Publishing Journey · Thoughts

I Didn’t Realise I’d Been Caught By a Vanity Publisher

About a minute ago I was happily listening to episode 103 of Australia Writers’ Centre podcast “So You Want To Be a Writer”. Co-host Allison Tait spoke about an email she, and her other co-host Valerie Khoo, had received from a listener about vanity publisher Write4Fun. The name instantly pinged in my mind because back in 2012, in my last year of high school, I submitted a short story to them and was stoked when they wanted to include my entry in their anthrology “Summer Sizzlers”.

Although by then, I’d written the first draft of my novel, I hadn’t begun to research publishing and I had no idea that vanity publishers existed, let alone what they were. I’ve since learnt what they are but it wasn’t until today that it clicked.
I actually had to speed home early from walking my dog because I had to type this blog post out. I had to get my emotions out of my head fast. (Up until here, all of this was typed out on my phone – not fun! Lots of spelling errors. I’m now sitting at my desk, with a shivering dog at my legs because it’s insanely windy and she’s terrified.)
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Complimentary Plague

I had a bit of a rocky relationship with Write4Fun. I happily paid the $82.95 for a copy of the book, and for my dedication and photo to be included. I still have the emails with the order form in it.

I eagerly awaited the parcel, but when it arrived my story was no where to be found. I flicked through it dozens of times trying to find my story (I’d even emailed them pre-publication to confirm my order), but I wasn’t there. Upon contacting Write4Fun again they apologised for the oversight and were happy to refund my purchase of the book provided I sent the book back. They also sent me a complimentary plague with my story on it.

That Write4Fun competition is the only writing competition I’ve entered – aside from the John Marsden Young Writer’s. I’ve always thought about writing short stories, but I’ve never found the motivation.

Oh! I did enter a Dolly or Girlfriend one to win a laptop. I was very happy with my entry, but didn’t place. It is something I probably should look into more; it’s good practice and a possible “foot-in-the-door”, but I don’t have the motivation yet. I don’t possess the want. I think I’ll just stick with blog posting consistently for now, in terms of pushing my writer profile forward.

Speaking of, I am planning of scheduling a blog post for each Sunday. I figure if I type down whenever I have a brain-spiration on my phone, wherever I am, whatever time of the day, I’ll have enough content to either pre-write and schedule for Sunday, or write it out on Sunday. Hopefully then I won’t get stuck.

The reason I’m posting this today: 1) I HAD to get it out, and 2) I already have another topic worked out for the coming Sunday (MS assessment experience).


I hope the start of everyone’s week has been good! Mine has. I’m continuing to use a Weekly Planner I downloaded from The Postman’s Knock (terrific blog for anyone interested in calligraphy – speaking from a beginner’s view it’s superb). I generally do a daily “order”. E.g. 1) Wake up at 6.30am 2) Make lunch. When I mention work I use a different descriptive word of how my day should go. It might be “wonderful” or “productive” or once I even wrote “blitz work”. I find it helps to set my mood and attitude for the day.Anyway, I better skedaddle. See you all on Sunday 🙂

2 thoughts on “I Didn’t Realise I’d Been Caught By a Vanity Publisher

    1. That’s okay! It would just be a shame for children you have entered, yet only to find out to see their work in the book they have to pay. And the parents might not be able to afford it. It is misleading.

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