It’s something that many people dream of – a career as an independent publisher, writing and publishing your own work for a living (or at least part of your living). It’s a great dream, and with the changes we’re seeing in the publishing industry and the increasing tendency for writers to investigate the independent publishing route, it’s not necessarily out of the question.
However, we can’t forget that independent publishing is, just like any other career, hard work. We can’t just dive in and hope for the best. Well, we can, but it’s unlikely to be the best strategy.
One of the key things we need for a career in independent publishing is professionalism. After all, no matter how much we love writing and however fun we find it, self-publishing is still a business. You need to be able to be logical about things, and know how to deal with people. It can also take up a lot of time, which means that a professional approach is required to make sure you’re able to fit everything in.
Making a career also involves lots of determination. These things tend not to happen overnight. You need to put the hours in, just as you would with any other job, and you might need to try different options and strategies if things don’t work out straight away. Plus, it can be challenging. Writing a book takes a long time. Marketing takes up time. Eventually, you’ll probably be writing one book and marketing another at the same time. And you need to have a life as well, and maybe support yourself through another job. You need to be serious about an independent publishing career and the sacrifices that you might need to make in order to achieve it.
However, the fun aspect of writing is also a crucial part of an independent publishing career. You need to love what you’re doing. Alongside all that hard work and long hours, it still needs to be enjoyable. That’s what helps to make it all worth it. Yes, it can be tough, but the effort is worth it. Developing a career for yourself – any career – takes time and commitment and setbacks and determination.
But if you keep your eye on the prize, remember why you love it and let yourself enjoy it, and with a little bit of luck, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen eventually. And when it does, it will be more than worth it.