Aaaaah the joys of being an author.
I was reading through my book, Sacrifices Love and Deception one day and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. The day I chose to self-publish my first book I thought that I was insane. At the time, the thought of releasing my book made extremely anxious and nervous for so many reasons. The main reason being, I wasn’t sure that my work would make an impact of any kind. That good ol’ power of self-doubt. For months I contemplated not even going through with it. I had been submitting my work to publishers for years. I felt because publishers had no interest in what I wrote than it wasn’t good enough. One day, out of nowhere there was some sort of faith and determination that ran through my veins. It was now an urgency that I acted on my dreams. I was all of sudden inspired to chase my dreams no matter what doubt or reservations I felt. I saw it as maybe God wanted me to step out on faith. Maybe it was meant for me to step out on my own to start.
The power of having faith in myself led me to release my first fiction anthology, a self-help book, as well as a compilation of poetry. Now, as I write my fourth book I’ve been through it enough to know what to expect. I always said that money or fame was never my intention or goal as writer. Which is why I sought out to just do it all on my own. What I wanted to gain as an author I could with or without a major publisher. I never really pictured me being a role model so to speak. I think I identify better with being a leader, or an idea of what women should strive to be. While I am a far cry from perfect I want to show other women and especially young girls that you can face adversities, but still come out on top. I wanted to share my experiences and stories (fictional or not) in hopes that all of the little doubtful girls all over the world would be inspired. Somewhere over these past several years I pushed fear out of my heart and doubt of my mind. I had begun believing that I could achieve the things my heart was set on. I was no longer that “aspiring author.”
I was…I AM an author! There have many pros and cons of self-publishing my own work. I’ll say more pros than cons, but without the cons this journey can get a bit discouraging. While I don’t frown at the idea of having the backings or a major publisher, I needed to start somewhere. I couldn’t wait forever. Trust me; if I would have waited I’d still be waiting. If you’re considering self-publishing your work you have to know it’s good to just step out on faith sometimes. It’s very important study other authors, do your research, gain knowledge. Most importantly, see how others have developed. What are my pros and cons of being a proud self-published author?
I have full creative control over EVERYTHING: Along with designing my entire book covers myself, coming up with the titles; it serves me great purpose to know that when I sit down at my computer to write content I have freedom. I can birth just about anything and be proud of it, because it was all of what I wanted it to be. What I say GOES.
No Strenuous Deadlines to Meet: As a self-published author I give myself realistic deadlines. If I do not meet those deadlines it’s not the end of the world. I can’t feel pressured by what I created. There are times when I ain’t got the answers Sway. I want so badly to come up with material, but writers block kicks in. Having that freedom of no deadlines is a true blessing with a lot less stress. It also helps me to put more passion into what I am working on. When it isn’t rushed it’s more passionate for me.
Implementing Changes to My Work are Simple: When I wanted to reconstruct my book covers it wasn’t a hassle. I did what I needed to do as far as designing and BOOM, it was complete. I can take my time with material I love. I can implement changes I want to see in my books without the struggle of trying to force someone to make the changes and those changes potentially never being met.
Lack of Professional Marketing: Oh Le Struggle! The public relations manager at Barnes and Noble once told me, “Anybody can write a book, but not everyone can successfully market a book.” Boy if that isn’t the truth. Marketing is something that I struggle with daily. It’s an ongoing battle that has ultimately determined whether my ship will sink or swim. While I fight to keep my ship afloat, I still struggle with not having the marketing support I need. It’s currently all on me. I haven’t given up. I know that with time my marketing strategies will develop, the key is to stay in faith.
No Major Publishing Deal/Advances: There’s scene in Sex and The City where Carrie is shopping for new furniture. She’s redecorating with the hopes of her new space providing inspiration for her new book. She announces that she’s using her book advance to pay for it all. Ain’t none of that going on over here. Everything I do comes out of my own pocket. While it feels rewarding, Lord knows it would be amazing to have a nice book advance to not have to stress about getting things take care of on the financial end.
FREE professional editing/Formatting/Cover Art: It was a proud day when I learned how to format my own books. I spend hours re-reading everything over and over to make sure it sounds good. I still suck at punctuation at times so an editor is needed. I do a run through of the entire book myself (several times) only to have to come out of pocket and pay an editor to sometimes miss the same mistakes that I did. I am visionary, so when it comes to cover art I take pride in me having soul control of constructing them from the ground up. The time, material, and skill it takes to do this all alone is A LOT. With a major publisher you worry less about the details of editing/formatting. Publishers make sure your focus is more about the writing, an advantage I currently do not have.
With all the cons in the world nothing has kept me stagnant which is a blessing. There is still so much that I dream of and I am working on achieving. I dream to be a New York Times Bestseller and being a source of inspiration as an author. These are just a small portion of all of the things that’s on my goal list. I have no doubt that I will be able to accomplish every last one. But, in order to do that my CONS can’t hold me back or weigh me down. In due season all of my cons will become my pros that will assist in making my journey as an author a lot easier. All that I dream of will be obtained, because I believe in myself and I am working toward all of these things daily. If you’re contemplating on stepping out to self-publish your work, go for it. There is nothing holding you back or stopping you, but the idea or feeling that you can’t. My attitude is, I can and I will. I am encouraging you all to adopt this same attitude. Success will be obtained, but you have to first want it more than you want anything else. Life is all about choices, reaching success, while achieving your goals. All of that starts with a positive state of mind. The cons will always out weigh the pros if you allow them to. Don’t let the fear or what you lack hold you back from making the best out of what you have.
Be Inspired.Be Encouraged.Be Blessed.