My first book, now available on Amazon.com, and my second one, will soon be- all thanks to self-publishing
Struggling to publish a book? Confused about the whole process? Not sure where to start? My story might help you…
I just recently became a self-published author. After depending on an incredibly expensive publishing house in Spain for the editing, printing, and creation of my first book- I became very frustrated. Every time I ordered a new box filled with my books, I had to pay outrageous amounts of money. The editing process was also a pain in the neck and the truth is, I was never completely satisfied with the final product. Until recently, I thought there was no other alternative for independent authors like myself who want to get their work out in the public.
All of this changed when in the last weeks, a colleague of mine introduced me to the world of self-publishing. He specifically recommended I try out Create Space, a firm owned by Amazon.com, in charge of the printing and digital delivery of material, virtually worldwide. On top of this they charge absolutely nothing to the author and take care of the nitty-gritty steps involved in publishing a book, specifically, the selling and distribution of the text.
Although apprehensive at first, I still decided to give it a shot. I submitted a second edition of my first book to them and in about 48 hours they approved the draft. I had to make some minor changes related to margins, page breaks, font, and sorting out the images. Then, I proceeded to design the front and back covers and ordered a proof by mail to make sure everything was in order. After about a week I received it and satisfied with the results, I decided to order more copies to sell at a recent presentation. Recently, I submitted my second book and am now awaiting more copies to come in the mail. Contrary to the first experience with the publishing house, this process has been entirely smooth and pleasant.
Self-publishing is a trend that is slowly but surely taking over the book industry lately. Some frown upon it saying that self-published books and authors are nowhere as attractive as those selected by an agent and respectable publishing firm. Needless to say, self-publishing is not a new trend and has been popular ever since authors began writing books. In the 19th century, many well-known writers such as Walt Whitman were in fact self-published.
The truth is: is the way an author decides to publish his or her book really equivalent to the value of their work? I believe not. Self-publishing is an artisan way of managing your own work. You have a say in every single detail of the publication process and everything is left in your hands. The process requires a great deal of patience, passion, and drive. Paying an agent, editor and publisher to take care of everything, I believe, takes away from the creativity of it all. It’s the easy way out.
So what is self-publishing exactly and how is it done?
Self-publishing is the publication of any book or material (ebook, pamphlet, audiobook, website, etc.) by the author of the work and without involving the participation of an established third-party publisher. The author is therefore responsible and in control of the entire process including not only the content itself, but also the edition, cover, design, format, price, marketing, and all the other stages involved in the publication of a book.
My advice for all of you out there interested in publishing any valuable work, be it in print or digital form, is to not hesitate and consider self-publishing! Participating in all of the major and minor details of putting together your work and finally receiving it in the mail involves such a great deal of satisfaction! Of course there are terrible self-published books, just the same way there are terrible professionally published books. In a world like today where so much information is at reach, we must take advantage of all of these platforms available to us.
This said, if you feel truly confident that what you have produced deserves to be made public, self-publishing is definitely a way to make this dream a reality. Try it out for yourself!