My Very Own Paradigm Shift (Self Publishing)

Self-publishing is for losers.

Self-publishing is for people who call themselves writers but are really, as my friend Kenneth hilariously said, harlots of the written word. Self-publishing is for folks who want to make a quick buck and think writing is the way to do it. It’s for self-absorbed narcissists who want to see their name in print. It’s for people who think they can bypass the time-honored traditions of agents and editors and publishing houses and book deals.

Or, at least, that’s what I’ve always thought.

Remember when I said I want to get published and then I was all like wait, nevermind? Some major heart and head work happened between those two posts. I realized that approval (the bad kind) played a big role in my desires to become a published author. I also had a baby between August 2013 and May 2014. My time got drastically limited. My priorities changed. In many ways, I had to rethink my writing goals.

thoughts on self publishing

If you’re a bit Type A like me, you’ll know all this idea changing is bothersome. I like to stick to my guns. I want to make a plan and execute the plan. I get a bit unnerved when the plan changes. Needless to say as I’ve worked out my thoughts on publishing, I have been a bit creatively angsty. (Deep apologies to my husband!)

It comes down to this.

Whereas before I thought self-publishing was for chumps, I now see its merits in a new light if only for this single reason:

I don’t need a publisher to tell me my writing is good, I need my readers to tell me my writing is good.

Before you think I’m jockeying for approval again, let me explain. I write firstly for God’s glory, secondly for your good, and thirdly to help me figure things out. Readers, I want you to be well served by my words. Whether it’s by making you laugh, think, cry, ponder, or marvel – I want you to come away from reading what I’ve written knowing your time has been well spent.

To serve you well, I have to effectively deliver the work to you. If my work doesn’t serve you well, it won’t get read no matter how its published. If you don’t resonate with the words, it really doesn’t matter where you read them.

If my writing is quality, it’ll be just as effective whether traditionally published or self-published.

Here are a few other reasons I’m thinking more highly of self-publishing these days:

  • Self-publishing allows me to control more of my content and, personally, I learn the best when I can get my hands dirty trying out new things.
  • Publishers, to my surprise, actually don’t help writers with the marketing of their work as much as I first thought. Authors still are doing most of the legwork to get their books in front of people.
  • Furthermore, I’ve been self-publishing ever since I started blogging in 2008. Every time I hit ‘publish’ that’s me, myself, publishing something.

So there it is, folks. My great paradigm shift. As it turns out, self-publishing isn’t for chumps or narcissists. It is actually a wonderful tool that the Digital Age has provided for writers, thinkers, artists, and creatives who want to spread their work. When done well, self-publishing can be just as effective (if not more so) as traditional publishing. Breaking down stereotypes, right here. You’re welcome.

Why am I suddenly interested in self-publishing you ask? Stay tuned 🙂

My favorite self-publishing resources:

Blogger Amy Lynn Andrews has a fantastic series called Why I Turned Down A Book Deal.

This interview from Jeff Goins with Guy Kawasaki about self-publishing.

This article about self-publishing from CNET.

Amazon’s CreateSpace service, their YouTube channel.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing? Have you been historically prejudiced against self-publishing, or do you think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread? Have you self-published anything? (If so, please share in the comments!)

13 Comments

  1. Julie Oxendine on July 8, 2014 at 10:01 am

    My Step Grandfather and Step cousin have both self published. Good luck and will be awaiting to purchase your first book.

  2. Stella on July 8, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Did you know you can self publish a kindle book for free through Amazon Prime?They also publish to print for a really small fee. Kindle books earn 70% gratuity and print books earn 80%

    I can’t wait to read your book!

    • Victoria Wilson on July 8, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Yes! I’m looking into using Amazon’s CreateSpace service 🙂 And thanks for your support as always, dear friend!

  3. Catherine on July 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Good for you, Victoria! I love how you put yourself out there and I love watching you grow (much the same way as you have watched me grow in my writing). Quite honestly, I never really wanted to send my children’s book to a publisher, it seemed too big and scary…that’s the truth. Also, my long time friend of 25 years already self-published a children’s book and in some ways I feel like she’s holding my hand through the process. I don’t think I’d get any hand holding from a publisher. Self-publishing means that this is MY work and I’M the one whose going to stand behind it. From beginning to end it is ours. I like that.

  4. Sarah m on July 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I really loved your post–I definitely had the same stereotypes. I also agree on the blog publishing point. It’s hard because part of me really WANTS that book deal. I worked in a big chain bookstore for years and I saw (early adopters) self published books look like. I need to acquaint myself with more current self-published books. I wonder if I could tell the difference now. Probably not.
    I was also pretty surprised to learn that authors have to do most of the work to get their books out into the world, unless they’re an author celebrity. I remember hearing Tsh’s podcast about writing a book, and thinking it was helpful.
    Sarah M

    • Victoria Wilson on July 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      I also listened to Tsh’s podcast about book writing! With Emily, right? (Because clearly we’re on a first-name basis! lol) I think the gamechanger for me was realizing that publishers really don’t do as much marketing as I first assumed. And yet, who doesn’t want that big book deal?

  5. sarah beth on July 8, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I’m staying tuned…and I’ll be writing a same-but-different post soon…… 😉

    • Victoria Wilson on July 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Thank you Sarah! Really looking forward to your post, as I look forward to all of your posts!

  6. Emily Jean Roche on July 8, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I am still crossing my fingers for the traditionally published track. There’s just something appealing about having a professional editor who is financially invested in the sales of my book.

    • Victoria Wilson on July 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Crossing my fingers for you, Emily! And I don’t think I’m totally “over” traditional publishing, just wanted to give self-publishing a try 🙂

  7. Scot on July 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I’ve proofread books for a couple of self-publishing friends and feel like when they hit it big, I can say I knew them when….

    One of my favorite new books from the past couple of years was offered through Kindle for 99 cents. The book got so much praise that it was picked up by a major publisher. http://www.amazon.com/The-Martian-Novel-Andy-Weir/dp/0804139024/

    Can’t wait to hear more about your new publication!

    • Victoria Wilson on July 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks for that angle Scot 🙂 It’s really refreshing to see how this process *can* work out (if the writing is quality, the author knows how to market, enough people read the book, and so on).

      Hope to share more soon!

  8. Get Over Yourself | Victoria's Ramblings on October 2, 2014 at 6:17 am

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