It’s somewhere on the top of every aspiring writer’s “To Do” list: Write a Novel. Preferably one that earns a descriptor like, “Great American,” “Best-Selling,” or “Phenomenally Popular.” Alas, not everyone has the time or energy to engage in courtship dances with agents and publishers. Fortunately, the Internet is brimming with some of the best resources you can use to self-publish your own books.
You’re not restricted to publishing novels, either. There are tools online that let you self-publish magazines, eBooks, and even cookbooks. Most self-publishing services are hooked up with one or more major book distributors ( including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and international distributors as well), so selling online is a snap too. Of course, some writers still prefer the thrill and challenge of having their work acknowledged and promoted by a publisher. But if you’re looking for something quicker, easier and more practical, here are some great resources you can use to self-publish your writing:
Lulu – Lulu is the Internet’s go-to spot for self-publishing. You can pay for printing, editing, and marketing services a la carte, or else you can opt for a package experience that hooks you up with a personal coordinator that will take you through the process. If you’re undecided about what you need, you can sign up for a free consultation, and the site also offers extensive back-end selling tools for businesses. Distribution to online websites, iBooks and the Nook is also offered.
CreateSpace – CreateSpace is a publication service run by Amazon.com. You can turn your book into solid matter by using either the site’s free or paid services, and you can put the finishing touches on your work with the site’s affordable editing, design, and marketing options. You can also promote your novel via your own eShop, which is hosted by Amazon.
Kindle Direct Publishing – Many authors are turning to Amazon’s popular Kindle eReader to publish, with digital books starting to outsell print volumes. Using KDP, you can publish small Singles (about the size of a long essay) or full-size novels alike in digital eBook format, and get them up on the site for download to the Kindle Fire and similar devices in a matter of days. It’s shockingly convenient.
MagCloud – MagCloud is a print-on-demand service that’s headed by Hewlett-Packard (HP). It’s tailored for the creation and distribution of digital editions and single-issue magazines. MagCloud offers digital support, too. Show the world that the fanzine is not dead by printing your own magazines and distributing them to friends, family and supporters!
iUniverse – With iUniverse, you have access to advice and tips from insiders that have already had success self-publishing their work. The iUniverse Roadmap walks you through the publishing process, making it as easy as possible to get your work off the computer and up for sale.
What About eBooks? – For some people, there’s no substitution for the rough lick of pages passing through your fingers. Let’s be reasonable, though, eBooks are only going to become more popular, not less so – especially with digital manuscripts now outselling print volumes. That’s why you should definitely consider putting out an eBook in addition to your print books or as an alternative when it comes time to self-publish. After all, hard copies of books and magazines tend to be a bit more costly than virtual alternatives, and a potential reader is far more likely to shell out for the (much) lower cost of an eBook.
Lulu.com’s even found that eBooks can offer readers additional benefits, and potentially boost sales of print editions as well, and offers eBook publishing, as do many of the other sites mentioned on this list. There are other services that can help with digital publishing programs as well, including SmashWords, Publish Green, and FastPencil. Look at what each service offers and decide what’s right for you.
For more information about self-publishing books and eBooks, visit: