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The changing road to publication

standard June 26, 2012 12 responses

The books all call to me from beyond the glass wall. I shift my heavy backpack onto a more comfortable spot on my shoulders and step into the airport bookstore.

The last thing I need is more books, but I can never resist the the colorful covers and the smell of new books.  I browse my way through the store. Titles catch my eye and I pick up books, read the blurbs on the back, flip through a few pages, put them down again.

I love books. I love bookstores. I love seeing stories laid out so enticingly. I love the whole experience of being in a bookstore. And, until this past week, part of that love came from the intense desire to one day see my own books on “staff favorites” tables one day.

I may never see my book on this table. I’m ok with that though.

As I wander through the small airport store I let the daydream I’ve nurtured for years, the actual dream I’ve been working towards for 5 years take over for a minute. I picture a traveler doing exactly what I’ve been doing, picking up books at random, until she finally flips through the pages of my book, smiles with anticipation, and moves to the check-out desk.

I’ve pictured this scene so many times. I’ve dreamed it, wished it so hard. And yet, this past week, I’ve started to consider killing the dream.

I’m not contemplating doing away with my hopes to see others reading my book. I’m just contemplating changing the method of delivery. I’m considering self publishing my book on Amazon.

Now, let’s be clear here. I know full well the spiel people give about traditional publishing trumping self publishing.  In fact, I’ve given it over and over and over again. There is a certain cachet of authenticity that comes with being traditionally published. You have made it. Others, people who know what they are doing, have deemed you worthy of joining the ranks of the elite.

If you self publish you remain a wannabe author, one who isn’t quite good enough to make it to the big leagues. One who didn’t try quite hard enough to jump through the hoops. One who took the easy road out.

Not so any more.

I believe that story is finally changing. Much like the musicians who first said it to the big record labels, writers are finally calling bullshit. Some great writers have finally decided to stop letting ancient hallowed institutions tell us if we’re worthy of being read. These writers have decided to let the readers decide for themselves.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the type to usually rely on external validation of any kind. So really, I’m not sure why I’ve given credence to the ‘only big name publishers should decide who can and can’t be read’ myth for so long.

I love the story I’ve written. I love the characters I’ve invented. And while I’m terrified to stray from what I’ve always told myself was the end goal, I’m coming to realize that I had the wrong goal in mind the whole time.

The end goal wasn’t ever to just be published, the end goal always was to make my book available to readers so that they could come to love these characters as much as I do. The realization is mind blowing. Being freed from this weird obsession with what I thought was the goal is rocking my world.

I left the airport bookstore empty handed. When I reached my gate I set down my backpack and pulled out my iPad. Within minutes I had purchased and sent to my Kindle app two books recommended by a friend. I didn’t stop to first check to see who had published them. I just smiled and dove into the story, just like one day readers will dive into mine.

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12 responses

  • More power to you! There are many many authors who are switching to self published ebooks. With Amazon’s CreateSpace, there is no reason to sign on with a publisher. Especially now that so few do any promotion for you. Holler if you need any help 🙂

  • This is such an important statement: “The end goal wasn’t ever to just be published, the end goal always was to make my book available to readers so that they could come to love these characters as much as I do.”

    Very excited for your new direction!

  • I think self-publishing is fine and I’ve read stories about people who are doing quite well from their self-published Kindle titles.

    Oh, and a thumbs-up to Luz’s comment.

    Good luck!

  • I can’t wait to read your book.

  • I have read quite a few self published books and loved them! Can’t wait to read your book. Cheers to you for going against the norm to realize your dream.

  • Once you get that book on Amazon, (and it literally will take less than 30 minutes) we’ll promote you all over. Because THAT’S the other key.

    Imagine all that will be so excited to read your story!!

  • Actually, I wasn’t thinking about CreateSpace…you could go straight to Kindle, which is what I was referring to the less than 30 minutes to publish.

  • I used to think traditional publishing or bust. it’s so not like that anymore. so i say…GO FOR IT! you’re a writer, an amazing one. you don’t need the validation of an agent or a publishing house! you’ll rock the amazon world!

  • It’s crazy, isn’t it!!?? There is no shame in self publishing anymore. Which I think is AWESOME! Good luck to you.

  • Reading through this just made me smile bigger & bigger. And like Heather said we will all be there for you for support & promoting.

  • This was fantastic. I love it. I’ve had a similar dream, but it is so true. Sometimes dreams have to change with the way the world is changing. You’ll do what works for you – ya know? I’m excited FOR you with the direction you’re headed and I look forward to watching you shine! 🙂

  • I hope you do. I will most certainly read it!

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