I’m not sure who said it first, but I’m not the first to say that “traditional publishing is the new vanity publishing.”
As writers struggle with the quandary over self-publishing or traditional publishing, many cling to traditional publishing as the preferred solution merely because they see it as validating their work. In their minds, finding a traditional publisher is an endorsement from the corporate world. This would affirm their book’s viability and ensuring it’s quality.
This might be a legitimate perspective. However, it could also be a form of vanity. This is especially if self-publishing has the potential to bring in more revenue for the author.
The old vanity publishing versus the new
At one time, vanity publishing meant paying someone to produce a book that no one was willing to publish. This was because it was either poorly written or possessed limited commercial value.
Now the pendulum swings to the opposite extreme. Vanity publishing is insisting someone produce your book merely to satisfy your ego or attain affirmation.
Whichever side of the traditional versus self-publishing dilemma you select, make sure you pick the right solution for the right reason. It should be based on what’s best for you, your book, and your future, not to appease your ego or out of vanity—there’s no future in that.