Goldfish, patiently coaxed, can be trained to perform tricks, retrieve rings, even play basketball. And this slim but clearly written and informative book will tell you how. The author, a retired nuclear physicist, US Navy scientist and scuba diver clearly brought his work home for this eccentric and unexpected hobby. 

The book is self published by Vantage, the oldest vanity press in the US. Though self published and self edited, this particular example of vanity publishing has all the polish of a professionally edited book. And though printed nearly 30 years ago, “How to Train Goldfish” enjoys a brisk trade on the used book market. There is simply nothing else like it available.

Most self published authors are not so lucky. Self published also means self edited and self marketed. Succeeding in all three does not come easy. And then there is the self funding. 

Vanity publishing has a stigma. Traditional outfits such as Vantage have been sued in class action lawsuits as being little more than scams, preying on the ambitious but ill informed. Lightning print disrupters such as Lulu have also seen lawsuits.

The current moment of blogs and personal websites should have usurped the vanity publishing model. In the age of the internet who needs a printer, a bound copy, the name and logo of a publisher stamped on the the spine? 

More people than ever apparently. The self published slice of the overall book universe, as legitimized by an ISBN, is larger today than ever before. And with Amazon, the elephant of all booksellers getting into the racket, the number of self published will only grow.

And perhaps it should. No one to my knowledge has even attempted to supplant C. Scott Johnson’s classic. Who knows what other subjects are awaiting their text.

Or as Amazon reviewer  "A Customer" states with succinct enthusiasm. “Yes! This book exists!”

ISBN 0533112923

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    ohh i should look into buying this haha
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