You’ve finished a novel, you love it, and you’ve decided that you want to publish it. You begin writing pitches and comparing self publishing, indie publishing, and traditional publishing.
Whoa, slow down there for a minute, writer. There are a few questions you should consider before you commit to this path.
The first question is always: WHY. Why do you want to publish books?
- Just because I want to.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to publish. Nothing whatsoever. It’s what you do from that point on that determines whether you’re on the right road or not. If you don’t KNOW what the next step is, THAT’S OKAY. There are plenty of authors, writing blogs, and websites that can tell you.
- Because I want to make money writing books.
Welllll, that’s the thing. Publishing doesn’t pay. At least not at first. Most of the famous authors who can live off the money their books make now, spent YEARS getting to that place. Decades. So if this is your ONLY reason for wanting to publish, I suggest finding a different line of work.
- Because I want to share my story with the world.
MORE POWER TO YOU. Seriously. The same type of story may already be out there but your voice is unique from every other voice in the world. Write on.
- Because I believe I’ve been called to write.
I see no objection to this either, especially as long as you realize that just because you have been called to write, you are not automatically a good writer. It still takes effort.
- For the Fame and Glory.
Close your eyes and turn around one thousand times. If you’re still on your feet, that’s more fame and glory than you’re likely to receive in your first decade of publishing. Go find another way to chase these elusive ‘honors’ because they won’t come in publishing.
Anyone can write, but not every writer has what it takes to become an author.
WAIT, don’t run away just yet!
I am not here to crush your dream. Keep dreaming! Keep hoping. Nor am I here to tell you that you can’t become an author, that you’re silly for even thinking you could, or that you don’t deserve to be one. That’s rubbish, plain and simple. Every single author whose books you have ever read began right where you are now.
I would be delighted to see you become an author and I am trying to help you, by presenting the reality check you need to make a fully informed decision. I want you to be as well prepared as possible.
Next week we’ll go over more questions you need to ask yourself before you make your final decision.
Why do you want to be a published author?