Writing a book is never easy, but getting one published is even harder. There are plenty of publishers out there, and when you look online, it seems like it might be significantly easier than you originally thought. 

Or, at least that is what Dorrance Publishing offers. The big issue here is that so many people are claiming that Dorrance Publishing is a scam. As a prospective author, you need to be aware of who is a genuine publisher, and who isn’t. 

Today, we will give you a heads-up as to whether or not Dorrance Publishing is legitimate, and why people are claiming that they are not. 

Read on to get all the author advice on publishing you will ever need!

Who Is Dorrance Publishing?

Dorrance Publishing is a self-publishing company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They publish printed books and e-books. Founded in 1920.

They were founded by Gordon Dorrance in 1920, and have received accreditation by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) since 1995.

Dorrance Publishing seems like a very good idea, and while the BBB rated them an A- rating, they are about as reliable as ‘Novum Publishing’. Both are vanity publishers. 

Vanity publication can work for some, especially those who are struggling to publish in traditional ways, however, it is very expensive, and publishing should not be expensive for the author. 

What Are Vanity Publishers?

Vanity publishers are still considered publishers, but instead they are publishing houses where anyone can pay to have their book published. 

In publishing, an author should not pay to have their book published. Often authors will have to pay for an editor, and so on, however, actual publication should not actually cost.

Publishers take their money from the money made from book sales instead. 

However, with vanity publishers, this is not the case. Vanity publishers require the author to pay them to publish the book. This can sometimes be as high as five figure sums. 

Vanity publishers are defined as being printing houses that specialize in publishing books for which the author pays most of or even all the costs. They publish at the expense of the author.

This is obviously due to how they will essentially publish ‘any’ book. 

A traditional ‘legitimate’ publisher will take on authors based on the merit of their work, and if they believe that the book will sell, as they make their money in royalties from a sale, like the author does. 

However, vanity publishers do not take on authors based on the merit of their work, so they do not guarantee, or even have to believe that the book will sell, as they make their money from the author. 

Why To Avoid Vanity Publishers

Vanity publishers will not make money from book sales, but off the author instead.

Oftentimes, fees to publish with a vanity publisher will be so high that it would take years for an average author to make back what they paid the vanity publisher. Some may not make this money back in sales at all.

Vanity publishers are smart, as what they do is not technically a scam, and those who use them are often aware of the fees, even if only at the last minute.

However, it is ‘heartless’ in a sense, as they take advantage of authors worn down by rejection by giving them a glowing acceptance. 

But… At a cost.

Both A Scam And Not A Scam

During the lifespan of Dorrance Publishing, it has been referred to as a vanity publisher on many occasions, as it bears many hallmarks of an ‘old styled vanity house’. It will accept a large amount of submissions but always at a high cost to authors. 

Its business is primarily print-focused, even though e-books are just as popular, if not more-so now. Marketing is also limited, unless the author is willing to purchase this service for another high cost fee. 

Dorrance Publishing is very liberal with submissions, publishing titles as long as they are not libelous, racist, pornographic, or based around hate culture.

Is Dorrance Publishing Legitimate

They also do not carry out any assessments of the manuscript for merit of literature, but do provide basic mechanical editing.

However, we cannot call Dorrance publishing a scam, because they’re not really. They are basically on a quest for profit, which has left some clients feeling ripped off. 

There are of course other issues that go beyond just the extortionate fees that come with vanity publishers. 

Dorrance Publishing does not actually provide any information about pricing or their contracts on their website, so until you actually submit you have no idea what you are getting into.

This air of secrecy does smell a bit fishy, but it does not make them a scam. 

They do not provide a copy of their agreement/ contract online, and it is crucial that this legal information is clearly spelled out prior to them getting access to your manuscript. At least for safety’s sake.

However, as much as many of these things seem ‘sketchy’, this doesn’t make them a scam, and they have provided results for some authors. It’s a different way of publishing, albeit an expensive one.

Is Dorrance Publishing Legitimate?

Dorrance Publishing is a legitimate publisher, however, they fall into the category of being a vanity publisher. Vanity publishers are all around, and they are not scams and do not actually ‘take’ your money and run off with it. 

However, they do take money from the author, and not from sales. So they’re legitimate, but not ideal or admirable.

The Pros Of Dorrance Publishing

  • Easy acceptance of manuscript.
  • Editing service offered.
  • Marketing & distribution covered.
  • Cover design & layout.

The Cons Of Dorrance Publishing

  • Extortionate fees before publishing.
  • No guarantee of results/making money back.
  • No contract information on the website.
  • No price information on the website.
  • Vanity publisher.

To Conclude

Dorrance Publishing is a vanity publisher, or at least has all the trademarks of one, however, this does not mean they are not legitimate. They make money off of you, and not your book sales. 

This is not favorable, but vanity publishers are not technically scams. Still, use them at your own risk. You’re probably better off using Amazon KDP!



Subscriber Type


You have Successfully Subscribed!