It’s not like the old days. In the old days (and yes I know I’ve touched on this before, but bear with me) when I finished a piece of work, if I wanted the world to see it, there was only one possibility. Submit it to a lot of companies and wait to be picked. It rarely happened and it was, frankly, depressing. Those days are gone.
Now there is a third option: withhold your work and benefit no one, submit your work to other companies and possibly still benefit no one, and the third option, utilize the amazing array of tools available out there and put it out yourself. This is the option I have chosen time and time again and it’s great, but it’s also difficult.
For example, I just posted two more of my Making Faces books for publishing. The files are being reviewed to make sure everything works and if I have my files correct, they will be available on Amazon, most likely today or tomorrow. Now you might be asking, “What kinds of sales are you having?” The truth is so far my sales have been very small, probably only making up a fraction of my time investment. Why continue to do this kind of work?
Well first of all because the ideas came and ideas are of great value, but only when brought to fruition. Secondly, and relatedly, if it doesn’t exist, no one will buy it, or for that matter be blessed by it. Thirdly, I am building something. Sooner or later, I will find the formula. I will create the thing that gets people’s attention, and when I do, guess what will happen. People will say, that was pretty cool, what else do you have and I will be able to point them to nearly twenty different books and products they might also like. You may not get an immediate return, but the work that we do is an investment.
Really it all comes down to this, you can sit on your ideas and lament every time someone puts their similar idea out before you (I’ve done that hundreds of times and believe me when I tell you, it stinks every time!) or you can be the one who takes the risk, does the work, and puts it out there for the world to see. I want to be the latter very single time.
Every piece of work you do is an investment. It builds your skills and it adds to the body of work you have available from which to reap a benefit. Plus, it’s usually fun.
One final thought, when it comes to our work, no one can buy what you don’t put out, and no one can benefit from what you keep to yourself—not even you. Put it out there!