The story so far: 6 months of Not for Vanity

A word from our co-founder Alex Mingoni

Today I asked The Internet: “Is a 6-month business milestone worth celebrating?”. According to search engines, it is only if you are a man in a relationship (??), have employees working for you or a new born baby. Well, here at Not for Vanity we are always challenging the norm, so I thought I’d ignore digital wisdom and go with my instinct instead. I am absolutely sure you are familiar with the overwhelming sensation of your fingers itching to write (on good days at least), so here we are!

On January 18th, we’ll be celebrating six months since we announced we were “Open for Business”. By WE I mean Ella – a writer like many of you and teacher in training – and Alex, a former consultant who left the hustle and bustle of London corporate life behind to pursue something she could call her own. 

Back in July last year, we took a gamble: are people even going to listen to us? Will our voice be powerful enough to give a meaningful contribution to the indie publishing world (easy tiger…)? Our idea for Not for Vanity had been a work in progress for quite some time when we launched. It was born out of recklessness and careful research, as well as a great passion for reading, writing, and the creative industries in general. To put it simply, we felt self-published voices needed to be heard louder. We’ve always been against the concept of “vanity project”, reductive and fundamentally unfair, given how challenging it is to enter the conventional publishing world. Yes, there might be badly written books out there (personally, I would NEVER put pen to paper, I am terrible at creating stories) but in our experience, there are also so many great self-published writers it’s extremely hard to keep up.

While we are still very small, we’ve never embraced a project with such passion and dedication, so we really don’t want to stop. Have a look below to find out what we’ve been up to so far.

17 BOOK REVIEWS PUBLISHED | We read all the books we review from beginning to end. We’ve tackled 7 fiction sub-genres so far: crime, dystopian, fantasy, LGBTQ+, romance, thriller and young adults.

11 BLOG POSTS | We’ve covered a variety of topics we know our audience cares about, from writing tips and other “how to” guides to book recommendations and writing competitions.

5 SELF-PROMOTION FEATURES | A few months into our journey, we realised we wanted to give space to more authors but were unable to keep up with demand, so at the end of 2022 we launched our ‘Promotion’ page: weekly self-promotion events featuring a specific author in the form of a short interview (read this post if you’d like to be featured too!). All our features are created with the utmost care and are bespoke to each of our writers.

4 AUTHOR INTERVIEWS | We only interview authors whose books we’ve read, to create the most relevant questions and a personalised experience. We prioritise impact over cliché. 

1 DIGITAL PARTNERSHIP | We are delighted to be sponsoring “The Mr.Mike Podcast: Wrong Answers Only”. The podcast is now in its second season and welcomes a variety of guests, primarily from the education and publishing world. What we like the most about Mike’s podcasts is that they are extremely entertaining and a source of inspiration, no matter the topic. The two best spent hours of our week and something we always look forward to. Intrigued? All episodes are available here:

On a parting note…

Before Not for Vanity saw the light at the end of July, little did we know the life of a founder would be the most demanding we’ve lived so far (while juggling everything else) but also the most rewarding. As we celebrate the first six months in business, we would like to thank the authors who have trusted us with their work so far and hope we’ll be able to showcase many more in the future. Interested in being part of our journey? Get in touch at

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