In a recent blog post, best-selling author and marketing expert made this statement:”No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.”
He was talking about the fact that authors and musicians are making millions without so-called “gatekeepers.” and that the gatekeepers–”the pickers,” as Godin called them–are losing power.
He stressed that most of us want to get picked; it’s inherent to our human nature. We writers want agents or publishers to pick us.
I know this well. That’s why I’ve been a traditional publishing hold out. I’ve been picked by my share of agents; they’ve given me the approval I’ve sought. They’ve told me my ideas are good and that I’m a good writer. They’ve told me I know how to produce a good proposal and that I have a decent platform.
Along the way I’ve even had a conversation or two with some publishers. They’ve told me similar things.
I’m still waiting for a contract to show up, though, that tells me I’ve been picked by the pickers that ultimately count.
And every day that goes by that goal becomes harder and harder to reach. As the publishing environment changes, the pickers lose more power and pick fewer and fewer aspiring authors.
Godin says once you reject the impulse to be picked “and realize that no one is going to select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–then you can actually get to work.”
He goes on to say, “Once you understand there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound.”
I don’t know about you, but for me these word really hit home. I can see how I’ve been waiting around for someone to give me permission to move forward with my books.
I’ve self-published short books and kept them on my website only. Yet, these are short versions of what were to be full-length books. I wrote them instead of the full-length versions while I was waiting to be picked so I could sell them at the back of the room when I went to speak and build platform–to help me get picked. I was waiting for permission from the pickers to write the full-length versions.
I approach my blogs differently, though, writing about my topics with passion and total self-permission. And there, I’ve already been picked. I have readers. They would read my books, too, if only I’d write them and self-publish them. If only I’d stop waiting for permission.
With my blogs, daily and weekly I solve problems, I use the tools I have, I don’t ask or wait for permission, and I contribute.
Over the last two days, I offered two sides to the indie publishing coin. (You can read these posts here and here.) I think I’ve provide a very real look at what it means to self-publish. Without the gatekeepers–the pickers–there’s a huge world of opportunity for writers today. Is it easy or quick? No. It’s time consuming and can be hard. Is it worthwhile. Hell, yes.
So, by all means, pick yourself. Along the way, the pickers may still pick you. And you may or may not decide to be picked. In the meantime, you’ll have solved problems, created change, made a difference, and fulfilled your purpose as a writer and a human being.