Self-publishing and the value of independence

Posted: June 18, 2014 in writing, writing life
Tags: , ,

I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m too old and too damned weary not to do what I think is right.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some grey-haired, wizened finger struggling to type with fingers shrivelled by age. But after many years of doing what I thought was expected of me I don’t want that burden any more. I don’t want to live beneath the weight of others’ expectations or my own discomfort at the compromises I’ve made. I want to work in a way that is meaningful and authentic to me, my values, my view of the world, not one boxed in by managers and executives.

So many depictions of characters in popular culture tell us that you reach a point in life where you have to let go of some of your ideals, where you compromise with ‘the man’ and you realise that it’s not so bad after all. But for me it’s the other way around. After years of office work I realised that the cost of that compromise was wearing myself down from the inside with my own discomfort, that doing something I was happy with mattered more than stability and security.

That’s why, if I can, I want to try to make money self-publishing. Not because it’s the easy option, or because other routes have failed me – I haven’t even tried them yet – but because it’s what I believe in and, if I can, I’d like to do things my way. I believe that creators should retain control of their work. That the mechanisms of publishing and IP laws should protect artists not companies. That we should all take responsibility for our own lives.

This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t go with a big publisher if the option presented itself on a platter. But that’s unlikely right now. What is certain is that I’m going to have to put a lot of work and a lot of emotional energy into getting anywhere, and I’d rather put that energy into what I believe in.

The responses I’ve already had following yesterday’s post are a big help in giving me the confidence and guidance I need. So thank you to those who’ve shared their knowledge. Now comes the hard work of acting on it.

But at least I’ll be doing it my way.

  1. Dylan Hearn says:

    That’s great news. I came to the same conclusion myself at the beginning of the year for very similar reasons. I wanted to keep control, happy to succeed or fail on my own terms and I haven’t regretted it for one minute.

  2. Jay Dee says:

    I understand fully how you feel. I’m in a similar situation. I feel like self-publishing is the way to go for me, but if a publisher wanted my book, I’d strongly consider it. But I want my stories to be mine, told how I want to tell them, and not dictated by publishers.

  3. joshnstanton says:

    Good luck to self publishing. There are tons of great resources out there that I’ve been eating up, so give me a bell if you want to know some good ones.

  4. Dawne Webber says:

    Go for it! You’ve got what it takes.

  5. Wow! Good for you. That’s definitely not an easy decision, but I can tell the success in the end is going to be that much more rewarding for you. Looking forward to updates on the journey 🙂

  6. Sue Archer says:

    Great stuff! I think you are absolutely taking the right approach by going with your values. Like Olivia, I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes. 🙂

    • Thanks – I’ll make sure to share my experiences along the way, pass on my knowledge as I feed off the guidance of others. There’s a vampire metaphor in there somewhere, except they’re not so good at sharing afterwards.

  7. Couldn’t agree with you more. Although I’d be lying if I said I would turn down a publishing deal, with my present way of thinking I’d probably struggle to get my head around the thought of having someone else telling me what they want from me, rather than me just writing what I want to. So I’m with you all the way on this…

  8. […] you to Andrew Knighton, whose post on self-publishing and integrity inspired me to write […]

  9. I’m self-publishing for similar reasons — I want to keep control of my own artistic creations. Best of luck to you!

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