Self-publishing is a journey filled with plenty of twists, turns, and roadblocks.
.But don’t worry, we can do the heavy lifting for you. Also if you are no longer that angry young man with that first novel to write, age can be your great ally. Think of all that deep wisdom, imaginary and life experience you can draw on for your next story or poem. We have experience with the services of BookBaby and Amazon.
I began publishing in 1959 by self-publishing a small book of poems entitled “Garbolish”. We used a Gestetner offset printer — the technology of the day and hand-stapled the pages together. The poems were written in my ‘poet as an angry young man’ days while I was living in Vancouver. There wasn’t any real intent to make money from them, but they were something nice to hand around to friends while listening to jazz in the local coffee shops.
The second book of poems entitled “Grow Your Own Beans” was printed in 1961 while living in Ottawa and used an inky, hand-operated duplicator salvaged from a junk shop. The next publications were a series of scientific papers in internationally refereed journals which covered a 45-year career in molecular virology.
The third book of poetry entitled: "Poems of a Spirit Wrestler" was published in 2015 using the services of BookBaby. The fourth book was a memoir entitled: "The Inside Story" and was published in 2020 as an online version, a paperback, an ebook and a print-version pdf using Amazon's KDP software. All these books are available online and from the Bookstore.
How to self-publish a book?
Type in that query into Google search and you will get tons of advice. I have had experience with BookBaby and Amazon and on balance it would be difficult to go passed Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Although primarily set up for Kindle, you can get the paperback and print-on-demand options. Personally I have used BookBaby and found them very user friendly and they use Amazon as one of their booksellers. But for my next book I shall try Amazon. For BookBaby use: The Complete Publishing Package ---- for Amazon use: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
After you have gone through either or both of their informational videos and pdf downloads and you still have questions — contact me.
Why not Blog a Book?
I am currently writing a history of the Microbiology Department, University of Otago —the department where I had previously worked for 40 years. In the ten years prior to retirement, I collected archival material and photographs and published them online as a resource. In 2010 a summary was published as a limited edition hardcopy entitled: “ A History of the Microbiology Department 1950 - 2010” .
Although a copy of the archive was published online, it proved difficult to navigate and to see the many stories that were woven into the tapestry of the departmental history. I decided to make a Blog version of the archives. Each Blog was a separate Chapter which meant that there were no space limitations as to how long it could be or how many photos could be used.
One of the many attractive features of the Blog a Book approach is that new material could be added ’on-the-go' without getting involved in complicated revisions. Individual posts can be extensively revised and other people's corrections and comments could be incorporated into the final result -- as well as developing a fan base for the book. The progress to-date can be viewed at: https://otagomicrobes.com
Even if you are writing a book for non-commercial reasons, you need a plan and ask yourself these questions: 1) Who is your audience? 2) What will they get from reading your book? 3) What is the message (purpose) of your book? 4) How large is your audience?