In the good old days if you were an author and wanted to see your book in print it was necessary to shop your manuscript around to various brick-and-mortar, old-style publishing companies. If you were one of the lucky few to actually get your manuscript reviewed by an editor, chances are it would be rejected outright. And if -- lucky stars! -- your manuscript was approved for publication, you would still have to endure round after round of relentless editorial modifications.
Many writers today have opted to go in a different direction: self-publishing. Yes, it is possible for an aspiring author to learn how to get their book published without the assistance of a traditional publishing company. Many book publishing companies would rather that you do not learn how to publish a book on your own -- they have a vested interest in your continued dependence upon their book publishing services.
Self-publishing has been largely driven by technological advancements: book publishing software has become increasingly sophisticated, enabling authors to develop a finished product which rivals the quality of many commercially printed publications.
In addition, print on demand publishing technology -- which allows books to be printed as they are actually purchased, avoiding unnecessary and costly inventories -- is meshing perfectly with the modern self-publishing technology of today.
An exciting area of self-publishing is the area of children's book publishing. Many children's book writers have been stymied in the past -- it was very difficult for them to get their books into print because they could not convince traditional publishing companies that their book would sell enough copies to be a profitable venture. Self-publishing and print on demand publishing has given children's book writers new options for getting their books out to the public.
Of course self-publishing has its critics as well as its supporters. Unfortunately, many self-published books are of very poor quality -- often times a combination of insufficient (or nonexistent) editing or proofreading, poor book design, and unattractive covers. For this reason, many bookstores will not handle self-published books or print on demand books at all -- thereby forcing many authors to turn to the traditional book publishing companies and their well-established book publishing services in order to be assured of getting a quality product.
But self-publishing can be a viable option for many writers -- writers writing on unusual topics or themes, or subject areas that will not be of widespread interest (such as family or community histories) may find the publishing of their own books directly through their own efforts to be a good choice for them.
Whatever your feelings on self-publishing, we hope that you will use the information presented on this site to make an informed decision. We wish you great success in turning your manuscript into print!