Self-publishing Or Self-torturing?
Carole P. Roman
published on Indie Author’s Monthly, July 2018 Issue| https://www.magzter.com/US/IndieAuthors,-LLC/Indie-Authors-Monthly/Entertainment/| https://www.indieauthorsmonthly.com
More than twenty years ago, I tried to publish a book under my real name. I was even represented by the famous Hollywood agency, H.N. Swanson. It was one of the most exciting years of my life.
The book made the rounds of all the romance publishers, and finally, after a year of rejections, the agent returned it to me with his best wishes.
Undeterred I found a vanity press and for a sum of money, was able to fulfill my dream and publish the book. It’s still available on Amazon, and occasionally I visit to check it’s multi-million placed rank. Still, it felt like an achievement. I have two hundred copies of the book for friends and family, and I ticked one more thing off my bucket list.
Then came, CreateSpace and the indie revolution. All of a sudden, I found myself the author of over fifty books in all different genres and two pen names.
Fiction or nonfiction, I have put my heart and soul into the four series I created. I marketed my son’s books because I believed in them and Amazon made the eye of the needle increasing harder to squeeze through.
So, the question is, do we do it for love or for money? Why do we continue to produce books that barely sell enough to pay for a day on Bargain Booksy or other online book clubs? Do we throw in the towel and give up the dreams or continue producing books?
I am on the phone or internet daily with disappointed writers saddened by the lack of sales or that breakthrough moment. They rage, then cry bittersweet tears that ‘this will be the last book I write.’ Yet, an idea comes, and they are tapping away on their laptops giving it another go.
Maybe we should take the focus off the monetary aspect of it and think of it as an investment in us?
Finding time to write is the same as finding time to exercise, or go shopping, or even sit on the phone for the night with a friend. I see it as a luxury; something intensely personal, perhaps even selfish because as the lynchpin of the family, when I write I become unavailable.
Writing is solitary, and sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to that real‘me’ time. Sometimes, being alone with your own words is the best therapy in the world.
Writing leaves an imprint of who you are. It’s a gift to your children, or friends, or even a stranger, saying you were here and this is what you were thinking at the time. It’s a diary of your life, your thought process, and perhaps an example of your brilliance.
It’s a thumbprint frozen in a moment, a snapshot of you for all posterity. Who knows, when aliens come to visit this planet, it might just be your book they download to understand humanity.
Your words may be the gateway for an ‘ah ha’ moment, or they might become the lifeline to someone in need of one.
Taking money out of the equation changes self-publishing. It makes it a lifetime achievement, rather than a measure of financial success. If you are going to write, do it because you love it, do it to leave a piece of yourself, do it for fun, joy, or even a personal release.
If you write it, someone will read it, and that alone, my fellow author is a triumph.
Are there any greater rewards than that?