As a writer, you’re an entrepreneur. If you’re setting pen to paper (in a manner of speaking) you’re trying to create something that you want people to engage with, to buy – you’re building something. You’re an entrepreneur.
Continue to think that way. But think even bigger. Start your own imprint. Be the master of your publishing destiny.
If you decide to self-publish, do it in a big way. Market your book under the publishing house you make, you name and you promote. You’ll be doing it yourself anyway, whether you’re signed to a traditional publishing house or if you decide to self-publish.
But take self-publishing one step further. Thanks to Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other sites, you can create your own digital titles, as well as physical ones, and you can release them under your publishing imprint. If bestselling author Dave Eggers can found the publisher McSweeney’s and publish his own works, why can’t you?
You might not yet be as celebrated as Eggers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start up your own business. After all, you’re writing your own material, you can take it a step further and do it under a publishing house of your own.
You’re halfway there. If you’re building a platform for your ideas, then you’re already doing some of what you would be doing as a publisher: you’re building an audience, you’re trying to attract readers. You’re helping to shape the voice of you, the writer.
Sure, traditional publishing houses have book-distribution networks and sales reps and editors and graphic designers and a lot of overhead. But increasingly more of those tasks are being outsourced to freelancers. As someone who has decided to create your own publishing imprint, you can do as the big players do: hire outside help.
But the point is: don’t think in terms of letting others control your publishing destiny. If you’re already building your brand through your writing, you can do it as a publisher in addition to being a writer.