As a teenager, my mother wrote a book of Christian poems and inspirational writings that her church published for her. The time it took to gather the writings together and get them to press (this was before the Internet(s) y’all) was monumental. There were too many cooks in the kitchen, too, with the pastor overseeing it all like a brutal slave driver taunting and tugging at my mother’s gentle heart.
“We want to publish your book.”
“I’m not sure if you deserve to have your book published.”
“Maybe you should just go find a publisher.”
While I could go into what a bi-polar religious experience is like, this is not the forum. Rather, my mom’s experience showed me what an ordeal self-publishing can be like. Eventually, my mother had boxes and boxes of pink books and yes, people did buy them. But she had no outlet to sell them otherwise and they sat. Every now and then, someone finds her and asks to purchase a book, but the ability to market it has been nil. My mother asked about selling it on the Internet… and that sounded unsavory to me at first and like a big pain in the butt. Until now.
In the last two years, I’ve met a few people who’ve had great success with self-publishing. One is a football coach who wrote an extremely useful book on how to play the game and published it in tangible format (i.e., ink and paper, not digital). He’s had moms who knew nothing about football read his book and come out on the other end as winning coaches. Extraordinary.
Another fellow is a successful Hollywood screenwriter who also writes nonfiction books. After several journeys along the traditional publishing route, he went digital and now offers ebooks and books in print on demand. Amazing.
It wasn’t until my agent suggested that I put my first story, A Place In This Life, on Amazon that I even considered self-publishing as a viable option. She wants my work out there and read. Not all of it – just one story and a few smaller ones (of which I have a plethora). This route allows writers like me who have essentially good stories, to get the eyes of people like you on them. You are the best advertising. As a copywriter, I know that word-of-mouth is the key to success and it’s also cost-effective. When two friends tell two more, the effect is viral.
Of course, there are wacked-out success stories a’la Stephenie Meyer in the digital publishing realm, such as Amanda Hocking, who is a millionaire because she bucked tradition and put her stuff online for sale. I don’t expect to do as well as she did, but you get the point… digital publishing is a logical step in your journey as a writer, and certainly a good way to get published and put the future in your own hands.