As a publishing facilitator, I am always fascinated by the different reasons people have for self publishing. I used to think that everyone wanting to publish a book wanted to be a best selling author, but it’s nice to see that many of our authors have more realistic expectations, and are self publishing for a much wider range of reasons than to make a motza or to be as famous as JK Rowling.
Sometimes our clients want to publish some family history, partly in honour of their own families, but also to make use of the years of research they have undertaken. And they realise that if their publication can help someone else somewhere else in the world, then it’s worth putting it out there. And as most family histories include an element of social history, it’s quite often the case that a few sales will take place. (See The Campbelltown Convicts, A Glass Half Full and Old World … New World.)
Then there are those clients who have spent years thinking about something and they really, truly, don’t expect to sell, but they just want to get their thoughts down and made available to the public, and if someone, somewhere, is interested in what they have to say and happens to buy a copy … well, that’s just icing on the cake. For them, simply publishing their book is enough. (See What is Your Answer for the Purpose of Your Existence?)
We also have clients who just have to write – they can’t help themselves. Selling is great, but it’s not the main aim – they have a brain full of scenarios and characters and emotions and events that need to be developed and written about. (See Art and the Drug Addict’s Dog and Escarpment: Fibonacci poetry.)
And we have clients who have a way of helping other people. Writing a book is not easy, so writing a book which will help people takes real effort and commitment. Again, while these authors are happy to sell, it’s just as important to them that they have helped someone. (See Yes! You CAN write your own copy! and You can get through this! How to stay positive when you’re coping with breast cancer.)
Occasionally we have a client who just needs to create. Not only do they have the text for their book, but they also visualise it – the images, layout etc. So for them, it’s not just about the writing, their creativity spreads to the design and layout as well. (See not poems, just words and The High School Survival Guide.)
We have an autobiography or three. It takes a lot of gumph to publish a book, so you can quadruple that when you consider publishing your autobiography – it really is like standing naked in front of the whole world! But for some, it’s important to record their story in their words, just for the record.(See Loki’s Joke, The White Aborigine and Laughter, Tears, Peace.)
Then we have the entertainers – the writers who love a good yarn and wish to entertain. They aren’t trying to win a Pulitzer, they would rather you take their book on holidays and enjoy a damned fun read. (See Essence of Time, Curve My Song, The Deception Engine and The Empress Holds the Key.)
This list is just a small sample of the books we have published and I’ve had to leave a whole load of great titles out – which you can see here on our IndieMosh site – but I’ve highlighted the books above as they each illustrate a desire other than the basic ‘make money, be famous’ desire that we think all modern authors have.
Of course, I’m sure none of our authors would argue with finding themselves on the New York Times best sellers list! But when it’s not your main motivation for publishing, it makes every sale, every small success, every increase in circulation and reach, just that bit sweeter.
So, what’s your reason for self publishing?