The decision to self-publish did not come easy to me, neither did it come after tons of rejections, since I stopped myself from sending queries, after sending one. I realized that more than anything else, I had to define what I wanted out of my love for writing, before going forward. I knew that I was not doing it for money (for most writers, there’s none in it), or to become a famous author one day … One thing that I knew for sure was that I loved to write, and it seemed that I could do that forever, if the opportunity to turn that passion into a career path presented itself. Why choose to self publish without even making a real attempt at publishing a novel by going through the usual channels and motion? It all came down to Creative Control.
Having control over the entire process, and not having to depend on others to decide how or when the story came out matched my working style, work ethics, and personality. In addition, I never understood why someone who never gave birth to the story would understand it in a deeper level, enough to change parts of it (I’m not talking here about fixing gaps, and other valuable efforts/work of editors and the traditional industry in general). I wanted the opportunity to craft the entire project, learn from it, and grow from it and with it. The decision to self-publish was clear only after I understood that all I wanted was to have creative control if writing was going to be something that I would want to do for the long run, and possibly for the rest of my life.
I was aware that it would be a long, slow and tedious process, tons of work, and an exhausting venture, that is, if I was going to do it the right way, and not in a hurry to publish in digital or in print. The need for getting published fast was not even an issue, when I considered the facts and information. However, the need to control the process, the schedule, the dates, the story, the deadlines, the art, the release … and all the other issues that go along with it was what I seem to long for the more I thought about the issue.
I have read about self-published authors who after selling many of their books successfully, have signed up with a well-known publisher. I totally understand the need of having people taking care of the small details, sites, emails, and putting together a book … all that is a ton of work, and very difficult to do for one person, especially if that author has become a best-selling author; besides, it robs from the main purpose, which is writing the story, and many more stories to come. So while creative control is a wonderful concept, it doesn’t come easy, and in an ideal scenario, the best of both worlds would be the “perfect balance,” if there is such a thing. For now, I am very happy to have found my “balance” for the moment, and that is to have been able to understand and finally, make the decision of releasing my piled up novels in 2013. In doing so, I go with the confidence and peace of mind that it is the right path for me and the decision has not been rushed by any external factors.
Are you unsure of which path to take with your writing endeavor? Are you torn between traditional venues and the rapidly evolving self-publishing industry? Is this the only thing stopping you? For me, it was, but once I understood what I wanted from my writing, the path became clear. Ask yourself this question, “What do I want from my writing?”