This article, by Faiza Elmasry, originally appeared on Voice of America on 9/2/11.
Self-published books outnumber those released by traditional publishers
More and more authors are taking control of their future by self-publishing their work. In fact, more books are self-published than are issued by traditional publishers, according to Bowker, which compiles publishing statistics.
Self-publishing means you not only write the book but take on production and sales as well. In earlier centuries, most publications were self-published, but over time the role of author and publisher became separate.
However, in the last few years, given the difficulty of finding a traditional publisher, a growing number of new authors have chosen to bypass traditional publishing and do it on their own.
"Holly Heights" is Patricia Ruth’s first novel. “It’s a slice of suburban life and a story everyone can relate to,” she says.
After she finished writing and editing her novel, she was eager to see it in print. “I did try to go the traditional publishing route by sending inquiries to agents and publishers.”
It was a long, frustrating and, ultimately, unsuccessful process.
“I’m a member of a very popular club of authors that get rejected by agents and publishers," she says. "I’d get rejections from agents. It would come on a strip of paper, maybe two inches long, not even the courtesy of a full page letter. It’s outrageous the stuff you get back."
However, despite the setbacks, she was still determined to be published and a visit to a book fair inspired Ruth to do it on her own.
“I saw that there was so much going on with self-publishing and empowering authors," Ruth recalls."You know I felt it was very doable.”
The first step was to discover how to go about it.