Friday, November 2, 2018

Guest Blogger: Jacob Rundle

It's always a joy to see first time writers publisher their first book. I remember how it felt the first time, it's a lot like every time after. It's a feeling you never grow tired of. Stormgate Press is proud to present Jacob Rundle.

How Self-Publishing Has Shaped Me:

As I sit at my writer’s desk, I ask myself which direction I want to take with this blog post. There are so many topics that I feel that are pertinent, but the one that I continue to replay is the topic, “why am I self-publishing instead of trying to get published traditionally?” There is a pivotal point in my article where I say, “I am in no way, shape or form saying anything negative about people who traditionally publish. We all want different things. Now, I have come to believe that the answer is very personal to me, yet I want to share how the experience can help anyone grow as a person and as a writer. So, I want share with you all what I have learned, and why I stand by my decision that self-publishing is an amazing adventure, and how self-publishing has shaped me into a better writer.  

Augur of Shadows: Book I of the 
Destined Series 
will be published in Feb. 2019 
A few years ago, in a period of time when I thought about writing a story, I learned of self-publishing and as many others believed, and some still do, that self-publishing wasn’t a viable option. My thoughts were that being traditionally published was the only way to “make it big” in the literary world. A few questions ran through my mind, “don’t you want to get a book deal? You do know that you won’t make any money as a self-publisher, don’t you?” The answer also depends on one’s definition of “making it big”. Now, I can proudly say that I was completely wrong with that way of thinking because I have completed a piece that is near and dear to my heart. . How many people can say that they enjoy being wrong?

Throughout my journey of writing Augur of Shadows: Book 1 of the Destined Series, I have been exposed to several aspects of the writing and publishing businesses, i.e. writing, editing, revising, formatting and marketing. Before I completed my story, I had no experience in either area. You as a writer should keep this vital question in mind, “what do you want to take away from the experience?”. I’m sure you all agree that learning something new is scary, but also, it is the most exhilarating feeling in the world. The reason that I say, “keep this question in mind” is because when you are deciding whether or not self-publishing is an option for you, individuals who self-publish have their hands in every aspect of the process. Individuals who traditionally publish may or may not have as much control over such areas as cover art, where to sell, etc. So, ask yourself, “how much influence and work you want to put forward?” and you will be closer to a more informed decision.

Also, I must take a leap of faith, and I must seek out individuals to critique what I have written. I do believe that it is vital to get outside options. These critiques can help your story grow into the rose it is meant to be. I was extremely nervous about letting other individuals read my material, and all of the self-doubting questions popped into my head, “what if they don’t like it?” I had to learn to accept that you will not please everyone, and everyone doesn’t have to like what you write. An amazing writer has good and bad reviews, and I was willing to learn from my beta readers’ ideas, suggestions and critiques. I was extremely elated, and I was proud of even the corrections because how many people muster up enough courage to write a novel and to send it off to others to read? I felt accomplished, and I knew that I made the right decision.

As a self-publisher, the entire process has forced me to find skills that I never knew that I have had. Making every executive decision forces one to focus their skill set and to make connections with their readers. I love the fact that I am the one who decides which road my novel takes. I truly believe that when an artist doesn’t have outside influences, pressuring him or her to do this or that, they will have an easier time to fully express them selves. The amount of information that I have learned from the whole process is outstanding, and the process has helped me become the writer that I want to be. So, please, every single beginner writer out there, follow your creative voice, and you won’t be let down.  

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