I talked a bit here about finishing my first novel and writing my second (which actually got finished before the first one did). Of course, everyone who writes a book hopes to see it published. The problem is that the publishing industry has gotten ever more insular and harder to break into, in the face of declining book sales and the rise of the internet. If you’re not going to rival the current best-selling authors, especially with a work of fiction, the likelihood some publisher would bother with your manuscript, even with an agent representing it, is depressingly small.
However, with today’s technology, publishing one’s own works one’s own self has become ever easier. The self-published author undoubtedly won’t be rolling in money as the result of his or her endeavors, but the self-published author will have actual books in print where the big-corporation hopeful most likely will not.
So I’m thinking about self-publishing. I’ve gotten excellent advice from a good friend who published several books through mainstream channels and is now self-publishing. He recommended high-end layout software for formatting the manuscript to send to the publisher, but I can’t afford anything like that. I was wondering how to get the layout done properly when I picked up a book called Self-Publishing Fiction: From Manuscript to Bookstore and Beyond, by Gavin Sinclair, at the library. And in that book was the answer: Desktop publishing software! Of course!
I did a lot of work with desktop publishing software years ago, using, believe it or not, a Commodore 128 and a program called GeoPublish. Which stacked up quite well against high-end, high-priced Ventura Publisher in a review by Computer Shopper magazine at the time. So I already know the basics and I’m sure today’s software is even more comprehensive and easy to use. Since I’m happy with my Serif web page creation software, I ordered their PagePlus X4 from Amazon today.
Next on the list, a thorough investigation of print-on-demand publishers. That route makes the most sense to me, since I won’t have to pay for books I can’t sell, and books printed by the reputable companies will be available for sale through Amazon and other booksellers. And I’ll have to create my own publishing company, probably in association with my family. But that’s a ways down the road.
There’s a lot of work yet to be done but I’m fired up about it already.