Bonfire of the Vanity Presses: the article

My article on self-publishing, entitled “Bonfire of the Vanity Presses” has been published in the latest issue of the Weekend Australian. Unlike Justin Clemens’ review of my book We Will Disappear, which was published in last weekend’s edition, this one is available online and you can now read the whole thing, in all its ragged glory [Wayback archive].

As is often the case, I now find myself unable to read the article itself, mainly due to the fact that I wrote it at least six months ago and I’m no longer sure what I was thinking about back then. In addition, the argument I make, which was at the time central to my PhD thesis, has now been superseded. Or maybe I’m just trying to have a bet both ways.

Nevertheless, as it’s an article written as part of the Weekend Oz’s “Forum” (aka “What Cheeses Me Off”), I suppose one should read it as an attempt to be provocative, and to generate discussion. Which is a shame, as there’s no opportunity for others to do so via the News Limited website.

I did notice, however, that the’ve installed a neat little set of buttons whereby “you can use the Social Web links to save Bonfire of the vanity presses to a social bookmarking site”. So, here’s hoping somebody does.

Your comments are of course welcome here, as ever.


  1. Can you say how your stance has changed since you wrote that article? I like what you’ve written there. You’ve more or less described my current opinion on self-publishing in the article. 🙂

  2. Hi Tim,

    sorry for the delay in responding – I guess I was just nervous about what the article says in terms of the dodgy side of self-publishing/ vanity publishing. I mean, I am a self-publisher, and am also lucky enough to have been published, erm, ‘properly’ as well – with all the complications that term also implies. So I was just trying to have a bet both ways, in case people disagreed. Who knows, people probably disagree with me anyway. It’s good to know, however, that the people who have reswponded to the piece have found it reasonably balanced. Now, back to that PhD on self-publishing … arghhhhh!

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