Recently, while thinking about some work I’d done on a new
project I’m working on, I happened upon an article about writing a
novel in 100 days or less.
There’s a great amount of good advice in there, especially for the
first-time novelist. But along about the last 10 days of his process, I
started wondering how long ago the article was written, and why there’s
no mention of on-demand printing and self-publishing as options for the
In a little less than a decade, the Internet changed the world, in both the way we communicate and the way we conduct business, especially in the world of publishing.
Newspapers (particularly their classifieds) are struggling with the
freedom websites like CraigsList provide. People no longer have to pay
a person on the phone, who may or may not be able to spell, money to
print their ad for a single time in a product fewer and fewer people
are bothering to pick up.
Likewise, there once was a time when a writer could spend months or
even years of his life working on his craft, his masterpiece, and it
was up to an editor or an agent to determine whether the book was
“worth” the risk and cost of printing to the publisher, to try in
advance to guess how well it would sell.
The article above goes so far as to even suggest what type of bag to
carry around your printed manuscript in and things to do and think
about while you’re struggling to get your work represented by an agent
or accepted by a publisher.
These days, though, we have lulu.com, createspace.com, booksurge.com,
eBook/PDF-creation tools, and gigabytes upon gigabytes of cheap Web
space. Indeed, these days if you want to get your words out there for
the world to read, it’s much easier than relying on an agent or an
editor to decide for you whether the public will ever get the
Of course, easier opportunity still does not guarantee that the public will bite and read your work, and there is the expense of actually marketing your work to consider, which traditional publishers perform well.
Still, if you’re like me, you’re writing because it’s something you
like to do, and you’re publishing just because you want to get your
work out there, and not necessarily to make a living off it.
Back to work.