When I became a Certified Christian Life Coach, I knew I wanted to be a cheerleader for the cheerleaders.
I want you to know even though Jesus is your #DreamDefender, I’m in your corner fighting for you. That’s how I sign all of my emails, actually…
Your Dream Defender.
I know what it feels like to get knocked down and to get back up again. Nine times I got knocked down while pursuing my dreams of writing books and speaking across the United States–and nine times I stood back up and published his glorious deeds among the nations. I told everyone about the amazing things God does (Psalm 96:3).
You may be looking at me, sweating and shaking–wondering if you have the stuff dreams are made of!
You most certainly do.
That’s why I’m here.
Maybe you don’t feel called to publish your story, but you have a new business idea and you’re wondering how to get it started. Maybe you need help pursuing one of your dream goals–and you need a cheerleader to help keep you accountable. They don’t call me the Energizer Bunny for nothing! They also don’t call me a racehorse or a bulldog (you’ve been warned!!).
It would be my honor to help you see, like Leah, that now is the time to praise the Lord. The reason why I choose my logo with the ampersand with two arrows because of two little Hebrew words found in Genesis 29:35 that forever changed the rest of my life. Leah, the unattractive and unloved wife of Jacob, after bearing him four sons declared,
“Now will I praise the Lord” (KJV).
Now, in Hebrew, is Pa’am, which means:
stroke, beat, foot, step, anvil, occurrence
- foot, hoof-beat, footfall, footstep
- occurrence, time, stroke, beat
- one time, once, twice, thrice, as time on time, at this repetition, this once, now at length, now…now, at one time…at another
Praise, in Hebrew, is Yadah, which means:
to throw, shoot, cast
- (Qal) to shoot (arrows)
- (Piel) to cast, cast down, throw down
- to give thanks,, laud, praise
- to confess, confess (the name of God)
- to confess (sin)
- to give thanks
The Hebrew behind Leah’s statement literally means the occurrence and repetition of a stoke, beat, foot, step, anvil. She forcefully decided to praise the Lord and believe God was BIGGER than her circumstances.
PRAISE CHANGES EVERYTHING.
I want you to know there is hope. It is not impossible to believe in the power of calling your dreams to life.
C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
I wrote a pros and cons list of traditional publishing vs. self publishing. I hope this helps you make the best decision for you!
It is my goal, at the end of reading the list–that you are 100% certain about which direction you want to take.
I loved both traditional and self publishing for different reasons. Each route had something differ to offer. My favorite thing about working with a traditional publisher was working with the editors. I became a much better writer because of their involvement in the process. My favorite thing about self publishing was owning every part of the creative process because I knew how!
She believed she could so she did!
My least favorite thing about working with a traditional publisher was having my book contract canceled after I turned in the written book before the deadline. Talk about devastated! My least favorite thing about self publishing was having to pay for everything myself!
Disclaimer: As an author, you can work hard and feel like you have a firm grasp on traditional publishing vs self publishing, and still not have it all figured out. I certainly don’t! This is just a list I made from what I have already learned to help you make a better informed decision that works best for you!
Pros – Traditional Publishing:
- You don’t have to pay for a professional editor
- You don’t have to pay for book cover design
- You usually get paid up front in the form of an advance
- Your books has access to distribution channels that self publishing often don’t have access to
- Publishers have a sales and marketing budget to share your book nationwide
- (Did I mention they have a sales and marketing budget?)
- Sometimes publishers pay you to travel to visit them, events, or author signings
- Life long friendships are formed
- All your hard work of building your brand, launching your platform online, collecting email addresses, and social media has paid off!
Cons – Traditional Publishing:
- You don’t always have a say in your book title, format, editing, and/or book cover design
- Publishers have the right to cancel your contract (this happen to me once with NavPress when the recession hit)
- If your book doesn’t sell well in pre sales or within the first three months of your release, they discontinue your book
- You don’t own the rights to your book
- If you don’t sell at least 5,000 copies you probably won’t be asked back for a second book, and if you have a second book contract they might treat you like a number and not be as motivated to help you sell your second book
- You still have to do most of the marketing yourself, like hiring a publicist, making a video trailer, paying for Facebook/Instagram ads, etc
- After your advance, if your books don’t sell well–you may never see another dime on your book
- Online retailers like Amazon or Brick & Motor stores like Barnes and Noble will have returns, and sometimes they are huge. Returns hurt future royalties/paycheck (see above).
- You have to wait at least a year and a half to two years to see your book release
- You don’t have control over the date your book launches (like launching a Faithbook of Jesus, a 365 devotional in March, or Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, a deep-thinking book, in the middle of the summer.)
- Buying copies of your books plus shipping for events can get super pricy (if your book is $14.99 and you get a 55% discount that’s $6.75 per book plus shipping and handling).
- Royalty Rates aren’t that great unless your agent negotiates this higher, and even then they’re still low (especially if you got an advance)
- Platform. Platform. Platform. Forget if you’re actually an amazing author. If you don’t have a platform or email list that is in the thousands (more like tens of thousands), it’s tough to get a publishing contract.
Pros – Self Publishing:
- If a traditional publisher considers your book a “niche” book, then you know it’s perfect for self publishing (like my best seller, Loves Me Not, a book for singles on breakups)
- No contracts
- Release your book when you feel the timing is right
- You own the rights to your book (you can easily translate your book into another language or Bible Study as another source of income if you like)
- Buying copies of your book for events are super reasonable (A 200ish page book on CreateSpace costs about $2ish dollars per copy plus shipping)
- You collect royalties monthly
- Royalty rates are amazing (can get as high as 70% on CreateSpace and Kindle)
- You can make your book look just as good as a traditionally published book
- You can still work with a literary agent to brainstorm with on other projects
- Copies print on demand and you don’t have to buy your book in bulk
- It’s FREE to self publish on Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishers as well as Barnes and Noble and other places. (For now, I choose to stay simple and self publish only on Amazon)
- Self publishing is no longer considered taboo or plan B
- If your self published book does well, a traditional publisher might pick it up! (I know people who this has happened too)
- Most people buy their books on Amazon—which gives your self published book the best option to be purchased
- You have a say in every part of the creative process of publishing your book including title, format, editing and book cover design
Cons – Self Publishing:
- You have to pay for everything (including hiring an editor, graphic designer, sales & marketing budget, etc)
- Can’t always get your book into markets or distribution channels that traditional publishers can
- Vanity publishers like Westbow, Xulon Press, and Lulu cost you a lot of money to self publish, and they don’t offer coaching to help you write, design, or market your book (I don’t recommend going through a vanity publisher, unless of course you have the money and you feel that is the best option for you)
- If your book looks like a self published book, this may detour others from valuing your work as you do or hiring you as a speaker (one of the reasons why I coach authors on how to self publish)
As you can see from the pros and cons list, there aren’t many cons with self publishing. As a dreamer, I find more freedom and creativity in self publishing!
I know that making the decision to traditionally publish or self publish your book can be difficult. There are reasons why people choose to write a book, and they’re usually personal. For me, getting my book traditionally published was on my bucket list since I was a teenager. I understand if it’s that important to you. I also understand if you just have to get the message out or you’ll burst. For my Life Coach, Vickie Bridges, writing a book was never something she wanted to do—until God called her to write a book.