Wednesday, January 02, 2008
How many of us have ever been sure that somewhere in the depths of our suffering souls, there was a book just waiting to get out, a story the world would be eager to devour, and a point of view that judicious and discriminating readers everywhere would find, new, innovative, and refreshing?
Well, the time is at hand, would-be authors (me included), and there are no more excuses. We can no longer say, "I'd probably never find a publisher," or "It would cost too much to have it printed myself." Becuase, the up-to-date fact is, if you can write that book, you can easily publish it at no expense. After that, all that's left is the hard part -- promoting and selling it, or, not to put too fine a point on harsh reality, finding people willing to pay to read what you wrote.
The on-demand publisher Lulu.com, according to an Associated Press story running on Yahoo today, "has churned out 236,000 paperbacks since it opened in 2002, and its volume of new paperbacks has risen each month this year, hitting 14,745 in November."
The A.P.'s Candice Choi goes on to explain what makes cost-free publishing possible: "Publishers produce books only after they're ordered and paid for, which eliminates overruns and the need for warehousing. They charge for printing, or take a cut of sales, and they set up payment systems, online bookstores and Web marketing tools."
I'd encourage all unpublished authors to read the whole thing, then reach deep into that bureau drawer, under the tee shirts, and pull out that yellowing manuscript, and blow the dust off. It's time to go to Lulu.com or Amazon and start working.
I'll be right there with you, since I already have my topic. It's going to be a biography, but I won't say of whom.