Adventures in Self-Publishing

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For quite a while now I’ve had the dream of publishing a book. As such, it’s been my practice to take time on my day off to work on various writing projects. My hope was always to eventually write something good enough to be published. When I started getting to the place where I felt like some of these projects would be finished, I started to think through how I would get them into the hands of potential readers. I figured I would need to use my personal network to track down a publisher, and then wait till I had an audience. Or even wait till a publisher asked me to write something—which might be quite a while.  

While I was praying through these options, I wrote a short devotional + journal for my brother and his wife’s new baby. It was a simple Christmas present, but I had  so much fun working on that I wanted to make it available to other new parents.   In the process of printing their together journal for Christmas, I was introduced to the world of self-publishing by my friend Hattie. She was nice enough to design the first copy of the journal and send it off to get printed for me. After Christmas, I  spent hours exploring this magical world of self-publishing and print-on-demand. 

While doing this research I read something that God used to change my attitude completely. The typical publishing story is this: you write a book, you spend years perfecting it, then you prepare drafts, send them to a publisher and wait for someone to pick it up. They usually don’t, but it takes months to hear back and so you’ve basically wasted years of your life with nothing to show for it other than a manuscript no one is reading and sore ego. The alternative is to self-publish. Sure, you might not sell any copies, but with print-on-demand, there’s no longer a financial risk involved. More than that, when you self-publish, you also get the benefit of taking a book from start to finish, learning along the way things you would never learn if you were simply waiting for your acceptance letter to come in the mail.   

Ever since I caught onto this line of thinking, I’ve been compelled to take the risk and self-publish. It’s the actual journey that I find rewarding, and by self-publishing, I can see that journey to its logical conclusion, giving a sense of closure to the creative process and an opportunity for friends and family to check out what I’ve been working on.  I sense God pushing me in this direction, and have such a great amount of peace about it.  On top of it, I figure since I have complete control over the publishing, why not donate all of the profit to future ministry opportunities? It sounds like a win-win.  

I have no idea where it will end up, but I’ve honestly enjoyed the process so far–and isn’t that point of a hobby?


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