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Do what?  I "indie-published" two of my books.


I know, fellow writer, I know.  It's been called things like "vanity" publishing because the author thinks so highly of himself that (s)he just wants to get the thing printed.  I get it.  And yes, you probably heard me make some snide comment about some of the authors that we BOTH know that self-published, and about how that was self-serving.  Guilty.  


But these are the three reasons why I did it.  I'm not telling you to do it, it's just what finally convinced me after years of chasing the "traditional" side of things and trying every trick I knew to get in front of the "right" people.  And you know what?  That actually leads me to my first reason...

1.  I realized I had a misunderstanding of who the "right people" are.
Literary agents, right?  I mean, they are the ones who initially believe in your work, give some helpful advice, then hit the ground running and sell, sell, sell!  They negotiate crazy royalty contracts and get them into the movies and foreign markets.  They do, but that doesn't mean they are the "right people" to see your work.  Then editors, right?  I mean, they pour over every part of the manuscript and make it shiny, crisp, and perfect.  Editors are awesome.  But for me, they weren't the "right people."  Acquisitions people.  Managers.  Podcast hosts.  Bloggers.  All of these are good, but ultimately, who are the "right people" to look at my book?  Readers.  I finally decided that I just had to get my work in front of readers.  I was "saving" the goods for when a lightning bolt would hit and an acquisitions editor would somehow raise my worn manuscript from a slushpile, read it in one sitting, and run -- though tears of joy clouded his eyes -- down the publisher's hallway and burst unannounced into a meeting with the executives.  And he would cry, "Stop the presses!  I've found our next blockbuster!"  No.  So I realized that these first two are just that -- the FIRST TWO.  I have more.  If I get READERS to like the first two, then I'm doing something right.  I'm building an audience.  Then I keep writing and the demand will come.  Then, if enough of the RIGHT PEOPLE pull more out of me -- I can shop agents instead of them shopping me.


2.  I Realized that we have all the tools available to us.
This realization came when watching (or rewatching, rather) J.J. Abram's Ted Talk on the Mystery Box.  It's a good one.  Check it out.  Especially his Star Wars fandom reference years before he would direct Episode 7.  Anyway, he said something very simple.  His premise was that we have no limitations to putting our content out.  What was impossible to do even ten years ago in filmmaking (because of the lack of cameras, editing equipment, visual effects, etc) is now ALL possible.  Anyone can create anything and show it to...well...everyone.  Ding.  Sorry, that was a light bulb sound over my head.  Yours may sound different.  Some weird flicker-buzz.  I don't know.  Anyway, that simple truth in film is the same with publishing.  This may sound like a Createspace commercial...but dude.  Seriously.  I uploaded files.  Slapped a cover together that I thought looked cool.  Approved it.  Now it's PRINT. ON. DEMAND.  Are you kidding me?  Janet Worthington in Topeka Kansas orders ONE copy of Redbird, and it gets printed just for her?  That's freaking crazy.  So to get my books to the "right people," I have a free channel to distribute that costs me nothing.  Yes, writing is hard, and yes marketing is hard, blah blah blah.  I just think it's amazing that I have the means to get my work to my audience without waiting for a publisher to stop selling Amish Romances for enough time to take a chance on a Y.A. Adventure book with a weird and fantastic twist.  So thanks, Createspace.  You'll end up on an acknowledgement page someday.


and finally...


3.  I realized I was being a chicken.


Rejection sucks.  We all know it.  I think I was probably just afraid that if I went ahead and put my stuff out there, people might not like it.  I guess I wanted the "traditional publisher" to be some kind of validation that my work was good enough.  Something like that.  I don't know.  So when I actually convinced myself that I would just go ahead and publish -- I did this:  Started with e-books.  Went outside my circle a little bit.  You know the circle -- Mom and a couple of people who always think you're awesome.  (Don't think I don't appreciate it, Mom.)  Anyway, I got the e-book into some hands that I could trust to give me REAL feedback.  Even a couple negative reviews.  Asked them to tell me when they got bored.  When they put it down.  When they didn't care what happened to the characters.  When finding out who Jordy's dad really is no longer mattered.  (No spoilers here, sorry.)  They told me.  I did some tweaks.  Got a few more pieces of feedback.  Then, based on some trusted people telling me that I really DID have something there and that they would actually buy the book and recommend it...I stopped being a chicken and put it on paper and slapped a binding on it.


Now the journey really begins.  


You know what, writer?  This will hopefully work for me.  Not sure if it will work for you -- but please.  For the sake of all that is holy.  Don't sit on your stuff because of the reasons I did.  Get it to the right people somehow, because we really have the ability to.  And don't be a chicken.  I'll bet you're a better writer than you give yourself credit for.


*****


If you're interested in getting Jessub's books, you can get them HERE. 


 


Comments

07/12/2016 9:03am

Just like you, I'm procrastinating as well. Probably, I'm too scared to pursue writing as a career or too busy to start. I started writing when I was in 6th grade as a feature writer in our campus paper and then it stop. Right now, I write more business emails than articles or stories. Someday, when my fast pace environment slows down I'll start writing and I hope it's not too late.

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06/14/2017 5:19am

It will always take time to see the things we did. In life there are lots of things that will come along our way, it's either good or tough. We all know that all the things that we are experiencing has its own reason and meaning why did they come to us, with that we need to recognize how to handle every single thing. Those things might also serve to distinguish the things we want, and who we really are. I am happy that you had your realizations, as I said it will not always good nor bad. This is a good article, because we can likewise learn from it.

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I also call myself a chicken because I get scared of doing things. I hate taking risks because I never liked to lose anything. I want to be able to do things when I am one hundred percent sure that it will work so I find it hard to take risks. But I also made a pact with myself that I just have to do it because I may never get another chance to do so. Even though I am always afraid that it will turn out to be different than what I had hoped, I am now more courageous and willing to take risks.

09/06/2016 9:44pm

I also had dreams of writing a book and getting published. I wanted to make it my profession. I want to write, I want to tell a story through the power of the written language. I'm done with the first draft of my novel and it's currently in the editing phase and I too would like to self-publish it. Why? A lot of my friends recommended me to do it because I'd get the money fully. I'm doing it via self-publishing because I think it's more self-fulfilling for my part. I just write for the sake of being.

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06/08/2017 10:37pm

I find your blog amusing. It amuses me because that's how life is. We are not perfect beings made by God. You are not the only one experiencing such things. I also had misunderstandings of who the "right people" are. I admit that because it always happens to me. I always get confused if who is who. So, don't worry, these realizations of yours serves as your life lessons. Just continue with the way how you live your life and don't worry about your shortcomings and mistakes.

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