An interesting twist on the Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing debate. From the Self-Publishing Review, A Publishing Person Self-Publishes:
Wanting a traditional publisher’s acceptance is probably even more vanity-driven than self-publishing (“Look at me! Harcourt accepted my manuscript!”). In fact, after separating the author from the commercial realities, vanity is largely the only thing left. Self-publishing is about really engaging the audience. There’s less vanity when you have skin in the game.
Interesting angle. Vanity presses have earned that label for good reason. However, the “vanity” part of those presses is not necessarily in one’s desire to get their work published. After all, most authors want their work published. Vanity is what compels an author to be hasty, take shortcuts, avoid or neglect the critical elements necessary to produce a quality product, and to rail unjustly against “the system.” But amateurish writing and production is what’s earned the label “vanity press,” not just the foregoing of traditional publishing. In fact, as the article above notes, bypassing traditional publishing routes may be one of the most courageous and the least vain things a writer can do.
So why is it we’ve come to see the self-published author as more vain than the traditionally-published author?