I “Published” a book

Derek Ouellette —  January 8, 2014


I shouldn’t be so skeptical about self-publishing. After all, William Young was a clerk at a hotel when he self-published The Shack which became a New York Times bestseller simply by word of mouth. And Dave Ramsey’s self-published book, Total Money Makeover, sold from the back of his car before it skyrocketed to the top. So it is possible to established credibility by self-publishing. But not likely. So when I say I’m a “published author,” don’t make much of that. I’m really not. Well, I mean, I am (technically). But I don’t see myself as having the credibility of a published author because, well, if anybody can do it, its credibility becomes diluted. And believe me, this was an easy (easy!) system. I could write an entire document with just the letter “z” (“Zzz, zzzzz, zz, zzzz. Z, zzzzzz, zz?”) and give it a title “Z” and have it published by tomorrow. So don’t make much of this. I’m not.

Okay, enough with the self putdown. I published a book. That’s a fact. It’s called The Joys of Marriage.

Now if you have followed this blog for any length of time you are probably just as surprised as I am that my first published book would be a memoir on marriage. There are two reason for this. 1. It was already written (pretty much). 2. I wanted the experience.

Here’s how I describe the story behind the story on The Joys of Marriage website:

By the end of our first year of marriage we were broke. Like any decent man I wanted to give my wife a very special anniversary gift, but without a lot of money I had to tap into my creative side. So I decided to write a memoir highlighting our first year of marriage and give it to her as an anniversary present.

This short memoir was written for her and originally intended to be read by her, myself and perhaps years down the road, by our children and grandchildren.

Since then we’ve had some family and friends read it and the reaction was positive enough that I decided to make it available to a larger audience.

I tweaked it and edited it and made slight adjustments then added an epilogue summarizing the five years since the book was first printed at the local Staples. Then I put it up on Amazon as an ebook (self-published) and I’m in the process of self-publishing a paperback edition with Lulu or CreateSpace which will also make a physical copy available on Amazon, Barns and Nobles and Ingram.

This book is short. Really short. In paperback format it comes out to about 44 pages. Amazon estimates the page count on a kindle to be closer to 25. The average person can have it read within an hour.

I hope that you find it at times humorous and witty, at times emotive and, by the end, inspirational and encouraging.

Since the book has already been written it made for an easy way to get the experience.

But allow me to share my trepidation with telling anybody about it. Yes, there’s an ebook (and soon, a paperback) available for sale on Amazon written by yours truly. But it wasn’t written for you, it was written for my wife and in her honour. It was written with a tiny audience in mind. And as such I bare my soul in a way I’ve never done online. I’ve exposed myself deeply. I’ve shown my weakness. I’ve not sought (except, perhaps at the very end) theological precision. Because the book is so personal in nature, negative reviews kind of scare me. From peers the reviews have been mostly positive. Like this one:

The Joys of Marriage was such a delight to read. This was an honest look at the first year of marriage, complete with the joy, laughter, struggle, and even heartbreak all marriages face. This book had me laughing out loud (love the bathroom scene), but also feeling the pain Derek felt when they had to move from the apartment. I would love to read more from this author.

By opening up the book to a wider audience I hope that is does just as it seemed to do for this reviewer. I hope that readers will find it at times funny, at times emotive, always real and, at least by the very end, encouraging.

In that regard, if you’d like to read my memoir, The Joys of Marriage: A Story About Surviving the First year of Marriage (with Joy), follow the links below:

And after you’ve read the book you can leave a review on the official website:

Of course you’re more than welcome to leave a review on your own blog (thus exposing the book to an even wider audience) and on Amazon. You can also share the book with your friends by clicking on the share icon for your favourite social media site.

[2014: do something new. Done]

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.