Most authors dream of writing a book, pitching it to a big publishing house, getting it in bookstores, and going on a worldwide book tour. While this path is awesome, I’ve never been a traditional person (although I’d never say no to a book signing event.)
No matter what you do in life, you’re bound to catch some flack for it, and I certainly have on my decision to self-publish my first poetry collection, Brave Little Bones. While I have been over the moon happy about my choice, others… not so much.
Self-publishing has become increasingly popular with the ease of gaining an audience through social media, online promotions, and other forms of DIY marketing. Yet, some still seem unimpressed with this publishing option.
I want to shed light on my decision to self-publish and raise awareness for a platform some of you content creators may never have considered. These are some of the reasons I chose to self-publish.
I have full creative freedom.
For me, this was the biggest benefit of self-publishing. As a writer, I battle a tremendous amount of self-doubt. Posting my poetry online is hard enough, but permanently printing my words into a book? That takes an extra dose of creative confidence. I want to make sure my book is 100% what I always hoped it to be. If that doesn’t fit with a publishing house, that’s fine. It’s enough for me and that’s what I’m going to be proud to put my name on.
I get to set my own timeline.
With being in school, having a part-time job, running a blog, and trying to have a social life, sticking to a strict book deadline would have sucked the joy out of writing. I wanted to enjoy the process rather than rushing through it. With this collection being a memoir, I was able to give myself emotional time-outs and time to reflect and edit my work. This was invaluable to me.
I built an audience before my book’s creation.
One of the hardest questions you ask yourself when starting to write a book is “Will anyone want to buy it?” Luckily for me, I know some will because of the amount of eyes my poetry has already been in front of. I’ve been posting my poetry on Tumblr for almost 2 years and am extremely blessed by the community I’ve built there. It was not in my plan to write a book, especially at 21, but here I am. When you’ve got the audience, passion, and inspiration, go for it.
I’m not in it for the money.
I realize this might make me sound like a cheeseball, but I truly mean it. I wouldn’t even be writing this book if it weren’t for my Tumblr followers saying they loved my words on the screen but wanted to hold them in their hands. There’s something special about that. I feel truly honored to be in the position I am in right now. If the book touches just one person, the process was worth it, regardless of the total amount of copies sold.
I know how to market myself.
I’m lucky to have pursued a career that helps me with passion projects like this book.
I will be graduating in December with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Creative Writing. I also work as a PR Strategist at an online marketing company. Although marketing and PR don’t lead naturally into poetry, I’m able to take what I’ve learned and apply it to gaining the reach of this book. Also, I understand my brand and book better than any publisher ever could.
I want to reverse the stigma of self-publishing.
I’ve seen authors put down self-published authors for “taking the easy way out” or “not taking criticism from publishing houses.” It’s not about that. I want to a voice for self-publishing, to bring credit back to this growing publishing platform. I love that it gives people the power to publish their own content. I believe everyone has a story to tell and self-publishing makes it possible for more stories to be heard. Now that’s a mission I can get behind.
What do you think about self-publishing? Have you thought about self-publishing before or have more questions? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!