I've been self-publishing for a little over a year now and wanted to share a little of my experience with anyone interested. I find that there's a real satisfaction in knowing someone read my books all the way through to the end and real heartbreak when someone can't get past 30 pages. Once, someone couldn't get past the first page, which only has the title *depression* ( -.-)
Overall, writing can be fun, stress-relaxing and allows for the creative side to explore. Then, on some days, I feel like pulling my hair out and questioning why I'm doing this when I could very well find a second job and make enough to buy a pound of peanuts? A plethora of excuses will come up to avoid the computer while it sits there sucking on electricity, and in fact, the excuses are more colorful and creative than anything that will come to mind. In other words, writer's block is a real b-word.
Why bother at all? Then, it comes to me... When those holier than thou folks go on rants about knowing everything in the world and how their geniuses are so blindingly brilliant, they cannot be contained!... I can always counter with... "Oh yeah? I'm a paid author." Possibly followed by the slight exaggeration of Zoolander's Mugatu. [What have you done? Nothing! Nothing!]
So... why self-publish? Well, some folks will say you'll get to retain control over your works and print your words instead of your editor's. I say, it's because no publishing company will want to talk to me without an agent and I won't spend a couple hundred bucks on a maybe. Let's be realistic here, I got bills to pay. But, that's just because I know my works aren't in the league of Oscar Wilde, JK Rowling or anyone so grand. Some folks have that kind of talent and could probably find a well-connected agent simply by sending over a manuscript. I've thought about that but have yet to script anything I could even hope to get past the preliminary glance. That doesn't mean this isn't a way to go. Depends on what you're more comfortable doing.
Anyhow, if you feel like joining the club of hair pulling recluses who spend weekends in front of a computer and live only half-time in the real world (or maybe that's just me), then give writing a chance. These are the resources I have tried so far but there are others. I plan to find a third party to take my books to the Apple Store soon so I'll let you know how that goes.
This is a physical book publisher. You don't pay them for anything unless you want additional help; ie, book design, reviewers, editors, copies of your book to keep, etc. This company is owned by Amazon. The best thing about CreateSpace is that you don't need to keep inventory. They print it when someone buys a copy and you might find your works on the Barnes and Noble website.
Amazon Kindle (https://kdp.amazon.com/)
This is an ebook publisher. This company is owned by (pretty obvious) Amazon.
*To publish both ebooks and physical copies through Amazon, I'd recommend starting with CreateSpace since they'll give you the option to send your book to Kindle once you've reached the end of the physical publication.
Amazon Kindle Scout (https://kdp.amazon.com/)
I have not used this but I am planning to give it a try later this year if possible. This allows users to submit a finished (never before seen) book and possibly earn a publishing contract with Kindle. The ones who vote for the contract winners are the readers/Amazon customers.
In my opinion, the hardest part for any writer is to get started and afterwards, the most difficult thing is knowing when to stop. So, if you've published through other venues and would like to share your thoughts, recommendations and/or successes, please feel free. I'm sure the readers (and I) will appreciate it.
Thanks for reading!