As I get closer to publishing my first book, I think it would be useful to explain why I’m planning to publish independently (self-pub).

The bottom line: Control. I want to maintain complete control of the stories I tell, and that cannot happen by ceding control to a publisher.

I’ll give you an example of what can happen when control is lost. At work, I helped design a new internal software platform that will be launching next month. I, along with three others, worked hard to create a flexible system that would serve the needs of the end-users–in this case, our salespeople. It wasn’t perfect, but all the salespeople who saw the designs liked them a lot.

Then IT got a hold of it, and the director of IT had other ideas of how the software should function. Like a petty tyrant exerting her authority for the sake of her ego, she slowly overruled our designs and morphed the system into something else. I’ve watched for years as our designs were twisted and perverted into a shambling thing I no longer want my name associated with, a feeling the other members of the design team share.

This isn’t a perfect example. If I were a programmer I could have helped build the software myself, but I’m not. It had to be handed off to developers eventually, and some changes were liable to be introduced. I can accept that.

But I watched something I was proud of morph into something worse than useless. I’m ashamed of what my work has resulted in.

I will not let that happen again.

There are many reasons I’m independently publishing, and I’ll go over more of them in following posts. But the chief one, the one that stands above all else, is I want control.

The only people vital in the book business are authors and readers. I won’t let anyone meddle with my story, nor get between me and you, the people I hope will one day give me a chance and enjoy the books I will have written. I will not watch as something else I am proud of is destroyed.

If my work is to be destroyed, if I am to fail, and if I am to make terrible mistakes, I will make them myself. I will not let someone else make them for me, and then force me to put my name on the result.

Next post: Compromise.