Write a book and publish it, the mindset angle of traditional publishing versus self publishing a book. 

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience. The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Leo Tolstoy

The decision to self or traditionally publish your book is a business decision – your decision. It’s not like a college selection process where you have your first choice and your safety school. Self publishing is not a fall back strategy. It’s just as much a business decision as having a brick and mortar store or an online store. You do what’s best for your products and services, your priorities, and your customers. To write a book and publish it in a way that honors your goals, get the facts about each strategy.

Let’s look at some mindset angles for each publishing strategy.

Traditional Publishing

Be prepared to practice extreme, almost obsessive patience and flexibility. By making the decision to pitch your book to agents and publishers, you are requesting to enter into a business contract with them. This requires compromise, generally by you since you are asking them to take you on as a business partner. This means that they can and will publish your book if and when they want to. You are also making the decision to share your intellectual property rights and financial gain with a business partner. In those ways, it is no longer just your book.

Therefore, gather up your patience to sustain yourself through the traditional publishing process. Allot enough of it for querying, which in itself can take months or years, and also for the time between “yes” and when your book actually comes out.

I recently saw an author on Twitter celebrating the launch of their book – 10 years after they first began querying due to a series of stops, starts, and reboots along the way. Yes, this is an extreme example but if you set your mindset for a 10 year game you’ll then be able to pace yourself to survive whatever comes along.

Also don’t forget that along the way, you’ll need patience and flexibility to overcome various other hurdles – contract negotiations, relationships and contracts that don’t work out, and other parts of the business of being a traditionally published author.

Self Publishing

Oh the many misconceptions about the business of being a self published author! Here’s one – the misconception that if you choose to self publish your book or publish with a hybrid publisher or even a super small publishing house, you are limiting your options for the reach and possibilities of your book.

Two of my client books are currently being turned into movies. One is self published through a hybrid publisher – that’s the one that somehow fell into the hands of an Emmy award winning editor of the TV show Mad Men. The other was published by a small publishing house. These are just two examples, likely of many, proving that…

Published is published. 

Choose the business strategy that works best for you and research the requirements of each path. Mindset wise, for traditional publishing – patience and flexibility. For self publishing – you’ll need a can-do attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, and willingness to roll up your sleeves and create a brand around yourself and your book similar to how a startup founder would do for their new invention.

Publishing is publishing. Business is business. Do your homework and make the best decision for you and your book. Write a book and publish it. 

Speaking of writing a book – what’s your plan to do that? What do you and don’t you know about what it actually takes to become a published author? What are you willing to reprioritize in your life to make this goal happen, no matter what? Do you have a daily writing habit? As a personal writing coach, ghostwriter, and overall book Sherpa, I have been helping authors write and publish standout books for over 21 years. I got you. Let’s chat!


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