Self publishing is an interesting journey. When you have full control of your work, you are also fully responsible for the quality of the book. I read over on Passive Voice that the Canadian Writers’ Union is considering allowing self published writers to join. It go me thinking. Would I join if they offered? Would there be something for me?
Why I chose self publishing
I find it helpful to remember that I did choose to self publish. It wasn’t about me being rejected by the traditional world of publishing. I chose self publishing for 3 reasons.
- I shuddered at the timelines for getting a book through the traditional process – 3 to 5 years
- I wanted to write the stories that were inside me, not force myself to a marketing definition
- I like control
I’m happy with my choice. I’ve put out 9 books so far and have 4 more on the schedule for 2013. I get to choose what I want to write next, no contracts for me.
Getting validation from the existing organizations
Self publishing is a crazy world. We are in control of everything and we are alone. When it comes to finding critiques for the book, and cover artists, and marketing copywriters, and well everything, it can take more time to find someone to help than it does to write the book. I’m fortunate that I’ve found great people I can trust to help.
That brings me to the topic of The Canadian Writers’ Union and other groups that have always worked in the traditional publishing world. It’s not enough to “allow” us to join. You need to provide value to us. I’ve joined a few organizations and too many of them are focused on bringing the self publisher into the traditional fold.
We need organizations that deal with our world. I don’t need advice on publishing contracts because I don’t have them and don’t need to be protected against predatory publishers. I don’t need to know what the publishers are looking for because I only care about what my reader is looking for. When you go the route of self publishing, you have that direct link.
Self publishers need support and help in different areas
For those of us who are not hoping for a traditional contract – there’s nothing wrong with that – an organization needs to think about offering help with specific self publishing topics. We are all different, and so I only speak for me.
Give me tips on how to find a community to help me. Give me ideas on where to sell my books, and where not to sell my books. Give me marketing tips.
We will be happy to join organizations that support us, but if your organizational focus is on the traditional model then you don’t want me to be part of your group.