Why I Chose Self Publishing & Dream Coaching

Originally published Wednesday, 23 April 2014.

Often, I am asked by writers and fellow authors about self publishing -- so I decided to write why I choose self publishing for Loves Me Not, Dream Devotional, and my future projects. 

That's right.

I said future projects. Plural.

I am working on self publishing two more projects. I'm currently writing an inspirational eBook for women to be released in the Fall, and a 365 daily devotional to be released Christmas, 2014. The exciting part about self publishing is that it is super creative and fun! Writing my fifth book, Dream Devotional, was so cathartic for me! I needed to have the creative freedom to write without fear it might be changed or edited to fit a general audience. I also needed to write in secret, which self publishing allows, because the entire process is up to you.

I appreciate Shauna Niequist's words in her blog entitled What's Next. She knows how it feels like to have people ask you when your next book is coming out.

I’m a book writer, and I’ll keep writing books as long as there’s someone to read them. But I’m getting ahead of myself… Immediately after a book comes out, people start asking about the next one, not unlike people asking you when you’re going to have another baby while you’re still in the hospital holding a newborn and you still can’t feel your legs.

I can sympathize. When you're traditional publishing there is so much expectation to sell well and to keep selling well! You can read the rest of her blog here.

I feel there is more freedom in self publishing, and that is why I say with confidence that I quit traditional publishing.

I can take my time to go at my own pace whether slow or fast or slow-fast! Some of you may remember my mental health crisis when my first book released five years ago. I was afraid that talking about my issues with anxiety would cause me to lose my "platform." In fact, it scared me so much that it took me four -- almost five years to start talking about it publicly.

I wrote back in September, 2013 that I stopped taking Lexapro for my anxiety.

I never wrote a post officially saying I went back on my anxiety medication, but I did. It was hard to accept, but I know I'm not the only one. I appreciate an author friend Addie Zierman for blogging this week about depression coming back (and going back on medication). You can read her blog here. I used to be afraid that I would lose my career because of my mental health issues, but I'm way past that. In fact, now I am resolved more than ever to be as transparent as I can because you never know who might need help.

Plus, I recognize that I am one of millions of people who struggle. Period.

So why should I be ashamed of my sufferings?

When I attended the Mental Health and the Church Conference at Saddleback Church, I was encouraged. You can read more about my experience on my previous blog post here

Actually, the biggest reason why I chose to self publish is because I found out one of my friends tried to commit suicide. I can no longer wait two years for a book of mine to release.

Geri Scazzero writes in The Emotionally Healthy Woman that "quitting requires the death of illusions. It means ceasing to pretend that everything is fine when it's not. She continues,

"Biblical quitting goes hand in hand with choosing. When we quit those things that are damaging to our souls or the souls or others, we are freed up to choose other ways of being and relating that are rooted in love and lead to life. For example... When we quit fear of what others think, we choose freedom. Biblical quitting is God's path for new things to come forth in our lives, for resurrection."

I cannot tell you how grateful I was to read Geri's words of encouragement the same day I was writing a blog about quitting. In her own words, "and that was what happened when I quit -- I got my life back." I recently asked the question in Day 1 of Dream Devotional, "Is something missing from your life?" I truly believe this is one of the first questions we need to ask in order to stop pretending we're not okay. I'm grateful to ChristianMingle for sharing my video with you. You can watch it here.

If you are a blogger turned writer turned wanna be author -- who knows God has called you to write -- I want you to know there are options including self publishing.

In fact, I want to share with you four reasons why self publishing rocks:

1. Christian publishing is not what it was 5 years ago when I first published Faithbook of Jesus. Instead of having multiple Christian publishers -- there are only a few left because Tyndale bought NavPress, and Baker just bought Regal. We already know that HarperOne now owns the world, I mean Thomas Nelson and Zondervan!

2. The pressure to traditionally publish if you want to be taken seriously as a author no longer exists. Being a hybrid author is totally acceptable, and if you decide to traditionally publish and self publish -- there are plenty of authors including myself who have already done so.

3. Self publishing gives you 100% creative freedom to set the price, hire an editor and graphic designer you  want to work with, while picking the release date to coincide with your schedule. I don't know about you, but I love having full creative control, and while that may scare others -- it's a process I actually enjoy. Bonus: If you're incredible busy, and only have a few months out of your schedule to focus on writing or the launch of your new book -- self publishing is perfect for that!

4. You don't have to play the dog and pony show when your book comes out. Of course you want your book to sell, but you certainly aren't expected to get a certain number of endorsements, books sold, or speaking engagements. In other words -- the pressure is different. It's not totally off, but it's up to you how you want to market your book. Bonus: You can giveaway free books to people who really need to read your message now (like my friend who was having a hard time)! Want to hear something amazing? All the left overs from my previous books are what made up Dream Devotional. That's why I was able to self publish so fast. All those topics I couldn't speak about before I can now -- without fear or hindrance. That mental health crisis? Check. Sexual harassment in a Christian work place? Check. And many more stories that I couldn't share until now. It. Feels. Amazing.

If there is one lesson I learned from bad book sales from Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me -- it's this: Believe in the giftings God gave you.

Don't let a publisher tell you you're worth it -- or not.

Don't let book sales define your worth -- or not.

I know that making the decision to traditionally publish or self publish your book can be difficult. I also know that quitting unhealthy habits is not a one-time act but an ongoing spiritual discipline. That is why I would love to help you achieve your dreams by becoming your personal or professional dream coach.

I launched my consulting services about a month ago, but I kept feeling the tug to do more to help personally. A book is not just a book. I know that more than anyone.

There are reasons why people choose to write a book, and they're usually personal.

If it wasn't for a life coaching helping me navigate my quarter life crisis, I certainly wouldn't have finished my college degree, found my career (calling), and married the man of my dreams. 

I can say now with full confidence that with the help of my life coach -- all my personal dreams have come true. I'll never forget pouring my heart out at her house with my tears. I had no idea if God would ever change the course of my life. I thought my anxiety discounted me from enjoying what other "normal" people could do without any problems. I knew it would take much more effort for me to work and go to school full time. I was afraid I was stuck at a dead end job forever. I had no idea to turn my hobby of writing into a career -- and the part I hated most was the fact that I was as saangle (really single) as they come.

But.  Now it's my turn.

I know what it's like to dream. I also know what it's like to work really hard towards my dreams because of my mental health issues. I know what it's like to stare at an obstacle for fear that you'll never get around it.

Hope. I want you to know there is hope to pursue your dreams. Did you know that one encounter with heaven restores hope? 

It would be my pleasure to help pursue your dreams ... of navigating returning to college, finding the right career for you, pursuing healthy relationships, and getting your mental health into shape! Depending on your individual needs I can customize a highly effective plan to your new:

+ Personal goals + Mental health strategies + Creating and maintaining healthy relationships + Setting boundaries at home or work + Choosing the right career path for you

Today, please hire me to begin consulting or dream coaching today! What are you waiting for?