Let’s be frank. If you search Amazon for a book by subject you will come across some plainly self-published books, and you might wince. I see ‘summaries’ of other writers’ works and ask, “Why not just buy the original!?” Many such books also come across as having only a few pages (with HUGE fonts) and that makes you question the value you’ll get as a purchaser.
However, I have read some very deep, well-written books that have been self-published via Amazon. The quality of the binding is fine if not spectacular, the authors have clearly considered their content and, occasional grammar and spelling goofs aside, they have been a pleasure to read. A good example is Tim Brownson’s “The Clarity Method” (although the © he insists on using for ‘his’ name for a values-based coaching method that has been around for 40 years irks a little.) Another fine book is Unified Power by Charles R. Hobbs and Greg W. Allison – relatively short, but a deep exploration and description of how the principles of Integrity, (secular) Faith, Love and Purpose underpin our best work. So here’s the case for my efforts.
First of all, my books are 150 to 300+ pages, and I recently amended one because a purchaser said that the 130 pages of The Way had too small a font. It’s now 150 pages. My revision of Police Time Management will be well over 300 in A4, 12-font. MASSIVE. The Three Resolutions is also in a small font and 300 pages long. (Might have to make that bigger for the age-related squint.) In a nutshell, you get lots of paper and words for your buck.
Second, they are original. I’ll rephrase that. While any thought that gave rise to them arose from my own studies and experiences, they aren’t merely summaries of someone else’s efforts with little or no input from me. The Three Resolutions is a broad self-development philosophy and approach to life based on a three page article by Stephen Covey, and brings broader self-help advice into a three step developmental process or paradigm. Police Time Management takes a lot of what I have learned and applied over 25 years and directs it specifically at policing and at the professional and personal lives of those with whom I was proud to serve. And The Way is a book in which I provide a progressive approach to identifying your own – not mine – approach to a congruent life. Yes, they have derived from my studies, but they aren’t in any way ‘just’ a summary of other works. (I was tempted to amalgamate them into one big book but you’d get a hernia carrying it.)
So they are self-published. I haven’t got a huge company behind me, just a life very much like those of most people. But when you first picked up a book by Sinek, Robbins, Covey or anyone else – did you know or care who they were or did you look at the description and contents page and think, “I must read this”?
Okay, that’s my pitch finished. But what about you?Is there a book in you? Do you have a philosophy, a story to tell, a standpoint that needs to be strongly promoted? Do you want to make a story up? Well – what’s stopping you?
You can write and self-publish at no cost via kdp.amazon.com, like many do. It’s easy and, as in the case of The Way font, you can immediately edit any errors in time for the next order! What’s more you can paperback AND Kindle your book, although there is an art to that.
You may only sell copies to yourself. But here’s the kicker. If you put enough thought and effort into your work you might find, as I did, that your cognitive and reasoning abilities, your understanding of what’s happening around you (and how you’re being played!) and possibly even your IQ, will be enhanced. You’ be better – ‘all round’ better. And you’ll feel a greater sense of self-esteem just for having done the writing.
So I’d ask you to do two things. First, write a book. Second, don’t dismiss a self-published book without at least using the ‘Look Inside’ facility that Amazon provides so that you can get a sense of the content of the book, the author’s style and the effort that was – or wasn’t – put into it.
We amateur wordsmiths thank you for the few minutes you give to us when you do that.