I often ask myself, when I am particularly interested in hearing the answer, why the terms ‘ making money’ and ‘self-publishing’ have to be given equal consideration when deciding if the latter is a feasible route for new authors to take. Time was that using the terms together in a sentence was akin to the crime of uttering an oxymoron. But nowadays traditional authors and a few fortunate newcomers are doing both. This alone seems to be the impetus to the new legitimacy of this publishing channel, but I question why money has to be the sole factor in elevating its status.
As you have heard me rant on before, I came into the field of self publishing when it was the evil twin. Even if my work looked the same (good cover, proper grammar, a platform, etc.) it was rendered inferior simply because it was DIY. Granted, when I came into the game many self published books looked self published, but I was not deterred. I pressed on, intent to learn as much as I could to overcome this stigma. But making money was not the ultimate goal. For me, I have wanted to be an author since childhood. My cousin was a successful children’s author and she was my encouragement. I was writing poetry in 1st grade and short stories in 4th; I even wrote a 60 page story using all my classmates as characters. My teacher allowed me to read it to the class at the end of each school day. How cool is that? So my foray into a serious writing career was heartfelt and nurtured; it was never about making money.
I went to college for journalism, ended up with a masters in project management and resigned myself to making money the old fashioned way: working. For me, writing is not a means to and end but an end within itself. I write as therapy, as amusement, to fill a need, or to answer a burning question. I love giving advice so self-help became my main genre (besides, I’ve made enough mistakes and learned from them that I could write 100 books).
Since embarking on this journey I’ve also learned much about the craft; reading books in the Writer’s Digest series, getting advice from Dan Poynter, doing research and yes making mistakes. It’s been a wonderful, fascinating ride and it’s what keeps me going to work so I can have the means to create my books and get them published. And the best part is when someone reads one of my books and says it touched their life, that means the world to me. Now, if I can just get them to write a review. LOL.
Some people say ‘I love my job’ but I say, ‘I love my passion.’ If that makes me a simpleton, so be it. They say God looks after fools and babies; who could ask for a better protector?