I saw an article online this week that featured a bunch of twentysomethings who were fed up with the economy, mentally told it to piss off, and decided to become entrepreneurs and eventually were very successful. I have heard this type of story time and time again over the past year or so, as more people are starting to ask “Why wait around for the job market to pick up, when you could get innovative and create your own success?”
I always translate this way of thinking into the publishing realm, because my ultimate goal is to one day be an author. I keep wondering, should I try self-publishing? Is today not a better time than ever to go that route? With all of the talk about the struggling publishing company, the closing of bookstores, and the rise of the almighty e-book, sometimes I wonder why I just don’t go for it?
But the dream of traditional publication has a grip on me. To walk into a store and see my book on the shelf would probably make me collapse in joy. Or just being given such a broader platform to launch a career off of, as opposed to having to do all of your own publicizing and selling and convincing people that your writing really is worth reading.
But then you throw into the mix all of the stories you hear about self-published authors landing book deals and doing quite well. The most talked-about would probably be now-millionaire Amanda Hocking, but we also have a success story right here in Central Texas–Rhiannon Frater, who also scored a book deal from her self-published works.
So how do you choose what to do? With positives and negatives at both ends, it can get difficult to decide. Personally, here is my plan of action. Do everything I can to get published traditionally (the author of The Help got around 60 rejections from agents, just to give you a glimpse of my standards). Then, if I am ready to take action into my own hands, I am going to self-publish, and do a darn good job of it. My first step will be coming to the Self-Publishing Series at WriteByNight, where I will learn all the know-how needed to make my book look professional and get into the hands of readers. If you haven’t yet registered, you should! It begins tonight. (Shameless plug.)
But whatever route I choose, traditional or self-publishing, I am excited to move forward with my book. I have a project I love and am confident others will love it, too. The next step? Give them the opportunity to do so.
Katie’s work has been featured in Austin Lifestyle Magazine, Redbook Magazine, Thrillist.com, and Homerun.com. She is also excited to be contributing to the new Austin publication BE Mag, launching its first issue this November. Prior to moving to Austin, Katie worked as an associate producer for an NBC affiliate in South Florida.