Writing is a very competitive market. There are a lot of people who wish to make a living writing and there is only so much publication room to go around. Even with all of the bookstores and all the shelves, there are a ton of writers who complete manuscripts that may never see the light of day.
Some ambitious writers have decided to bypass the attempt to go the professional route and just publish the darn thing themselves. The reaction from the professional market was about what you would expect. They claimed that it cheapened the art and that it didn’t really count. Never mind the fact that there are writers who may very well be better than some who make it on the shelves, but it can also be a great way for novices to get experience in the market.
There are a lot of self publishing sites out there, some are legit and some, not so much.
One of the bigger, and more reputable sites is Lulu.com. It was one of the first sites to start offering services for aspiring writers to get their work out there. From what is seen on the page, they make the process as simple as possible.
They even offer a variety of cover sizes and bindings so that you can customize your product the way you want.
Lulu also allows you to publish cookbooks, photo albums, or anything else you might want to get published. They also have a staff to help design the book and format it.
One of the other major self publishing companies is, interestingly enough, Amazon. They recently launched CreateSpace, which allows writers to publish their work and be distributed through the site itself. You can even make it available through Amazon’s Kindle e-reader.
Both of these options are free, although you do have to sign up and register in order to do it. In addition to books, you can also market DVDs and CDs if your particular art is in another medium.
With all of the aspiring writers out there, it’s only natural that people would try to find another way to get their work out there. “Official’ channels can only do so much, but with self publishing now an option, more and more writers can experience the joy of seeing their novel in print. Some writers look down on this practice, and there is still debate as to whether it’s an artistically legitimate means of distribution, but if you have a finished manuscript and think that you can make some money by selling it, it is certainly a viable option as many writers have used these services to their advantage to give their work more exposure than it might’ve otherwise.