I read this week that the writer Jilly Cooper has said that self-publishing is vanity publishing, and this set me thinking. After all, isn't all publishing vanity publishing, in a way? We write something, and if we are reasonably happy with what we have written, we (or most of us) would like other people to read it. Does that make us vain?
Well, yes. A bit. If thinking we have created something that others would like to read is vanity, then we could be called vain. But I cannot see that that applies to one route (self-publishing) rather than the other (publishing by a conventional publishing house). I have used both routes, and on reflection, if I'm vain at all, I think being published is more vanity-inducing than doing it myself. After all, it's lovely to have the imprimatur of a major publishing house, isn't it?
And yet most writers that I know are rather self-effacing and modest*; bad at self-publicity and terrible at book-signings. A paradox, perhaps.
What does anyone else think?
*Jeffrey Archer need not apply