Why You Should Sell Your Own Work

Yesterday, I launched "The Tumor," an original digital short story I'm selling on my personal website.

It's a story about a husband, a wife, and what happens when the husband wants to shoot the wife to solve the problem, and she won't let him.

Here's why you should sell your work yourself:

It's Really Not That Hard

I'm using Gumroad to process purchases of "The Tumor" on my site. I chose Gumroad because Clayton Cubitt uses it, and he told me to use it. They don't take as big of a cut as Amazon.

Lesson: Fuck Bezos.

It's Great for Control Freaks

I'm a control freak. And a freelance writer. That means editors screw up my prose, incompetent designers do a shitty job of laying out my paragraphs, and artists create horrible art to go with my fine lines. It's like going to the prom and getting caught in the rain on the way, and by the time you get to the prom you look like you just got in from a gangbang. When you sell your work yourself, you control what it looks like, what format(s) it's in, and how much people pay for it.

Lesson: If you're spineless, stick to letting other people ruin your life.

You're Good Enough, You're Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You!

I pitch stories to outlets all the time. Most of the time, they pass, they ignore, they turn up their noses. Every time this happens, it makes you feel a little more worthless, a little more downtrodden, a little more why bother. It's not easy to be a creative and have people shit on your head, is it? Here's the thing. The problem isn't your work. The problem isn't you. It's them. These needlenose fuckers, these self-proclaimed guardians of invisible velvet ropes, these losers who have desk jobs because they're too afraid to go deep and create things that are beautiful, and new, and remarkable? Why would you ask them for permission to do what you want? There are people out there who want to buy what you have. It's up to you to deliver it to them.

Lesson: Be your own Courage Wolf or the world's miniature Dachshunds will devour you.

You'll Expand Your Mind and Your Circle

It took a band of creatives to spawn "The Tumor." Peteski did the cover. Domini did the page design. Susan copyedited. Creatives spend a lot of time in isolation. Creating, producing, and selling your own work forces you to engage with others in a way that makes you smarter, sharper, and savvier. You never learn this when you hand over your work to people you never even know.

Lesson: Collaboration is the spark that ignites creation.

There's No Glamour in Being Nobody

The writer who claims he doesn't care if anyone reads his work is a liar and a fraud. At the moment your work is seen, you are being seen. The work is your child, given up to be adopted by the world, and you have a responsibility to be its doula. Otherwise, it will be invisible.

Lesson: Your 15 seconds of nanofame is there for the taking -- grab it.

Now go buy THE TUMOR.