I mean, sure, who wouldn't love to follow in Amanda Hocking's footsteps? But the truth of the matter is, I'm not her. I'm me, and my path to whatever level of popularity I achieve is going to be much different from hers.
This is neither good nor bad. It may be that 10 years from now, someone is writing a blog post about how they wish they could be the next Scott Niven. Or it could be that less people know my name in 10 years than know my name now. It's a liquid future at this point, a waterfall of possibilities, and it can freefall in any of a million different directions.
But I digress.
If I'm not self-publishing to "get rich", why am I doing it at all?
Well, for several reasons:
- I love to write - I've always loved putting my thoughts and ideas into coherent and interesting stories, but I often don't finish the stories I've started. Self-publishing forces me to go that added step and finish what I start. And once I'm finished, I get to enjoy...
- Sharing my writing with others - It's been fun over the past week hearing from friends and family who are enjoying Twilight Candleflies. Many of these people have known of my love for writing for years, but this is the first time they've read something I've written. I was nervous about sharing my writing at first, mainly because I was worried people wouldn't like what I've written, but now I've realized that doesn't matter. Sharing my writing is fun, and it's what we as writers are supposed to do. We write. Everyone else reads.
- Criticism helps me improve - Of course, not everyone is going to like everything I write. But as I learned at Wildacres Writers Conference, constructive criticism can make me a better writer. Sure, I may not agree with everything someone says, but I may just hear that one thing that pushes me and my writing in a new and improved direction.
- I want to inspire my son - My son is an amazing artist. Even though he's just 10, his renditions of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yu-Gi-Oh, and everything else he sets his mind to drawing are stunning. He's asked me many times if I thought he would ever be able to get his work published, and my answer has always been an emphatic YES. But I wanted to do something that would inspire him and let him know that it's not only possible but fairly easy to get published if you set your mind to it. I can't wait to show him that he can now search for "Scott Niven" on Amazon or Barnes&Noble and my book will pop up. He's going to love it, and I bet he'll get to work on his own stuff immediately after he sees what's possible.
- It's fun to see my work out there! - Let's face it: We writers love seeing our name in print. And the fact is, even if no one else buys another copy of my book, I'm still going to get a thrill out of going to various websites and seeing my book and name out there.
So there you have it. 5 reasons why I've decided to self-publish. And yes, I am making a little bit of money from this. But until I make enough to take my girlfriend to the movies, I don't think it's worth mentioning. :-)