I think you are misunderstanding, once again, my point. I am not saying that we weren't a vanity press. In the past, sure, I guess if you want to call us a vanity press, fine. But what I am NOT okay with is the negative stigma attached to being called a vanity press. I won't stand for that, as we didn't adopt the unscrupulous practices that many vanity presses do. So whether we were a vanity press or not doesn't make a bit of a difference, it's what we did when we charged authors for work done. And I would like to think that our record of helping authors succeed speaks for itself.

However, you are trying to provide a weak argument saying that we are STILL a vanity press. Why, because we physically process the money that we take from the authors to get their books printed by the printers that we use? I can understand that for some people, this is a wonderful chance for a crappy publisher to sneak in some dollars, over inflate the cost of a print production, and then make money that way. But by even suggesting this, you are accusing US of doing that. I won't stand for that. We have NEVER done that, not even when we were a "VANITY PRESS." When we say authors get the books at cost to print, we mean exactly that. But just because we handle their orders doesn't make us automatically crooks.
Sadly, I don't blame you for the distrust. I really don't. After all the authors I've personally had to talk to on the phone and try to help them through their crappy deals with the kind of vanity presses you keep linking us to, I really get where you are coming from. Too many easy ways to scam the author. But like I said before, I am an author, too, and I have always approached publishing to do what's best for the author. If I had a million dollars or heck, even a third of that, I could've probably started a traditional publishing label and never charged a dime for anything, but I started out doing ghost writes for individuals who didn't know how to tell a story themselves, and every time I did one, the next question out of those individuals was "HOW DO I GET THIS PUBLISHED?" I looked into so much of the impossibility of getting published by the NY sisters, and I realized that it would be better to try and help authors by opening up a press of my own. This, keep in mind, was way before I even really considered small presses or indie presses to be possible for these individuals. But small presses are just as difficult, it seems, to get works accepted by, so even if I HAD considered a small press at that time, I just felt I could do the same. And yeah, I charged. So what? I made as many authors happy as I could, and I don't regret that one bit. I do regret though that many people have this large assumption of all vanity presses are bad. They aren't. What I did was proof that's not the case.
Still, I'm not here to defend vanity presses. The majority don't deserve it. I just want to defend what we're doing because I believe in it. You don't have to though.
And one final note before I get back to selling books, reading fees are something, again, I don't need to dignify at all. It takes time to read all the manuscripts we receive. And as for presses that are reputable that have reading fees, geez, where do I even begin? Aqueous books (open free periods and then contests, which is the same type of deal), Ahsahta, Tupelo Press, Cooper Dillon, etc., etc., etc. And I'm proud to now be listed amongst presses like these.