Updated: Apr 6
by Zoe Wynns/SelfPublishingUS.com
So, you’ve finished writing your story or book! Congratulations, that’s a huge achievement. You may have started to notice an internal battle, however, a tiny voice telling you, “Maybe we should set this one aside and write something better before trying to publish.” That voice wins out for a lot of people, and many people who complete a book never even inquire to try to publish or self-publish and simply let the manuscript sit collecting dust on the shelf. If this sounds like you, we hope you’ll take a read-through of these reasons why you shouldn’t be content to simply have a finished book, and why you should make strides to get it out in the world instead.
1. Get Feedback
Nobody writes a perfect book. That’s just the way it goes, and your book isn’t going to be any different. What you can learn from this experience, though, is if your book is lacking what publishers might want before they consider making you a deal. Often you can get extremely valuable feedback even from places that reject you. Are you not using industry-standard formatting? Do your first few pages come across as cliché or too “out there?” There can be a million reasons why publishers don’t accept your book, but you’ll never know where to start revising until you start sending it in.
If you don’t have any publisher opportunities, consider self-publishing. But you still need feedback and that can come from proofreaders and professional editors. You can also ask family, friends, or colleagues to read the manuscript to provide you with reviews that can be added to the back cover of the book or inside the book.
2. Work Towards Your Dream Job
For most of us who are writing our first couple of books, we haven’t made enough money or notoriety to make it our full-time job just yet. But until you publish a book and see how it does with sales, for better or for worse, you’ll never be any closer to making your passion your day job, too. Even if this book isn’t the winner, you’ll know what to change for your next one, and keep striding forward towards your dreams.
3. Share Themes that Are Important to You
Does your book deal with important social justice themes that mean a lot to you? Do you have a misunderstood character that you want people to understand in order to be kinder in real life? Whatever theme or motif that you’ve included in your book, the world will never consider it unless you actually get it published and accessible to readers.
4. Hard Work and Seeing Your Book in Print
We know you’ve worked incredibly hard on creating this book. Why wouldn’t you want to make it publicly available? Maybe you won’t make a million dollars, but the chance at feeling like the project you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into was worth it is a significant goal for many authors.
All that hard work of writing a book isn’t going to feel nearly so good if you don’t get to experience the amazing moment of walking into a bookstore and seeing it on the shelf. If you are self-publishing you can submit your books to a number of online book shops. Seeing your book in print, soft cover, hard cover, eBook, and/or audio book … that’s the payoff for all that hard work!
5. Get Your Name in the Industry
As in any industry, the writing world can quickly become a game of “who knows who.” Publishing or self-publishing your book will give you the opportunity to make connections with other authors. It will get you connected with editors, with cover artists, with the media, with news outlets, and much more. Taking that step and getting your book published or self-published is a great way to put your name out in the world and take the first steps in becoming a “person to know.”
Okay, okay, this one might be a little selfish, but who doesn’t want to make money off the things they love? From the shortest flash-fiction piece published in an undergraduate journal to an epic fantasy book with a six-figure book deal, money is money—and seeing the monetary value of your work come into your wallet feels pretty dang good. Plus, if this isn’t your day job and you have other sources of income, the money you make from writing can be poured right back in into advertising, editing services, and other things to push your writing journey forward to the next level.
There’s no better way to shut out that little voice in your head that says, “your story is worthless!” than to prove that people want to read it. It’s easy to hope that your work is good when nobody has read it, but it’s even more of a self-esteem boost when you have concrete proof that your writing is good—and it’ll be a great motivator to keep working and creating in the future.
8. Resume Boost, Subject Matter Expert, and Credibility
So, writing isn’t your full-time career? Still, future employers will see that you have published a book, and that line on your resume will stand out to them. It shows that you have dedication, grit, perseverance, and tangible writing skill. No matter your industry, those are all qualities that employers will admire, and it’s likely to put you closer to the top of their list for first pick at your job of choice. Many business owners write a book and use it as a calling card or for promoting their expertise in an industry. Adding “author” to your bio page can feel really good.
9. Longevity and Leaving Something Behind
Many people dream to be known for centuries after their death. One of the most surefire ways to do this is to write a book. The internet is volatile, but a physical book can stand the test of time. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have a classic on your hands in a thousand years!
10. More Reasons to Share Your Story
Look, we can feed the logical part of your brain all day and give you all the reasons why you should put that book out into the world. But at the end of the day, you undertook this project for a reason. We can’t guess that reason, nor can the people around us. Only you know the true purpose of this quest that you’ve begun, and only you can decide to end the quest now … or forge a new path, a path into the world of published writing. The choice is yours!