Self-Publishing Sunday: You Gotta Do You

Woman aiming camera at a mirror

What do you see when you look in your author mirror? (Source: Pixabay)

One of the things I do here on Sundays is offer advice and tips on self-publishing. But the truth of the matter is, no matter what I say, you’ve got to live with what you do. Therefore, you’ve got to make the choice about which advice to take and which advice to shelve.

Today, I thought I’d talk about you doing you. Because, ultimately, in self-publishing, what happens in your career has to be about what you can live with.

I initially got the idea to write this post because an author in an online group I’m in mentioned using a sales tactic I thought was a bit shady. (I won’t explain it, because–again–I think it’s shady, and I don’t want others copying it).  However, nothing the author did was illegal. It just left a bad feel, in my humble opinion.

After watching what transpired, I vowed I wouldn’t use a similar tactic because I thought it was wrong. Even though the tactic worked out well for the author I mentioned, that’s not the kind of author I want to be.

I don’t want this to turn into a referendum on right and wrong tactics, but I do think it reminds us all that at some point, we need to sit down and figure out what kind of author we want to be. As you learn more, the types of strategies you employ will be different, but the kind of author you want to be, at your core, will likely endure.  Once you figure out what kind of author you want to be (even if it’s something as simple as the kind that tells a really good, entertaining story), you can find strategies that help you succeed at being that kind of author. And disregard strategies that don’t.

There are a lot of authors out there that say writing and publishing quickly always result in poor-quality work. But, if that’s the kind of author you are, then disregard that advice, because it’s not for you. There are authors out there who would suggest you write get-rich-quick type of books and stick them in Kindle Unlimited for a quick buck. If that’s the kind of author you want to be, then that’s your advice. If that’s not the kind of author you want to be, then steer clear. There are writers who suggest releasing an entire series on the same day (three or four books), while others suggest pacing them out, and still others who suggest stand alones only. There are people who say don’t write short books, but there are some authors out there making a killing with this type of work. Why? Because those authors did what works for them. The thing about advice is some of it may work for you or none of it. But, you’ve got to figure out the kind of writer you want to be and take the advice that jibes for you and your own personal code.

If it doesn’t jibe, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad advice (though I’d tend to advise most people to stay away from “get rich quick schemes”), it just means it’s bad advice for you.

So what kind of author do you want to be? Have you figured out how best to do you?

About RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist who now writes fiction. She's reported for the Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, as well as the smaller publications Education Technology News and Campus Crime. She has two published novels, Life First and Second Life and blogs for Indies Unlimited and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. For exclusive content and first looks at her new work, sign up for the newsletter at
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One Response to Self-Publishing Sunday: You Gotta Do You

  1. All writing advice needs to be examined closely to see if its right for you. There are a many different ways or writing as there are writers. What works for one does not work for all.

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