For many new writers, the task of finally publishing their material can seem daunting, however the process of becoming a published author is now more accessible than ever before.
Self-publishing is an option for more obscure writers or for those who want more control of their finished work. One of the high costs of publishing a book is the actual printing process.
Self-publishing is becoming easier, said Shan Wells, the media coordinator for the Fort Lewis College theatre department and senior graphic designer for the FLC foundation.
“The best way to do it is through print as you pay,” Wells said.
“When somebody buys it through Amazon it gets printed instead of the usual method of printing a large amount of books that ‘may or may not sell,” Wells said.
Shan Wells has several self-published books of political cartoons and has a blog published on The Huffington Post.
“A lot of people who self-publish get sucked into vanity presses,” Wells said. “You can run up a lot of money in a big hurry doing something like that.”
“These are companies that will for a fee put together your book for you and they’ll provide editors, illustrators, photographers, and book design,” Wells said. “They will help to promote your book.”
Wells said that often hiring these services on a freelance basis is more economical for the author.
“Learn all you can about the industry, and then go try and make contact with those people,” he said. “Persistence helps a lot.”
For future graduate students and researchers, academic publishing has a different process.
“Academic writing goes through a peer-reviewed process and therefore goes under strict critique by experts in the field for the specific topic of research,” said Dr. Julie Korb, Associate Professor in the FLC Biology Department.
“Books amazingly are not peer-reviewed,” Korb said.
Having experience on this side of the publishing spectrum, she has published numerous articles in the past and having recently resubmitted research to be published focusing on sudden aspen decline in Southwest Colorado.
The publishing process “takes a year at a minimum but can take up to two years” she said.
Much like Wells, Korb’s advice to hopeful published authors is persistence. The final publication justifies the challenges presented by the publishing process.