The New Self-Publishing Lexicon
Why “Vanity Publisher” Is an Outdated Misnomer
By Tim Lindsay, Founder & CEO of Tellwell
You’ve written your book! Congratulations on such a significant accomplishment. So many people start, but so few finish! Moreover, the book you’ve written is good (you don’t tell many people this, but it’s way better than you thought it would be). It’s so good, in fact, that you know you need to take the next step and find a way to publish.
If you begin researching book-publishing options online, it’s possible you’ll read about the exciting growth and accessibility of self-publishing—the “indie publishing” revolution that has democratized access to publishing. You may read about “authorpreneurs” taking control of publishing timelines, bypassing the old gatekeepers, earning higher royalty rates, and building intimate and direct relationships with readers. Exciting, right?
But then the term “vanity publisher” also shows up in your search results, making you pause, since the term vanity carries with it pejorative connotations. Wait a second . . . should you be ashamed to self-publish? Is self-publishing “vanity publishing,” or is it legit? And if self-publishing is indeed a credible option, is it possible to get help, or must you do literally everything yourself?