Ten years ago, being a Self-published author carried with it the same stigma as admitting you’d met your partner online. Fortunately, both scenarios have changed immensely in the past decade.
I am proud to say that I am a Self-published author and what this means for me is I bring work to the world that might otherwise languish in slush piles at publishing houses for months, perhaps years. I’m not alone in being empowered enough, and brave enough, to take the step to have my voice heard and to take steps to realise myself as an author.
Taking the publishing process into my own hands has meant I am living a truth. I am a writer, and this is the way I make my writing visible. I can’t imagine how choked my writing would become if I did not have this way of ‘releasing’ my words to the world. That moment when you push the button and the words that have been ingrained on your heart are set free into the world is a scary moment, but it is also the moment that makes you as a writer. And you do it again and again.
Carl Jung referred to the capital S Self as the unification of the conscious and unconscious– a wholly complete and integrated Self. As people, as writers, isn’t’ this is what we aspire to? Self-publishing could be part of our Self-actualisation.
While there are dozens of ‘vanity publishers’ out there prepared to take your money and turn your book into a reality (often with very poor editing and production standards, minimal author support and desperately woeful marketing), Self-publishing a book and actually taking on every step of the process is the hands-on way to nurture the birthing process of your book and ensure it gets the life it deserves.
And does being a Self-published author mean you will never be traditionally published? There are many stories of successful Self-published authors being picked up for second books by publishing houses and there is also the emergence of the hybrid author – that is an author who cleverly develops a range of titles across both Self-published and traditional published formats. For many authors the Self-publishing financials make better sense, and the ability for authors to ‘cover all bases’ is their best chance at establishing income streams that are sustainable.
The From This Place book is a great example of a Self-published book that has been nurtured every step of the way. Photographer Angela Rivas and I invested hours in our publishing process. We went to printers, and worked through a myriad of specifications and quotes. (Our printer even came to our book launch we had such a strong relationship!) We sat with our graphic designer, and brought people into our editing and marketing team that we truly loved and respected. The end product is an ode to collaboration and the spirit of ‘making it happen’.
And that is what sharing your gift with the world means. If you’ve resisted Self-publishing because having a large publishing house like your work is the only way you might feel legitimate as a writer then I invite you to examine what is really going on inside your head. If is feels hard, consider a coach. Don’t resist the impulse of your own heart to share your work. If Self-publishing is within your means, honour your work and let the world see you.
Photo Credit: Angela Rivas