Is all self-publishing vanity?

The title isn’t meant to be controversial, but perhaps it is. And controversy or not, it’s something I struggle with.

We talk about vanity publishing a lot–those companies who prey on writers, charging sometimes tens of thousands of dollars for nothing more than putting a book on Amazon, promising best-seller status. If only the writer makes the smart decision and ponies up, that is, which of course the smart ones don’t. We’ve become wise to scams like this.

But is indie publishing really any different?

I’m fortunate enough to be able to bankroll the production of two novels now–editing, proofreading, cover design, and some advertising. I’m grateful for that ability, yet at the same time, I wonder about the intelligence of spending upwards of $1000 a novel knowing it doesn’t have wide commercial appeal. It might make up the costs, it might not.

Is that the very definition of vanity?

Or do we call that a hobby?

For that matter, does all writing and publishing have a tad of vanity to it?

I’m curious what other writers think!

2 thoughts on “Is all self-publishing vanity?

  1. My writing isn’t a hobby to me. It’s a job that I am working very hard towards turning into a career. Will it keep me in a home, with a car, and food on the table should anything happen to my husband? Likely, no. But, it’s not a hobby to me.

    I don’t know much about vanity publishing to really give a yay or nay, but that’s my thoughts for what indie author is or isn’t in terms of myself lol.


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