There’s one question I get asked as an author. I know you’re trying to guess what it is so I won’t drag it out. I get asked whether I would ever take a book deal. My answer to that is no and here’s why. I always want to be in control of my content, no matter what.
I like being in control of everything that I'm doing (writing, proofreading, book covers, synopsis, marketing, social media, getting book reviews, setting my book prices, doing promotions, etc.). It's hard for me to let go of all that I do regarding my goals and my vision.
For me, it's hard to put trust into people who want a piece of the pie. I'm not saying to people who have aspirations to have a book deal to not do it. I'm very fixated on building my author brand and also my brand in general. I don't mind getting input and advice from people, but to be told what to do, that's not something I like dealing with.
I've spent a large percentage of my life being told what to do so for once in my life, I'm in control of my own destiny, I get to do things my way. If it doesn't work, then I can say I tried, didn't succeed, learn from it and then get better at things.
The biggest thing I have taught myself is to format my books. That was a huge game changer for me and I got better at making book covers too. Most book covers I make myself, some I've paid someone to make for me.
Nothing is worse than walking into a party with a pizza pie and everyone wants a piece a slice. That's how I see the business of book publishing companies. So the big publishing companies will invest into you, but it's only after you've achieved all of the success on your own. Why would I all of a sudden put trust into a publishing company after I've done it all on my own? I'm making 70% doing it on my own, I'll be lucky if I could even get 50% from the head honchos in the book industry.
On top of that, I've planned a lot of my books ahead of time. I know my vision more and where I’m going with my brand. So for me, a publishing company will be restricting me from my goals and vision of publishing content every 10-12 weeks.
No, this isn't a bashing post on book publishing companies but the reality is, they're on a significant decline from the outside looking in. People are going the self-publishing route and it's working for a lot of authors. It's just like bookstores aren't lasting as much anymore because the newer generation are reading eBooks. Granted paperbacks are still popular but easily accessible on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstore websites. You can easily order a book online and have it at your door within 1-2 days.
Okay, so back to the subject at hand, I can get sidetracked sometimes. I always feel it's good for writers and authors to learn the business, do research, learn how to do things, make mistakes, fall on your butt and then get back up and learn from it. Make a few bad investments (which I've done), make mistakes with your books (my books were 8 x 10 and I had to resize them to 6 x 9).
At the end of the day, I enjoy the grind, I enjoy the process of doing this all on my own. It's more work but I'd rather it be this way than trusting a plethora of other people to do something but it's your vision. The best advice I can give for aspiring authors and writers is to do the work on your own in the beginning. Submitting your work to literary agents and publishing companies is a tedious and arduous process and by the time you spend months trying to get a deal, you could've published your own book.
I'm not about awards and accolades, I don't do this for the likes and popularity. I just want people to read my stories, feel, emote and be impacted by what I'm sharing and take a moment to think about the issues we face in everyday society and how they can make the world a better place.
Remember it’s your journey so make sure you have the right people helping you and looking out for your best interests.
Be good everyone, and go accomplish your goals.