I've been through the index but couldn't find Parkbench Publications listed, so decided to start a new thread.
I received the following message through Myspace today advertising the services of Parkbench Publications and needless to say, it bears all the hallmarks of a vanity press operation. I've set out the full contents of the message below:
For those of you based in the US, £800 works out at roughly USD 1500 and £1000 is about USD1900, which is obviously a huge amount of money.Parkbench Publications are looking to recruit new writers on any subject. If you have a project that is between 100 and 250 pages in length, then you are welcome to send a sample to Parkbench Publications, PO Box 1081, Belfast, BT1 9EP. Please enclose an SAE if you want your material returned or an email to email@example.com
Okay then, so what's the catch, I hear you say. Well, you will be required to contribute towards the cost of publication. You have two options; Either pay £800, receive 10% royalties, and 10 complimentary copies, or pay £1,000, receive 20% royalties, and 20 complimentary copies. Your fee goes towards the ISBN number and barcode, cover artwork, typesetting, proof-reading, printing, and binding. You will also be entitled to purchase extra copies at half-price thus providing you with the scope to recover your original outlay. Therefore, you're not really giving away £800 or £1,000, as you will be recouping these amounts from subsequent sales. How many sales is open to question, but with the best will in the world, then the sky's the limit.
Consequently, you should think of your fee as an investment or alternatively as an expensive hobby. After all, is golf club membership, football season tickets and gym fees not of comparable amounts? If you want to take this forward, then do not hesitate to proceed, or alternatively you can wait weeks and even months for the standard, tiresome 'good luck elsewhere' replies from other publishers.
Best wishes to you
The 10% -v- 20% royalty figure is ridiculous when you think about the number of books you'd have to shift to cover your initial "investment" and especially given that you're having to sell the books yourself as they clearly have no interest in and no capability to supply your books to bookstores.
The Myspace member who sent me this (who I won't name but can do so if required) is advertising two books on their Blog as having been published by Parkbench. The books are 198 pages and 176 pages respectively but he's states that they're priced at £9.99 (£8 for Myspace members). No word on whether they're paperback or hardback, but you can go into any bookstore in the UK and buy a 300+ page paperback for £6.99/£7.99 and 300+ page hardbacks cost from upwards of £12.99 - so Parkbench's prices are about as far away from competitive as you can possibly get.
Finally, the fact that the only address given is a PO Box is not encouraging - they're v. easy to set up and just as easy to take down.
I'd advise anyone to avoid them like the plague.