For those of you who follow me on social media, you know I made a pretty big announcement recently.
Just kidding. That’d be physically impossible on so many levels. Anyway…
I’ve written a book. And it’s coming out very soon. April 29 to be exact. Look at the pretty cover I made for it:
As excited as I and many of my friends are about this whole ordeal, there’s been a bit of a recurring situation when I tell people about it. It goes something like….
Me: I’m publishing a freaking book!
Person: What!? That’s so freaking awesome!
Me: Right? I’m super freaking pumped!
Person: So when’s it out? Who’s publishing it? Can you sign my copy and stuff?
Me: Well, I’m actually self-publishing it digitally. So it’ll be available for direct download, on the Kindle Store, iBooks, and probably the Play store as well.
Considerably less enthusiastic person: Oh….I see. That’s nice.
I know, seeing my book in an actual bookstore or holding a physical copy in your hands would be a little cooler than just being able to download it off the internet. But there are good reasons why I’m going the route I am. Before I get into that though, I want to say that just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s not a real book.
Trust Me, It’s a Real Book
You know ISBNs? Those serial numbers that every book has so you can keep track of them and stuff? I have one. Own the rights to it myself and everything. And it’s attached specifically to my book. It’s also protected under copyright law.
So did I go the all-digital, self-published route because it was easy to do?
Self-Publishing a Book is Not Easy
It’s understandable to think that self-publishing a book, especially a digital one that doesn’t have much overhead cost, would be easy. It’s not.
First off, there’s the actual writing of the book. Try to write a coherent 50,000 word document. Please. I dare you. Now, proceed to read, re-read, re-write, and edit it over and over again till you swear that if you have to look at the thing one more time, you’re going to just delete it altogether.
But that’s not the end of the journey. See, if I were going a more traditional route, my role in the book creation would be largely over at this point. But with self-publishing, we’re only just beginning.
The Many Hats of the Self-Publisher
I’ve had to be my own graphic designer, web designer, marketer, legal counsel, copywriter, editor, and much more. I had to put together test groups for different drafts, then interact with said test-groups and revise accordingly. I had to create the branding and vision for how all the marketing materials look.
The only things I’ve been helped with are the photography (thanks again Wil!) and the final editing/proofing (thank you, mom).
And of course, half the time, I have no idea what I’m doing and have to figure it out along the way. You’d think that formatting an ebook would at least be pretty simple. You just upload a Word Doc, right?
Properly formatting the book and getting it to look right has easily been the most frustrating post-writing part. So then, why did I decide to self-publish an all-digital book? I’m glad you asked.
Why I Self-Published a Book, and Kept It Exclusively Digital
Because I Could
There’s a lot of random things I’m able to do to varying degrees, and I knew I had the skills and abilities needed to do virtually everything with this book. A lot of people don’t. They just write. That’s their thing.
As for me, I’ve spent the past four years working at a web design and marketing agency, in just about every position available. I know marketing and design and development, and I generally like to do things myself anyway, so it made a lot of sense.
Also, I knew that I had a lot of connections within the demographic I’m targeting. And you best believe I’m going to be working all of those connections (but not in a shameless, Amway type manner).
Because It’s Cheaper
Now, when I say cheaper, I don’t mean for me. Sure, in terms of self-publishing, keeping it digital is much cheaper for the author. But the main reason I want to keep cost down is so that I can make my book as affordable as possible. Whether I self-published or got a book deal, a physical copy would have made the book much more expensive for the buyer.
I wanted it to be cheap enough that people couldn’t say “well, you know, I would have checked it out, but $13 is a lot of money, brah.”
So I made sure my book was about half the price of a Chipotle burrito. I actually considered just giving it away, but seriously, if you can’t pay $4 for it, I question how much you really care to read it in the first place.
Because It’s Faster
At one point, I started going the “traditional” route with the book, communicating with agents to try and get a book contract of some kind. But I realized very quickly that this process could drag on for a long time, and really, might leave me exactly where I started if no one decided to pick it up. I could be another year down the road, and no closer to having my book out there.
I’ve already worked on this thing for nearly five years. I decided I needed to get it out there as soon as possible. If this book took any longer, I’d probably abandon it. I’m very ready to move on to my next project.
Because I Knew It’s What I Was Supposed to Do
My original idea was to just self-publish the thing. It seemed like the right thing to do. It wasn’t till I was getting towards the end that a friend incidentally made me feel like I should do the whole agent, publisher, book deal song and dance.
I began going that way, and the deeper I got into it, the more wrong it felt. And I realized I was only doing it because it’s what you’re supposed to do. Then I had an epiphany, and I realized I was doing exactly what I did with college.
You won’t fully understand the irony of this situation until you’ve read the book.
But I was literally doing the thing that my book tells the reader not to do. There’s a very specific story in the book that parallels the situation I was in.
And so, I decided to forget that. I was going to do what I felt I was supposed to do. I was going to go the new, less traveled path. I wasn’t going to care if people didn’t think my book was legit because I didn’t have a contract or because they couldn’t hold a paper copy in their hand.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to have it physically published one day. And it doesn’t mean I won’t try to get my next book published through an actual publisher.
It just means that for this specific book, it’s what I’m supposed to do right now. And from here, I guess we’ll see what happens.
Want more information on the book? Checkout the website by clicking here.
Otherwise, if you have any questions or comments about the self publishing, writing a book, or my specific book that I’m releasing, feel free to ask them below.