Written by: Rie Sheridan Rose The Bardabee Poet
It used to be that there were only a handful of publishing houses to which a writer could submit their novel-length works. If you didn’t get a contract from one of the “Big” presses, you didn’t have much recourse beyond finding a printer and putting it out yourself—at a substantial cost.
All that has changed. Today’s publishing landscape is wide open. While there are still vestiges of the original road to publication, that road is no longer the only way to go.
For example, there are dozens, if not hundreds of small presses that offer alternative markets for publishing your work. Many of these are niche markets—meaning they specialize in a specific genre or region. Because of these specific s, it is more likely your work in that area will find a more receptive audience for your submission. You can target your queries with much greater precision.
Another alternative is using a “vanity press” where the author pays to have their book published. While this takes a lot of the headaches from the writer, it is considered the least desirable by most industry insiders. Especially in light of the third possibility.
Squarely on the other end of the balance from the Big presses is the ability to publish your own work with no upfront fees. Amazon’s CreateSpace or Lulu.com have tiered levels of services that range from free—where you upload your own files and are responsible for all aspects of your book—to having professional designers and editors help the creation. You don’t pay anything to use the free services, and they take a cut of the sale price when someone buys your book. The author decides their profit over and above this cut. Personally, I have not used CreateSpace, but Lulu provides a great product which I have taken advantage of several times in the past.
But another wonderful thing about the current climate of publishing is that you don’t have to go the traditional print route at all to be heard. If you just want to share your work, there are ample opportunities to do so. You can join websites like Writer’s Café or Authors Den and post your writing simply to share and/or get critiques. You can start a blog at WordPress, Blogger, or LiveJournal and post poetry or fiction along with your thoughts on them. Or, you can use the same tools mentioned above—CreateSpace, Lulu, or Smashwords, as a third alternative—to create your own e-books to offer for sale. E-books offer the freedom to quickly produce your work in a shareable – and saleable form. This does not, however, mean that you can take a shortcut on all the hard work that goes into writing it in the first place.
Because no matter how open the publishing field may currently be; no matter how many methods are available to publish your work; you still have to write something worth reading. It’s just a really great time to do it.
About Rie Sheridan Rose
Rie’s short stories appear in Double Dragon’s From Within the Mist ebook and The Stygian Soul as well as Yard Dog Press’ A Bubba In Time Saves None. Yard Dog Press is also home to humorous horror chapbooks Tales from the Home for Wayward Spirits and Bar-B-Que Grill and Bruce and Roxanne Save the World…Again. Melange Books carries her romantic fantasy Sidhe Moved Through the Faire. Zumaya Books is home to The Luckless Prince. And Mocha Memoirs has the short stories “Drink My Soul…Please,” “It’s Always the Same Old Story,” and “Bloody Rain” as e-downloads.
Visit Rie’s Website: Rie Sheridan Rose—The Bardabee Poet