Why I Just Self-Published Three Books at One Time

How long does it take you to make a decision?

It probably depends on the gravity of the situation. For me, dinner choices come easily. The answer to, “What do you want for dinner this week?” is always, every Sunday, “At least sushi and tostadas.” Same with what I’m wearing in the morning. It’s usually a five-minute-and-under decision.

But not my writing. The decisions I make when it comes to my writing can take days, weeks, months, or years to manifest. Examples: Taking 8 years to write “Making Room”, taking 5 months after the final edit of the “Making Room” manuscript to submit it, taking 6 months to really find my stride on this blog. Well, true to form…

After months (at least 5 that I can count) of toying with the idea (a.k.a. being a scaredy cat), as of last night I have officially self-published parts 1, 2, and 3 of “102 Days in Japan: Between Ichinomiya & Gifu (and then some)”. It’s a mouthful, I know. But it’s every bit worth that mouthful.

I was fortunate enough to live in Japan for 102 days from November 2009 until March 1, 2010. Those 3.5 shaped the rest of my life, that is for sure. I blogged almost daily while there, mainly as a way to connect my experiences to my family and friends back home. I also wanted a way to process everything I was learning and to have a record of it. Within a week of being home (back in 2010) I compiled all of these blogs into one (very long) Word document and had them printed and bound, so I then had a digital and hard copy. This allowed me to share the experience with my grandmothers, neither one of whom own a computer.

Fast forward 2.5 years and I start reading about self-publishing. I honestly didn’t think Making Room was going to get picked up, so I was looking into self publishing options. Luckily, Ambassador International saw something special in MR and it moved forward. But, the truth of the matter is: the publishing landscape looks completely different today than it did 20 years ago. This author’s old soul has taken years to warm up to the idea of eReaders, let alone self-publishing. I still cannot read full-length works on an electronic device, but for those of you who can:

Japan collage book cover

“102 Days in Japan” chronicles my first (and so far only) international experience. I fell in love with the people, the train system, the food, the chocolate. I rode a bike that was too big for me and caused me more than a few run-ins with various people/things. My world was opened up wider than I ever, ever dreamed it could be.

“102 Days in Japan” is available only through Amazon, which is Kindle, iPad/Pod/Phone (via the free Kindle app, any tablet device, and Android devices (via the free Kindle app), as well as regular computers (directions here). The cost is $4.99 for the first volume, and $3.99 for the subsequent two volumes.

My dad was my first purchase, and I hope you’ll follow me and then pass it along to your friends/family, especially if you know others who are considering living overseas.

So back to the decision-making: what made me finally decide to self-publish?

Well, first of all, the blogs are nothing that I would want to hassle a publisher with. They were written and posted within hours of the experience. It’s certainly a personal, close-to-my-heart kind of thing,  but the writing part was an enjoyable, self-imposed side gig. To try and push it through a publisher would be a tedious, rejection-filled process that I’m not willing to endure for something that was such fun to create.

Second, it’s free and they were already written. Easy peasey. No new writing. No new creativity. So if I can a) put more of my writing out there and b) make a little money, why not? The self-publishing world is legitimate. Yes, you have to weed through some of the junk to get to the treasure, but that’s like everything else.

And I promise, “102 Days in Japan” is on the treasure side of the equation. 😉


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