These are probably the best times in which writers could be living. That’s not to say all of the centuries before weren’t as good. Look at what we’ve got: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Fleming’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, among other marvelous works. What I’m referring to is the self-publishing revolution that’s still ongoing. I guess many writers who wished to break into print years ago now wish they were alive today. Self-publishing wasn’t exactly impossible in previous centuries, but never has it been as easy as it is today. And the bad stigma associated with it took time to fade.
Today, anyone who’s serious about becoming a successful author doesn’t have to be ashamed of self-publishing. There’s a lot of awesome fiction now that authors decided to publish by themselves without an agent or a publishing company. Writers today got plenty of good options. They can set up their own publisher, they can use Smashwords or Createspace, or they can turn to Kindle Direct Publishing and Nook Press.
Another reason to self-publish is that writers no longer have to wait twenty or even ten percent of a decade before seeing their work published. They can decide what their release date will be, whether it’s two months, six, or more. Self-publishing also gives authors unparalleled control over their work. That’s why I’m going this route. I want to have control over most of my work. I don’t want to get a book cover I don’ approve of. And I want to set my own release date. This is important, because there are some works that cannot wait two years or they risk no longer being relevant. Most works are timeless, but I wouldn’t want to kill a project just because it’s not going to be published in time.
Self-publishing also gives one control over the marketing. Traditional publishers will assist you with that, but not much. It’s authors who have to do the lion’s share when it comes to promoting their works. I don’t mind that, it’s good to have control over the promotions. Authors can choose to go on blog tours, real tours, use Twitter and other social networks, blog, and even make a book trailer or promotional posters. I don’t see anything wrong with taking a leaf off Hollywood’s book. A book cover (whether the actual one or a modified one) could work as a promo poster.
Whatever reasons writers have to want to become authors, the path to becoming successful is not as difficult or exclusive as it was before. I write because I love to write. Reading has been a favorite pastime of mine for long. I remember looking askance at most of my classmates over the years because they didn’t like to read, at all. I understood if they didn’t want to read textbooks, but Harry Potter? Sherlock Holmes? How could anyone not want to get lost in awesome worlds like those? My passion for reading eventually turned into a passion for writing. I can think of very few careers that I believe are as fitting for me. None are a better fit, for sure. I enjoy writing, despite the “arduous” hours it takes. One day, I just started making up stories in my head and coming up with great characters. I just couldn’t leave them imprisoned inside my head. They had to move into the page, and tell their story. Writing novels (and reading them, for that matter) can take very long, but I don’t ever become frustrated. The long journey is fun.
Today, readers don’t have to peg you as incompetent or an amateur just because you self-publish. The prejudice has all but evaporated. Now, it’s easy to find self-published works that are as good as or better than equivalent traditionally-published works. This is a great time for authors and bookworms alike.