There is a popular trend among writers these days, self-publishing. Gone are the days of sending out manuscripts and waiting around aimlessly for a publishing company to decide if they want your work. With websites like Lulu.com and createspace.com, anyone can become an author in a matter of minutes. It is easy and free, but becoming a self-published author is not as easy as one may think.
It takes money to make money. You can upload a book for free, and even design your cover, but marketing is a vital part of selling a product. There are many free forms of advertising such as social sites and word of mouth, but unless you have thousands of facebook friends and twitter followers, you won’t become a best seller just from friends and family. You have to be able to advertise to various audiences and people, nobody can purchase a book that they have no idea exists. Also you have to pay for the books that you published, when you order. Costs are very low, sometimes as cheap as $2.50, but if you want to order a bunch of books to have on hand for say a book signing, then you would need to have the money to order your books.
A lot of people feel like because they have an interesting life, or a story to tell that they can be an author, this is not the case. If you are not a good story-teller, if the story doesn’t flow, and if you have grammar that gives the reader a headache, your book will not make it past being purchased by your friends and family. If you don’t have good grammar, and you can’t make the story flow in a way that will appeal to readers, you need some sort of editing and proper guidance. Get more than one person to proof read your work and give you an honest critique before you attempt to self-publish your novel.
Becoming an author isn’t easy for everyone. For those that have a passion for writing and have great ideas they want expressed on paper, never give up on your dreams. However, if you see writing as a fad and a gimmick to make some quick cash, please make sure that you take the proper avenues to produce quality work that people will want to buy. I have self-published four novels and it is a slow process when you don’t have the money to travel and get the word out. Progress is a slow process is my favorite saying. If writing is your passion, never give up on your craft.