A couple of weeks ago, I announced that I was publishing my first book. I’m beside myself with excitement, and it seems that a lot of you are too! (Thank you so much for your enthusiasm!) In the past, whenever I’ve heard that someone is publishing a book, I always wonder, How did they do it? So I’m going to pull back the curtain.
I didn’t get a life-changing phone call or receive an email that said, “We want to release your book!” I didn’t sign a contract or bank a six-figure cheque. I simply decided to self-publish.
Why? I had a meeting with the biggest publishing house on the planet who said, “We don’t get it.” I worked with an agent who eventually said, “It’s not a good time to sell this.” I kicked my own ass about it for years before realising that everything else in life I did on my own. This would simply be another one of those things.
I sold over 100,000 copies of Love & Sequins as an e-book. Wait, scratch that: it wasn’t even an e-book, it was a PDF! Maybe the fact that this agent and that publisher didn’t grasp the concept is a blessing, because it means I get to do it my way. It means I get the opportunity to create the book I believe in; the book you need.
At Spirit Junkie Master Class, Gabby invited me up on stage to talk about my book. With a microphone in hand, I told everyone in the audience that they needed to choose themselves. I said, “Don’t wait around to be picked. You need to back yourself 100%.”
The days of waiting for a publisher, an agent, a record label, or a talent scout to pluck you out of obscurity are over. No more waiting. No more daydreams about Prince Charming. If you want something, you have to go after it yourself.
The world has changed. There are no gatekeepers anymore. There is nothing stopping you from publishing that book, releasing that album, starting that business. Nothing but yourself.
You could spend years refining your book proposal, honing your elevator pitch, or mastering your demo, when you could simply be CREATING. Making more stuff, trying new things, growing as an artist and as an entrepreneur.
It doesn’t matter what you do: you know your audience, your clients, your people, better than anyone. You know their needs, and you know how to help them. So don’t let someone else’s lack of vision get in the way of serving them. Do what you need to do!
Not everyone is going to “get it”, and that’s okay. They don’t need to. Maybe that literary agent didn’t share my vision, and perhaps it wasn’t the right time to work with that publisher. But I have enough vision for both of them combined, and I’m not going to let all that get in the way of the work that needs to be done.
You shouldn’t either.
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Photo by Made U Look.