Do-It-Yourself: Why I D-I-Yed

About two years ago, I changed my life.

Call it divine purpose or destiny, but I was left at a crossroads with a decision. Either continue teaching, which I loved, or pursue a career writing full-time. Either required 100 percent dedication, and I only had 100 to give.

I tendered my resignation. Some coworkers still think I’m nuts. I did, too. One thing’s for sure: this wasn’t all about me.

With my first manuscript, I ruled out mainstream publishing. Entertainment is the only field I know of where an employer can legally keep 84 to 94 percent of your pre-tax income by claiming “you can do better with us than you could on your own.” Imagine your boss telling you: “Take an 84 percent salary cut. You can (enter your profession) on your own, but you won’t do as well by yourself.”

The math looked like this: my paperback book’s price point is $13.95. At 6 percent per book, that’s 83 cents per mainstream copy. To make my old salary, I’d need to sell 54,216 books. Not gonna happen, at least at first.

With self-publishing, there are good companies that don’t over-inflate costs, charge you for free services, and manhandle you on the back end printing charges. You almost never see advertisements for these places.

Eventually, I settled on do-it-yourself indie publishing. I like the idea of being my own boss, don’t you?

Great Nation Publishing is a business my children can inherit instead of a bill. Again, it’s not all about me.

I’m a bit of a control freak (OK, more than a bit), so total autonomy over my brand appeals to me.  The indie way is less expensive, equally as productive, and way more profitable (long run and short run) than self-publishing. That’s all it took to convince me.

It’s also in my heart to help other authors to effectively do what I do, in case they can’t tender their resignation yet.

Small business ownership is not all roses and candy. I wanted to quit doing it full-time as recently as this summer, when the lure of my old job literally called. I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t want to go back, but the majority of me knew it was the wrong thing to do. Again, God had His way and the principal hired someone else. If He hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been here for you.  

Yes, you who says some variation of “I feel like I have a book inside of me” to every published writer you meet. Call it divine purpose or destiny, but you’re at a crossroads where you either write this book or continue to put it off. When you’re ready, I’ll be here to help.

Brian Thompson’s passion is motivating and encouraging others to write and to pursue Do-It-Yourself publishing. He is also author of acclaimed Christian fiction thrillers The Lost Testament, and The Revelation Gate. You can read more about Brian by visiting his author site.

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