Saturday, February 2, 2013

Should I or Shouldn't I?

Photo courtesy of kconnors @
I often get asked the question "Should I self-publish? Or should I go the traditional route?" Usually it's accompanied by a great deal of confusion.

Unfortunately, neither I nor anyone else can answer that question for a fellow author. Those of us who have done either can answer questions about those areas of publishing and help navigate those waters, but we can't tell someone which way THEY should go.

My advice to those who aren't sure which direction to go? PRAY. The Lord knows exactly which route He desires you to take with each novel, novella, short story, or non-fiction He leads you to produce. If you take these decisions to Him in prayer, He WILL show you how He wants you to handle things.

God has certainly proven Himself faithful that way in my life, but we must be willing to submit our work to His will.

This means more than just what publisher or agent to approach. It can also mean:
  1. Finding the right critique partners and/or editors to help polish your work prior to sending out proposals.
  2. Finding the right cover designer if you're self-publishing (unless you're doing it yourself).
  3. Getting connected with the right influencers.
  4. Figuring out the best marketing strategies for yourself and your work (something you'll be doing no matter what route you take).
God knows where to go, and He knows what He desires for you to learn along the way. And He may desire you to go one way with one piece of work and the other with another. Lean on His wisdom and direction.

Just be aware! Sometimes the Lord will lead you in a direction you don't expect, and quite possibly outside your comfort zone. It can be a wild and scary ride, but enjoy it!

Have you already taken a step in one direction or the other? If so, what advice do you have to someone who is confused about the options? If not, what is stopping you from moving forward?

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