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One Thing I Love About Self-Publishers

I meet a lot of self-published authors at the library. Generally it’s when they’re trying to get their books into the collection and they want to know exactly how they can submit their work.

Sometimes the books are great, sometimes they’re not, sometimes they can added to the collection, sometimes they don’t. (this of course applies to traditionally published books as well)

But there is something I admire about everyone who has self-published a book:

They finished it. They wrote a book. It went beyond talk.

Lots of people want to talk about writing. They want your promise that you’ll read their book when it’s done, or your approval that yes, the idea is a great one. Not everyone who talks about writing, or who has a great idea, is willing to sit down and actually write.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion about self-publishing, a book that has been written has a better chance of being found than a book that only exists in someone’s head and dreams.

Maybe you have the greatest idea ever. Maybe it would get a 10 million dollar advance as the publishing houses tore each other apart in their eagerness to acquire it.

If you don’t write it, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t write it, all of the “self-published garbage” you hear about still has a better chance and better visibility.

Whatever my opinions about writing/publishing are, if you’ve self-published something and I can’t ever make myself sit down and write, there’s a lot I could learn from you.

If you’re a self-publisher looking for ideas and encouragement, A Newbie’s Guide To Publishing is a great start.

Thoughts? How many of you are trying to write, publish, or self-publish a book? Let’s talk.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eric West | Friendship Society June 4, 2013, 2:26 pm

    I self published a book on Amazon Kindle. It’s called “Set Your Sleep on Autopilot” http://www.amazon.com/Set-Your-Sleep-Autopilot-ebook/dp/B008DVCHIG. It about learning to fall asleep quickly and easily. I used to struggle to get to sleep and found some good techniques to overcome that problem. I wanted to share my story and the techniques, so I wrote the book.

    Writing and publishing seemed to be the easy part, getting people to see it and buy has been more difficult for me.

  • Lisa Kerr June 5, 2013, 10:03 am

    I agree, Josh. Writing is hard work and figuring out how to turn an idea into a book that will work is even harder work. I’ve been writing almost daily for the past few years and have had a lot of ups and downs, but I’m learning by doing the work. Anne Rice has some simple advice for writers. She says something like “write and write and write and then write some more.” Ultimately, blogging was the thing that triggered a daily writing habit for me because I was passionate about the story and the subject, but I think many people have a hard time finding that thing (story, subject, character, etc.), the spark that makes them run to the page over and over again. Until they find that it’s hard to sit down and do the work.

    I’ve been working with authors in the past year and many of them have self-published or are planning to. A lot of them are self-taught and I’m impressed by the manuscripts that turn up over and over that are really good. Most of them get stuck on finding people to buy the books, like Eric West said. I think it’s hard for a lot of people to find readers who will buy books, but it’s even harder to be the author, publisher and the publicist. I see quite a few of them start up a website or blog or get on social media and it’s working for them. It’s a slow process but it feels good to find your readers.

  • Tom Southern June 8, 2013, 3:12 am

    Books are about writing, not talking – nail hit, Josh! Writing is hard, talking about it seems to make the process easier, but it doesn’t. It just makes it harder. But, nothing worth creating is easy.

    “Maybe you have the greatest idea ever. … If you don’t write it, it doesn’t matter.” – Never a truer word.

    Cheers for the inspiration, Josh.

  • Daisy June 12, 2013, 11:42 am

    Time is money and money is time – and I don’t have enough of either. The book manuscript is 60% written, and the proposal is ready. We’ve had four rejections (all polite and personal). Now: we don’t have the money to publish indie, and we don’t have the time to continue submitting continuously.

    I’m not complaining; I’m simply stating the challenges we’re facing as we market “Educating Amigo: Blindness, Asperger’s, and Alphabet Soup.”