Self-publishing is risky. Without a publishing house behind the release of a new book, how do we know whether or not it’s worth our time and money? It all comes down to what the author brings to the table; the platform upon which she declares herself an expert in something, known for something, and therefore worthy of a purchase.
I self-published my first book after a decade of rejections from agents and publishers. I rewrote, edited, and studied my writing. I read what’s popular and what isn’t to determine the difference between what people buy and what they reject. After hundreds of dollars spent on writing conferences, travel expenses, ink and paper, I have the equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing. Now I’m moving on to a degree in Marketing.
An amateur author believes that once the story is written, the job is done. Typing in that last word is crossing one finish line and entering another race of editing and revisions. Just when you think you have a perfect story, the race becomes a fight for survival to find an agent or publisher. Professional Authors, whether they are self- or tradtionally published, must strap on good running shoes and get out into the world to do their own marketing. As an Amatuer Perfectionist, I’m wearing cleats and ripping the sod, seeking locations outside of Amazon.com to sell my book, and adding another foundation to my platform.
Self-Publishing has given me an audience, a sense of professionalism, and a clear means to determine my effectiveness as a writer and a marketing agent. I’ve created my own sell sheets, flyers for guest speaking, and introduced myself to librarians, school teachers, bookstore owners and readers. I wouldn’t have done that without my book and the encouragement it brings. And yes! I feel encouraged by my self-published book. It’s receiving 5 star reviews on Amazon.
Now that I’m in this fickle business of literature and entertainment, I must remain focused on the long-term objective by side-stepping the little plops of discouragement along the way. I’m making the slow transition from writer to author, from unknown to having-potential, from ‘selling my books out of the trunk of my car’ to bookstores. If self-publishing is a mistake, then I’ve learned more from my mistake than I thought possible. And I would do it again.
I don’t know ifGatewayswill ever be more than a self-published book. What I do know is that I loved writing it and I love re-reading it. It’s being recieved well by readers I don’t know. I’ve learned a great deal about writing, editing, revising, formatting, and marketing. What more could I want?
Am I a professional mistake-maker or an amateur perfectionist?
The answer: Yes to both. It’s a must.