| David Gane

The #1 reason I chose self-publishing

"I'm a writer."

"Oh wow, a published author!"

"Well, actually, we're self-publishing our ebook."

"Oh...." (Uncomfortably shuffles away.)


There's often a moment I've seen in conversations when I mention I'm self-publishing and people's eyes glaze over and they begin to worry about my life choices.

I admit I've made plenty of bad decisions, but this isn't one of them.

Audience

The main reason I got into self-publishing was for the connection with readers. [1]

In high school I wrote a story that that made its way around the bus and in the classroom and it was cool to see happen.

Better yet, some people responded to it. They wanted to read more or they were upset when I'd kill off a character. Somehow with this little story of mine, I had made a connection and it was awesome.

Gatekeepers

Unfortunately, the traditional path of selling stories (scripts or fiction) is disrupted. A reader is inserted between you, the writer, and the audience you want to experience your story.

Of course, this makes sense. If you own a company that is spending money, you need to get a sense whether the work can sell magazines, books, or movie tickets, as well as aligning with your values. You don't bet on a non-starter.

However, it also allows them to be the decision makers of what is seen. This gives them the ability to set the rules and define what the market receives.

Although the company's ear is honed with experience to be tuned to what might people want, they're focus is not always set on the emotional connection you want with your audience.

The consumer as judge

The interesting part about self-publishing is that it removes that buffer to the audience. You are no longer writing to the magazine or to the producer (or their assistants), but to the person you actually want to connect with.

The audience can be the first decision makers. They can love the work, hate it, or celebrate it.

Once again, it gives them the power to decide and dictate what defines culture, in whatever form it takes.[2]

Once again, the creators connect with their audience, and more importantly, the audience can connect with their creators.

And to me, that is the most exciting thing possible.



  1. Other considerations would be ownership of the product and my career, the speed and connection of the marketplace, a love for the DIY attitude, a certain amount of personal freedom, and of course, if I do this right, it pays the bills. ↩︎

  2. High, pop, sub, counter, etc... ↩︎

Tags: Audience

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