Mindset & Mindfulness

The Self-Publishing Personality Test

There’s a lot of great information available about the pros and cons of self-publishing, how to do it, and rational ways to decide whether it’s right for your circumstances.

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However, I’ve read very little about the emotional side of the decision. And for those of us who grew up with the Famous Five or Anne of Green Gables, it can be hard to get our head around self-publishing. For us, our childhood dreams of writing a book meant a publishing deal, glossy stacks of identical copies, and a narrow spot on the shelf in a (real) bookstore. Is it okay to thumb our noses at the industry we love, and go it alone?

Self-publishing feels… audacious. Off- piste. Rebellious, even? Not only that, but for me, personally, there’s the whole aspect of validation, too. Never mind that the only feedback I should care about is reviews from my readers. No, the goody-two-shoes inside me wants to be patted on the back by someone who judges books as a career.

All this got me thinking, and I now present a light-hearted quiz list for you to test whether your personality is likely to struggle with the leap into self-publishing. How many of the following feel like you?

  • You were frequently praised by teachers in school
  • You did better than average in tests and exams
  • You find bragging about your achievements difficult
  • So far, your parents have approved of your career choices
  • You were slow to get a smart phone, or don’t own one yet
  • You’d rather pay $9.99 for a printed book than $8.99 for the Kindle version
  • You’ve collected a couple of points, at most, on your driver’s license
  • You seldom jaywalk
  • You never incur late fees at the library

Here’s my big theory: agree with six or more of the above, and you’re probably someone who follows rules and has so far functioned well according to society’s traditional measures. You respect authority and you value the tactile experience of holding a real book. Your previous successes have likely been bestowed on you by others, rather than declared by your own sense of self-worth.

How do I know all this? I just described myself. I’m the kind of author who will struggle to find the self-belief to self-publish. But that doesn’t mean I won’t do it. And I hope you’ll stick around to find out.

What about you? How much of the quiz-list did you identify with, and what’s your comfort level with self-publishing?


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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Joanne Phillips
    August 1, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Hi Pauline,
    I ticked 6 – the only 2 I didn’t tick were the parents’ approving of career choices (they’ve never said either way) and library fines (I’m a terror for them, but I worked in libraries for years and I know they don’t mind the odd fine because it’s a great source of income).
    As you know, I self published this year, and one thing I noticed from the above was that it also describes someone who likes to do well and be in control of their own destiny, and someone who doesn’t follow the crowd. Maybe this comes closer to today’s self publishing author than it might seem at first glance 🙂
    Great test xxx

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      August 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

      Thanks, Joanne! Loved your thoughts on this. I think my destiny needs a boot in the right direction 😉

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