When it comes to writing and publishing your book, my message for authors in 2019 is: No Permission Needed.
There was a time when an aspiring author needed permission to publish a book. Therefore, the author could reason, what was the point of going to the trouble of writing a manuscript, if there was a good chance it would end up in a drawer collecting dust?
In a more recent chapter in the book of publishing, when self publishing first arrived on the scene, authors were now at least assured that their manuscripts would be turned into real books. But whether those books would actually be seen by readers was still in question. Stacks of self-published books began accumulating in too many closets, garages, and attics across America. Turning their homes into book storage warehouses wasn’t exactly an appealing idea to aspiring authors who only wanted their voices to be heard, their words read, and their ideas shared. Was this asking too much????
And then, technology disrupted publishing (and just about everything else), making previously off-limits areas of producing a book – like cover design, layout, printing, distribution, and marketing – accessible to regular people.
The next hurdle, was the stigma of low quality that self-publishing carried with it for years. Hats off, by the way, to all the self-published authors who worked hard to finally put an end to that by investing in things like professional cover design, editing, and marketing; elements that, when neglected, can be flashing red warning lights that a book is self-published. (I know we’ve all seen those books!)
For some time, the chasm between traditionally and self-published books was wide. Aspiring authors were perfectly within their rights to hesitate before putting pen to paper.
Fortunately those times have come and gone. The playing field for authors wishing to independently (old language “self”) publish* their books is flatter than ever. The advantages of signing with a traditional publisher are continually dwindling. Authors can now retain creative control of their books, keep their profits and have their books produced affordably, calling the shots on how, where, and when their books will be distributed. They can produce high quality books and get them to readers, without stopping to ask permission from a third party.
The self-publishing stigma is old news, #fakenews, a chapter of publishing past. In other words, dear aspiring authors, one of your biggest reasons for not writing your book – getting permission to have it published – no longer exists.
So the question is – who else are you looking to for permission to write a book this year?
If it’s someone else telling you you can’t do it – consider the possibility that they are wrong. They have misjudged you, your desire, your ability and your intention. If it’s you telling yourself you can’t do it – same. You have been underestimating yourself. All the reasons you’ve given yourself that you can’t write and publish a book, expired on 12/31/18.
That’s right, your unwritten book idea is now past its expiration date. It’s time. It’s 2019. There’s your tough love (because I love that you want to write a book). Now here’s some help.
Each month I play host to a group of authors, both virtually and in-person here where I live in Jacksonville Beach Florida. They gather to learn about the art and science of writing a book, gain inspiration and encouragement from one another, and work on their books (for in-person members, with live group coaching by me). We meet once a month and the rest of the month everyone stays connected through a private Facebook group and newsletter with exclusive, previously unpublished content. Our group is called Writers Club Live and month after month, I’m thrilled to see my authors making steady progress on their books.
In Writers Club Live I have learned how much I didn’t know about good writing. I am being challenged to raise my writing standards. Christine has a way of explaining good writing concepts in a way that makes them easy to implement. Plus, her enthusiasm for writing is contagious!
Knowing Christine and the WCL group has my back (and my front with Christine’s teaching) makes it easier for me to do the work toward getting my book finished and published. WCL keeps writing in the forefront of my mind. ~Clare
If you’ve decided to stop waiting for permission to write your book and you’d also like some help and the camaraderie, friendship, and fun of working alongside other authors, please check out Writers Club Live!
*I am not a publisher nor do I offer publishing services. I am a writer, a consultant, an author, and an advocate for all my fellow authors. My mission is to connect authors with their readers, removing any obstacles that may prevent that from happening.