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Should I self publish my book even though I want to be an editor/publisher?

I started writing (and may illustrate) a children's picture book in my spare time. I spoke to a few different professors at my college about it and they all recommended I self publish it for a few reasons: it's faster, I get more control over what the end result looks like, and I would be allowed to use it as my honors component which is a required project of my choice I need to complete for the honors program (I'm ok with doing a different project).
However, one of the careers I have been looking at for years is editing and publishing (though I never decided what I would like to edit and publish). I feel like a hypocrite. If I were to apply to a publishing house with a self published book on my resume, would that make me look bad?
editing publishing selfpublish writing childrensbooks books

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Subject: Career question for you

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Caryn’s Answer

Hello Ray!

Self Publishing should not be a negative item to include on your resume. As a hiring manager, I would translate a self published author as someone who loves their work so much, they’d do it for free in their spare time. Nothing would prevent them from doing what they were created to do.

All the great composers in history made their greatest pieces during or after 8 years of career writing. Great careers take a lot of hard work and a lot of stories behind the scenes that are just stepping stones in the tapestry of your career. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make the “right” choice. Just take the first step! Is that self publishing for you? You might find out through that process what type of works you would like to edit most.

I think you are wise to seek the counsel of your professors. They’ve been in the world of writing and publishing for a while, I’m sure. The first step to doing what you want to do is getting near the people who are doing it! Check out The Proximity Principle by Ken Coleman. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Best of luck!

Caryn
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Vandana’s Answer

Why not
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Helene (Eleni)’s Answer

That's awesome and I was in a similar position recently too. I'd say if it is your first book, definitely go for self-publishing. Amazon is super easy and helpful if you are looking for ways to do this. I have heard that if you are applying to MFA programs and creative writing masters degrees that you'd need to look into magazines or other companies to publish your work. Something to keep in mind! Definitely talk to your writing professors for insight as well.
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Evan’s Answer

Write, write, write and share it with the world. You're not betraying the publishing world by self-publishing. On the contrary, it demonstrates that you have something to share and you're comfortable sharing it. Other industries welcome this: developers post their own projects and code, artists and writers blog their work, musicians publish to services like Bandcamp. Get your stuff out there!

Evan recommends the following next steps:

Publish something you are proud of and share the link back to this question.
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