This morning, in one of the Facebook groups I follow, I saw a post, reminding authors about the (primarily monetary) risks involved in self-publishing a book. I’ll show you what was posted, and then share with you my impressions. The post read:
“Have you calculated how much you might spend to self-publish your book?
It was difficult for me to clearly understand if the writer of this post was working to encourage authors to have a clear and realistic expectation of what self-publishing costs, and make sure that they knew what they were getting into before they began… offering them a supportive “checklist of preparedness”.
Or, was the writer of the post trying to persuade authors that self (we call it Independent) publishing was the wrong solution? There wasn’t any additional commentary to go with this list, so it was difficult to fully understand the intent of the writer. The post could certainly be interpreted either way.
I sat for a moment, and re-read the post about four times. Sometimes contemplating such things without adequate cocoa first thing in the morning can be challenging for me. But after ruminating on the list for a little bit, this thought came to me…
I have gained so many things in life, because I chose to Independently publish my books over the past ten years. The gains I have realized, I feel, are incalculable.
So, out of my experience as a self-published author, and a mentor to others who choose that path, I postulated from a different point of view.
Have you calculated what it might cost to NOT self-publish your book?
1. The death of a dream because the threat of a financial loss got in the way of creative possibility.
How many times have we stopped doing something we were passionate about simply because there was a financial investment, and a risk of losing money? Is the money really more important to us than realizing a dream?
2. Lost opportunities to lead by example and encourage others.
How often do we simply pay lip service to the “I have a dream” ideals, but ignore our own opportunity? Do we lead by example, even though it may be risky, and thereby encourage others to do the same… or do we play it safe and rip from their eyesight the chance to see what could be, if only they follow their passion?
3. Invalidation of a network of professionals who specialize in supporting authors.
How might we be invalidating the work of others who support the brave ones who do walk the tenuous line to Independently publish? If we say “don’t do it, don’t take the risk, you’ll lose too much money;” aren’t we also saying, "those who are offering to help you aren’t really professionals, and can’t provide the services you need with integrity and excellence?"
4. Missed opportunities to meet new friends (and perhaps fans) at shops, conventions, fairs, and festivals.
Is everything we do truly connected to the almighty dollar, so intrinsically that we cannot see the benefit of taking the time to cultivate new friends, colleagues, and perhaps fans through our creative works? Do we truly want to sacrifice the value community offers to our personal growth because the decimal point is in the wrong place?
5. Nagging resentment from the “if only I had…” voice in your head.
Once a dream or a goal is forsaken, can we ever justify the resentment we feel as acceptable collateral damage in lieu of maintaining a targeted bank balance? When meeting the implacable wall of a finite existence, will we be comforted, knowing that the choice we made not to Independently publish saved a few percentage points on our portfolio?
6. The lost potential for revenue because you lacked the courage to try.
If we never plant seeds, if we never focus on a goal, if we never invest the sweat equity, how can we ever expect to realize success? For those who never ask the question, the answer will always be ‘no’. For those who never invest, the bank balance will never see remarkable growth.
Is following the dream of Independent Publication easily attainable and/or inexpensive? No.
But for me, it is priceless.
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