Take the Plunge and Publish Your Book
I HAVE ALWAYS been an early-morning surfer for two reasons: (1) the waves are good; (2) I can’t stand crowds in the water. For years I have been trotting across the sand with my board tucked beneath my arm at sunrise, watching as far too many middle-aged surfers stand by their cars and stare off into the ocean’s horizon while simultaneously tinkering with their phones. I had often wondered what in heavens these dudes were waiting for, considering that they had already peeled themselves out of bed during the dead blackness of 5 AM, loaded their cars with their boards and wetsuits, and raced down to the beach. Then one day it struck me: it’s freezing cold outside and these guys don’t want to strip down on the sand and slither into their wetsuits and dunk themselves into the freezing cold Pacific Ocean. More waves for me, man!
Publishing a book is taking the ultimate literary plunge. The experience can feel cold, scary, and in the end, you’re all alone. But if you have already taken the time and given the effort and pored your heart into your beloved book, then what on earth are you waiting for? At a certain point you need to acknowledge that it is simply time to just go for it. If you are taking the traditional publishing route, then get started on submitting your manuscript to agents you feel would best represent you. Alternatively, if traditional publishing is not for you, start making arrangements to independently publish your book through Amazon KDP, Ingram Spark, or Barnes & Noble Press.
I independently published my first book in 2019. That book was a collection of some of the stories I completed during my first 18 months as a writer. Was that book perfect? Of course not. Were there a few typos and formatting errors? Of course! It was my first book and I was learning the process as I went along. In hindsight, out of the 40+ stories contained within that first book, there are two or three I probably should have left out. But I am still rather proud of my first book and I am glad that I did not just sit on the sidelines and let self-doubt get the better of me. When I independently published my second book in 2020, the process went much more smoothly. Overall, I was more satisfied with the quality of the stories. Do you see the pattern here?
Anyone who tells you that your first book must be some sort of groundbreaking masterpiece is not being straight with you. After you spend months or perhaps years writing, editing, revising, and rewriting your literary treasure, there is only one question that you need to ask yourself: am I proud of this book? If the answer is YES, then you must take the plunge, my friend. I promise you that there is no literary bogeyman who will crawl through your bedroom window and steal you away into the night if your book is not a commercial success.
So, don’t stand on the cold sand with a cup of coffee in your hand and watch all the best waves of the morning roll on by. Run across the sand enthusiastically, dive into the water headfirst, and catch some tasty waves to celebrate the new day!