Okay, I have a friend (no really, it's not me) who self published her book a few years back before it was all the rage, and then got picked up by Barnes & Noble Publishing - every self published author's dream come true, right
?!At the time, I had just started writing my book, Say Bump and Take a Left. How I Birthed a Baby and a Business after a Huge Bump in the Road, and I was imagining all the wonderful success that awaited me: my pick of Agents offering Publishers who fight over the right to publish my manuscript through a six figure advance bidding war
...Now a word from our Reality...My friend started emailing me asking for my opinion on "the new book cover the publishers are using". Frankly, I liked her cover better, and was confused as to why B&N wanted to change it. Didn't they choose her book because it already had success with a brand? Why would they throw that away? And that was just the beginning as my friend emailed often with changes being made to her book (along with her disappointment). But, at least she had her advance, and the publishers would be taking over the marketing, distribution and sales, right?WRONG!
She still markets her book, even today, and she still distributes and sells the version of her book she already self published
and printed in bulk (prior to the advent of POD), because, of course she isn't going to just throw them away!Lessons:3.
You accept that advance and sign your name on the dotted line, and you lose all control!2.
You are still totally responsible for marketing your own book (aka sales)!1.
Who's baby is this anyway?I thought, "This won't happen to me...(eyes glazed over slipping back into the pick of agents, 6 figure bidding war dream) they will love my book just as I've written it!)
So, I finished my book, and started sending out query letters.And more query letters...And more query letters...Sound familiar?I was despondent.
I really, really
didn't want to learn another profession all over again - I did that with MommyLoves - and I readily and gladly told everyone so when they suggested self publishing. Oh, how bitter my words tasted. If I really wanted my book to go out into the world proclaiming my little, '
2 broken legs while 8 months pregnant' life lessons, I was going to have to self publish.Enter stage left, big sigh, and dig in...I did it...Had a wonderful friend (who also happened to be a professional copy editor) edit my manuscript...Made changes, and edited again...Made more changes, including the title, and had a cover created with one of my own pictures...Learned how to format for all online readers. I self published, and never looked back.Back to the Number One Lesson I learned above ~ It's My Baby!Three months ago, I had an amazing experience with one of my readers. A gentleman who read my book, contacted me to tell me how profoundly my words had touched him and his wife. He thanked me, tearfully, for writing my experiences, and said that he and his wife were rearranging their life goals to have one of them stay home with their infant son and raise him, rather than working to pay a nanny to do so.I cannot express how touched I was by the knowledge that my words had so greatly impacted another life - three lives, actually. I wonder, would the impact be the same had a publisher taken control of my baby and sent it out into the world with their message?Who will determine the message your baby tells the world?
Mary Kathryn JohnsonAuthor ~ Entrepreneur ~ MomSay Bump and Take a LeftMary's Blog
I know what you are thinking...my kitten?! Yes, my kitten. Five month old Katy is exploring the outside world with her brother Andy, and loving every minute of it! Mom is never far away as we are surrounded by neighbors with dogs, and Katy is a climber. Watching her explore, and climb trees reminds me of why I chose to Self Publish, and why I help others do the same.Do it Because You Can ~ Katy discovered our 100 year old oak trees, and started her ascent immediately - almost as if she has a 'I climb because I can' attitude.
The tree is there, so she must climb. I wrote my book, so I must publish. Gone are the days when I soothed my ego when rejected by a publisher or agent by saying, "I write because I have to, but that doesn't mean I have to publish." Seeing her go farther up the tree reminds me of J.A. Konrath's
blog bio, "There's a word for a writer who never gives up...published." Katy sez
~ "There's a word for a kitten who never stops climbing trees...fed."Do it Because it's Fun ~
I'm pretty sure Katy is having fun when she runs out on a branch that would be as wide as a balance beam for a human, because she certainly looks as if she is happy! Writing is like that for me...I feel like I'm out on a limb, but loving the scenery, the exhilaration and the balance. Publishing is even more so! Seeing my work online for anyone to buy and read (or download for free) makes me absolutely giddy, and I know the process of self publishing is leading me to that feeling! If You're Stuck, Take a Left, or Meow for Help ~
Katy invariably gets stuck out on a limb. That has certainly happened to me, and you I'm guessing, if you have ever tried something new. When she gets stuck, she either backs up and takes another branch, or she meow's for help. I can't climb the tree and show her the way, nor can I educate her on which turn I would take next were I her. I can't speak kitten, even though I try with my high-pitched kitten voice that my husband just loves (at least I think that is his 'I love that voice' face?!) Just hearing my voice, encouraging her to find a way helps, I think. I have some very dear people helping me, and I love reciprocating!
So remember, think like a kitten, and you will love writing and self publishing. If you need to borrow Katy, just meow.Mary Kathryn JohnsonAuthor ~ Entrepreneur ~ MomEverything MommyLovesSay Bump and Take a LeftMary's Blog
Katy's favorite place is on my printer, under the lamp keeping warm. That keeps me warm, too.
Newton's First Law states, "Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it."Bear with me. This is not a Physics lesson. Well, maybe it is ~ Was Newton talking about physical science
or human nature?
In plain language ~ an object at rest stays at rest, unless a change is forced upon it ~ likewise, an object in motion stays on its course unless a change is also forced upon it.We have all been there, stagnant in our job or relationship, wishing to strike out on our own, or bring back that "spice", and certainly not devoid of ideas for changing our lot in life. So, why don't we just make that change without first feeling compelled to do so by some outside force - like a new boss who happens to be insane, or the threat of a divorce from a spouse?
I don't have the answer, because I needed to break both my legs when I was 8 months pregnant to initiate a change
in my life (talk about an unbalanced force)!Are you an object at rest that is not happy with its perch? If so
, how will you get yourself moving? Are you an object in uniform motion in a boring straight line that can't take a right or left turn unless someone forces you? If so, how will you 'Take a Left' toward your dreams?I said before that I don't have the answers, but I certainly have the questions, and that is the first step to making change in your life,
because Newton's First Law is just that - A Law! That means that it applies at all times. So, if you get up from your restful perch, you will keep moving in the direction you choose, and if you take a left turn in life, you will continue on that path. Take a leaf from Steve Jobs
when he met his wife-to-be, "If this was to be my last night on earth, would I rather spend it in a business meeting, or with this woman?" Question asked, and choice made!I guarantee that once you move, you won't stop.
In fact, I will go one step further...once you move down one road, you will discover many new forks in the road with amazing new possibilities, and you will have difficulty choosing which way to turn! Ask any entrepreneur, ask any student for that matter ~ once you discover "your passion" you actually discover your potential, and many "passions" shine brightly before you.I dare you to pick just one!How do you choose? Whichever shines the brightest as you contemplate where it will take you - that is the road you take. When you reach it's end, or another fork, you will need to make another choice. Look again at Steve Jobs. When he was asked to leave Apple did he just sit home and sulk? No, he certainly did not. He went out and helped create another little company called Pixar...ever heard of it? I'm sure he had a multitude of roads laid out before him, and Pixar's lamp shone brightest of all.
If you have ever thought of writing a book, or if you have a dusty manuscript that has been neglected, now is the time to shine some light on that particular road, and think about Self Publishing
!Just remember that when Newton's Apple finally falls on your head, and you
get up from your perch or 'Take a Left' turn, you won't be able to stop without being struck by some unbalanced outside force...wait a minute...isn't that how you started moving in the first place?Mary Kathryn JohnsonAuthor ~ Entrepreneur ~ MomEverything MommyLovesSay Bump and Take a LeftMary's Blog