To Selfie or Not to Selfie-That is the Question

To Selfie or Not to Selfie-That is the Question

Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected? Many new authors expect when they set out to write a book, that just because they write, the fans will come. The unexpected is that it’s not that simple. What happened to their field of dreams when what they thought they had figured out does not come to fruition? What then? Keep writing.

Why did you become a writer? Or if you have not finished your masterpiece, why do you write? What do you hope to accomplish by publishing? I am ghostwriting a book for someone that simply wants to leave a wonderful memory for his children. He wishes to leave a legacy through an imaginative, literary device.

My goals are on a much more grandiose scale. As a motivational speaker, I have a mission to help those who can’t see beyond the horizon of possibility realize that their dreams can come true. I actually care about reaching as many people as possible. This means that whatever way that I can accomplish this, I will pursue.

So the question comes for a new writer, to self-publish or not? Once upon a time, self-publishing carried a stigma. Those who self-pubbed were not considered real writers. You’d be surprised at just how many real writers still carry this bias. If we can climb down off our judgmental soapbox and step into the shoes of the not real writers for a moment, we might be able to see a commonality of passion and love for the written word. Writers are expressionists. So a writer didn’t major in English, literature, or journalism, don’t their hearts still beat the same? Hasn’t elitism been out of style for some time now?

I must admit, some self-pubbed books lack grammatical rigor and are poorly formatted, but I must add- at least these writers dared to try. If we don’t try and mess up, how can we learn and improve? Conversely, there are many excellent self-pubs that go on to sell more copies than traditional publishing house books. What I am trying to get at is that we can’t judge a book by its publishing platform. We must, as new authors, think hard about the platform. Old hats at writing and publishing must as well.

I enjoy encouraging people with a desire to write and publish- just do it! Before you can, just do it, however, you must decide, to selfie- or not to selfie? Self-publishing requires that you become your own marketing department. You will be a public relations spokesperson on steroids. You will learn to navigate social media in your sleep. You are going to giveaway your work for free and accept the criticism of reviews in stride. It’s a lot of work, but guess what? You are going to have to have a marketing plan to get picked up by a major publishing house as well.

So here it comes- the unexpected part of becoming an author- that which will now become the expected; if you want to sell books, you are not just an author, but a marketer. Walk into Barnes & Noble and walk down every single aisle. You will be infinitely humbled by the number of people there are out there- just like you. What you find on the shelves at B&N isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of the literature in the world. So what makes your work so special?

What’s so special is it’s your heart, your soul, poured out in ink. It’s your dreams and beliefs in your expression. It’s a driving force. So what do you hope to achieve with your dreams? To selfie –or not to selfie- Is that really the question?

Jolene Church is a mindfulness practitioner, success coach, and motivational speaker. Her latest book, Thinking 101: Fundamentals of a Successful Mindset, helps people break down conditioned barriers in our thinking that inhibit our success.

Jolene Church

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