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Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

So You Want to Self Publish? Entry # 3 – Getting to the ‘Why’ of the matter: Understanding your motivations for Self Publishing.

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While I am no expert on Self Publishing, I can say with absolute certainty that – when it comes to Self Publishing, we are all driven by something – motivated by that one thing that brought us to this very moment: the moment when our visions became more than just living under the shadow of Big Business and Traditional Publishing, when the thought of true independence begged those first questions, keeping us awake long after we hit the bed: what’s in it for me? How do I begin? Where do I begin? Can I do this? Am I good enough? Do I have a good enough product? How do I stack up against the competition?

     Having spent many years trying to get a good and decent grasp of what life adventure I am preparing for...I get that funny shiver down in my bones somewhere when considering the Self Publishing route. And though I am working directly from years of research, (having not actually published any of my work) I have to say that I am quite excited. Although I do not expect everyone to be excited, I can imagine those little bright flashes lighting up at the thought of owning and running your own business, of being the star of your own real life adventure on the way to “YOU,” of holding the title of Entrepreneur, Writer...Author. I don’t know about you,’s those fresh images that make me run wild with excitement!

     While I can’t begin to guess your reasons for Self Publishing, I can only venture to say that it is likely that, first and foremost...passion for your idea and a sound belief in yourself and your work plays a big part. I think you should consider yourself... (Lucky is not the word that I am looking for despite it being the first word to pop up in my mind.) No, luck plays very little when it comes to answering those questions that batter our minds about Self Publishing. Perhaps it would be best to say that I think you should consider yourself...naturally inclined.

     I say naturally inclined because...well, while it is certainly natural to want our work published – to see our books on bookshelves and in the hands of an audience, it is even more natural to first take a look at our works and see and perhaps consider the very thought that we very well may be holding the next best seller. Or perhaps you’re thinking that a child in the first grade would be inspired by the happy colourful message in your words and pictures, heck...maybe you’re just putting together an old scrapbook and wish to have it put together in a “Family” book, maybe you have a work that can make the difference to a small group, community, or...quite possibly...millions of people.

     I know that the very idea that you are considering Self Publishing is this, solid and concrete: that you are curious about it, curious about yourself, perhaps wondering of your own limits, playing with those little questions that brought you here: Is this what I want to do? Is this the right thing for me? Am I feeling it? That you are here reading this, means you have passed that point of idea, into a more reasonable place where those first images might grant passage: early morning coffee, at home in your pajamas, on the bed, a finished product within reach, your name and a cover of your very own design seeming to wink at you.

     In these images, I’m usually sitting in front of neat piles of books that I will be laboriously signing all the day through, while keeping in contact with various people, working on sales and making contacts and breaking into new networks. And for some reason I am always lounging on the sofa looking god-awfully lazy. Still...I can actually picture this! For me, personally - and I mean not to sway you in any way, no...I mean only to share with you my own motivations for going this route – I have to say that inside my brain, deep down in my mind, so far engraved in my blood that I almost breathe Self Publishing...I know that this is what I want to do. Without a doubt. And while Self Publishing may not be for everybody, the fact is that there are more writers publishing themselves than ever before.

     I think that those writers who took matters into their own hands and became Self Publishers simply got tired of the suffering length of time to have a finished product in their hands, the endless rejections, the overlooking of quality work to lesser more sellable and marketable names. I think that the idea of having their works edited, cut, chopped, sliced and changed so much – that by having their works messed with, perhaps taking away from the message therein, was enough to have them consider a different avenue.

     Some writers – those beasts like me (lolz) do it for personal gain, and for me has little to do with money, no... That being said, I won’t lie to you, the money...I love that too, but...really, what motivates me personally is the very idea of fame. It is a simple need to have my ego boosted, to have my message read. Another part of me yearns for my name to be out there; people running their fingers over my Book, of opening the pages and falling in love with my characters...having my fans beg for more. The one thing that drives me above all things though, is that I have a story that I absolutely need to share. And I would probably just fall over and die of I couldn’t do it my way according to my very own specifications.

     Also it would seriously amazing to have people whisper about me in little circles, “That guy’s a writer. I hear he’s the new...” well, you get the point.  

     So...while your reason for wanting to take the Self Publishing route may be shrouded in mystery, there is no real mystery in understanding that there are certainly those typical reasons, those most common reasons that hold the most obvious allure. For a business minded person at heart, the motivation would most likely sit in the regions of financial gain. For the open-minded ‘spirited’ writer with a work to share, a story she/he must absolutely tell somebody – anybody...I’m guessing that the motivation in this sense would sit in the realm of personal gain, and perhaps a little boost for the heart and soul, maybe even the ego. For the dreamer, those special people with machinations of making a difference...the motivation would most likely reside in a place deeper down, where financial gain and personal power means very little.

     I all this...I am just trying to understand and take a really good look at why people would want to do this, why they would want to invest so much, work so hard, put so much effort into a business when there are no guarantees.  And after thinking long and hard about it I can only surmise that the people who do take on this venture have a deep trust in their abilities as writers and business people with level heads and a confident idea. Whatever reason is driving you, whatever motivations, whether it be one particular one or a slew of them, understand that, other people are doing it every day. Why not you?

     Without diving into the heavy stuff, wishing to keep it loose for now, leaving the technical aspects at the door - it was my intention in this entry to help you ask yourself those tough questions that we as writers with interests of Publishing, Promoting and Selling our own works, need to confront before any good plan can be laid. And for my own safety and benefit let me say that, (anyone with experience in this field wishing to add to this blog would help immensely.)

     As an unpublished writer planning to embark on my own Self Publishing adventure sometime in the spring of 2012, I am always doing my best to learn from every possible angle on this and would appreciate any tips, pointers, advice, etc. And though I have been seriously interested in Self Publishing for the past few years, learning all that I could from a multitude of sources (mostly as a hobby with writing a book in mind) I am still quite receptive to advice and a friendly steer in the right direction. I hope you have found your own motivation/s. I hope you have come to learn even the slightest tick about yourself.

In My next Entry (# 4) I will be taking a look at the many titles and job positions we as writers take on the moment we enter this new Self Publishing Chapter in our lives; from the beginning; those first few moments that we become writers, somehow leaving the mortal world behind for wonderful new adventures, taking on new transformations, becoming imaginative, expressive beasts, immersed in beauty and grace and darkness and terror, the blood of hope and despair, sunny days and stormy nights running through our Self Publishing veins. (Sorry...I got a little carried away there, lolz!) I hope I helped you in at least one little way. Happy

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