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.
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.
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!)