. The courts eventually awarded 2,200 authors more than $3.5 million in punitive damages.
. . . .
In recent years, Vantage had attempted to adapt to the changing publishing landscape by re-branding itself as a self-publishing service, while still charging the same enormous fees.
. . . .
Even so, the company’s sudden collapse caught just about everyone by surprise–including its authors, many of whom hadn’t even known about the move to Massachusetts. Some authors apparently were notified of the closure, but many, if not most, were not. As [Mick] Rooney reported in December,
The authors I’ve heard from are clearly, deeply upset, angry and confused as to what is going on at Vantage Press, and understandably, following continued non-communication from the company by phone and email, have begun to record complaints with their legal authorities, online watchdogs and organisations like BBB, Ripoff Report and Work From Home Watchdog.
For Rooney, Vantage’s demise is “a further sign that the heyday of self-publishing providers with a paper-centric model is dead and buried.” I tend to agree. (Are you listening, Author Solutions?)
Link to the rest at Writer Beware
PG originally let this pass, but understands that many authors have lost a lot of money. When any small business collapses, the likelihood of creditors (and writers are creditors in this situation) obtaining much, if any money is small.
A vanity press makes most, if not all of its money from fees charged to authors. A legitimate publisher, small or large, makes its money when its books sell and both publisher and author make money.
Identifying fraudulent operators is never an exact science, but in the internet age, it’s harder for them to hide their true natures for very long.
Writer Beware is an excellent place to discover problems with publishers and so-called publishers.
A Google search for beware “Vantage Press” generates a lot of warnings that pre-date Vantage’s collapse. A search in the Amazon Books section for “Vantage Press” shows a motley collection of books published by Vantage Press, most of which appear never to have sold a single copy.