What is self publishing?


Brianna Adkins

Book publishing can be an extensive and difficult process that only noteworthy authors can go through to get their words onto paper and out to the masses. However, the world of self publishing has grown, and some young authors have found success through this process. Publishing your own book isn’t a process for elite writers—many do it and you can too.

Self publishing is all about independently publishing one’s work. In the publication world, it usually has to do with the realm of books and novels. With the introduction of self publishing, it is possible for authors to publish their own novels, cookbooks, and poetry. With various online platforms that allow writers to “unprofessionally” publish their work to be viewed—“Wattpad,” “Quotev,” and more—authors have the ability to produce and publish their work faster than ever before. Even Amazon provides a service titled, CreateSpace, where authors can publish their work and get it to audiences with the click of a button.

An author can also publish a site through “Wix,” “SquareSpace,” and other online site builders in order to start blogging their book out to the masses. It cultivates an audience that follows an author and gives the author a voice to write to. A social media following is important, especially in this modernized age, and the author needs to use their voice to guide their followers along.

In order to “professionally” self-publish one’s work, it can be quite harder than the standard publishing house process. With freelancing becoming a new normality of the publishing industry, hiring editors, designers, and other industry professionals to view one’s work is the best route to go. While it’s a more expensive approach than the “unprofessional” route, it’s guaranteed to give the author quality work at quality prices. In the book industry, quality is always favored over quantity.

As for University students, there’s a literary magazine always looking for new voices to fill out the pages of their publication. According to the publication, Aphros, is the University’s “Annual Literary Magazine featuring poetry, prose, & visual art all published by undergrad students.”

Mollie Murtagh, Editor-in-Chief at Aphros Literary Magazine and University senior, explained why submitting work to the literary magazine is the way to go for University students.

Aphros is certainly a unique publishing opportunity for students,” Murtagh said. “We provide a place to highlight [University] student’s creative pieces, both writing and visual arts, alongside one established poet each year. We want to contribute towards a collective student community that values and supports each other’s creativity!”

Caroline Snape, former Co-Editor of the literary magazine and recent University graduate with an English Language and Literature major, elaborated on how the process for publication works.

“For our own production of the magazine, the staff work out the layout of the magazine with Adobe InDesign, then we send work with the Print Center (a company that has long printed Aphros), who help us fine tune some of the more technical aspects of the layout,” Snape explains.

Whether you’re looking to publish your work on one of the aforementioned sites, applications, or through Aphros, getting work out to an audience is the most important part of self-publishing. With numerous outlets to choose from, an author has the power to take the publishing process into their own hands and produce their own work on their terms. The control and freedom of creativity that comes along with self-publishing can be reason for why an author should attempt to self-publish.