Hey there, readers! Yeah, I know… this summer I’ve kind of disappeared from the internet. I’ve gotten lots of emails asking if I’m okay–if I’m still going to keep blogging, or even if I’m still writing. Yes, don’t worry, I am just fine, and I am still writing. I just decided to take a break from my blog this summer, as I was very busy.
So anyway, I’m back now! I’m going to attempt posting here every week and see how it goes. I’m excited to continue my blogging journey!
Let’s talk about this week’s topic: How Publishing a Book Changed My Perspective on Authorship. With the publishing of Identity this last March, I’ve had more experience with what it’s like to be a published author. So in this post, I’m going to share some things that changed for me after publishing, as well as some tips for published and/or almost-published authors. Let’s jump right in!
Publishing is not easy
This may be the biggest lesson I learned from publishing. It’s really not as simple as it sounds, even self-publishing!
With self-publishing, you still have to create a cover, format the book, market your release, and set things up so it’s ready to publish. And you have to self-edit the book (unless you have the money to hire a freelance editor), so that’s the even more difficult book. And while you do get more freedom with self-publishing, it’s still a lot of work.
When I first started thinking about publishing, I figured it was super easy. My dad had published Kindle books through Amazon KDP before, and it seemed simple to me. But after going through the process with Identity, I realized that if you want to create a quality book, it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds.
So publishing is not easy… just as writing isn’t easy. Publishing and writing are different things, but both are hard work and you have to have the perseverance to go through both processes.
You won’t automatically become popular by publishing
When I finished the first draft of Identity, I began dreaming of the day when I would get it published. I imagined telling my friends and family members how I published the book and proving to everyone that a teenager could accomplish great things. I figured that once I got the book published, everyone would love me–my friends online as well as my friends in real life.
Once I got Identity published, it’s true that I got a lot of attention from my friends for a time, but after a while the excitement died down and it didn’t seem important anymore. My friends didn’t treat me any differently than they did before, and it felt unfulfilling.
Then I prayed about this unfulfilling feeling I was getting, and I realized something:
If you’re seeking to please people with your book, you will never feel satisfied.
To some extent, I was seeking to please people: my friends and family. I wanted them to like me more, to love me, and to praise me for my big accomplishments. But after that died down, I realized that I was seeking the wrong kind of praise. I needed to be seeking God’s approval, not people’s.
Here is a key piece of advice for you writers, published or unpublished, or even if you’re not a writer:
Seek to please God, not people.
I know, it’s hard to do. But it will be so much more beneficial in the long run, and you will feel so much more fulfilled.
Publishing one book is not the end
Another thing I figured is that once I published my book, I would finally be able to relax. I wouldn’t have to push to get the book done anymore, and I would feel completely at rest.
Once again, I was wrong.
When you get one book published, it is definitely not the end. You’re not going to be done with writing (I mean, unless you want to be), and you’re not going to be done working on your published book. You’re just going to be working on it differently than you did before.
After publishing, you’ll still have to market the book (which is basically a full-time job already), and in the meantime, you’re going to want to work on writing other books to publish in the future. Publishing doesn’t necessarily make things easier… to some extent, it actually makes things harder.
As an author, the cycle just goes on and on: write, edit, publish, repeat. I’m not saying you shouldn’t publish your book, I’m just saying don’t expect to be done once the book is published.
Not everyone will understand how much work writing is
I’ve told some acquaintances that I wrote and published a book, and while they were nice about it, I could tell they didn’t really understand how much work goes into writing.
You see, people who aren’t writers will likely never fully understand how much goes into writing. Creating the characters, writing outlines, creating playlists and Pinterest boards, marketing, blogging, editing… the list goes on. Writing encapsulates so many different things (which is one reason I love it!), but many people don’t know that.
My point here goes along with my point of seeking God’s approval above people’s. Don’t expect the approval and understanding of people once you publish your book. If you get it, that’s a bonus, but you should be writing only to the glory of God.
And then even if you feel like no one understands what you’ve been through to write your book, you can rest in the fact that God understands you better than anyone ever can.
So… what’s the point?
As you all can see, publishing a book turned out to be a lot different than I expected. It was a very fun and helpful process that I learned a lot through, and I’m incredibly glad I did it.
While some of the points I made in this article may seem discouraging to you, don’t worry: publishing is still an amazing thing! You get to share your work with the world and have an actual print copy of your very own book. It’s a lot of work, but if you’re doing the work for the right reason of pleasing God, it’s very fulfilling.
So let’s quickly go over the points in this article:
- Publishing is not easy. Even self-publishing is a lot of work.
- You won’t automatically become popular by publishing. If you’re seeking to please people with your book, you will never feel satisfied. Seek to please God, not people.
- Publishing one book is not the end. There is so much more to writing… and once you finish one book you’ll want to write more.
- Not everyone will understand how much work writing is. Writing encapsulates so many different things, but many people don’t know that. Even if you feel like no one understands what you’ve been through to write your book, God understands you better than anyone ever can.
And that’s it for today!
What was your favorite point in this post? If you’re a published author, what are some misconceptions you had before publishing? If you’re an unpublished author, what do you hope to accomplish with publishing? Feel free to leave comments below and get the conversation started!