I’m assuming that many of the people who read
these columns are aspiring writers or perhaps they’re folks
who just want to write but are intimidated by the tangle of the
When I began writing there were fewer publishing options
available. If an author couldn’t get the attention of a mainstream
agent or publisher, there was always the subsidy alternative or
the upstart “print –on-demand” path. I chose the
POD route. Today it would have definitely been one of the plentiful
self publishing options.
Self published authors don’t have the benefit
of the powerful distribution networks available to the major publishing
houses but the challenges and demands of promotion are not terribly
different. You’d be as much on your own with Harper-Collins
as you are with Create Space when it comes to spreading the word
and cultivating a following. I’ve been published by Print
on Demand, by mainstream, traditional publishers and I have self
published. When it comes to promotion they’re all about the
The big thing is that once you have a book published,
you have something to hold in your hand and to show other people…
and you can say, “I wrote it, I’m an author.”
You’ll have a book with a cover and pages full of words just
like Hemingway had. It’s up to you to eloquently put quality
thoughts on those pages just like it was up to Hemingway. Surely
it’s a daunting challenge but don’t let it scare you.
The critics said that Mickey Spillane’s work was trash but
it was insanely successful.
The electronic market offers even more exciting possibilities.
It’s the fastest growing segment in the literary world and
it’s yours for the taking. The only investment you need to
make is the time to learn the computer skills required to do the
Of course it’s not quite as simple as it sounds.
You’ll want to present a professional looking product and
that will likely involve finding some skilled partners in your endeavor.
But cost control remains up to the author. You can go as elaborate
as your budget allows. However… It’s still the writing
that will determine your degree of success.