How To Publish Your Very Own Book

This past winter break, I did what I thought would never ever be done. I published my own book.

I grew up constantly writing. I had what felt like thousands of stories in my head that I wanted to tell the world. In 10th grade, I took a creative writing class and was introduced to poetry. I had always thought poetry was strictly big words, unclear metaphors, and only for stuffy advanced English classes. But after I wrote my very first poem, I realized that poetry was so much more. In that instant, I knew I wanted to write and publish my own collection of poetry.

This dream sat on the backburner for awhile, as I graduated high school, started college, and became busy with the things life threw my way. I got nervous for people to read my writing (but Her Campus helped so much with that). I had so much other things to do and learn that poetry was slowly fading. It was only until recently that this dream came alive again. I spent hours writing, editing, revising, and compiling the poems I had written since that creative writing class and eventually created a manuscript that felt like a real book. 

Here came the tricky part: publishing. I sent a letter and an excerpt of my book to a publishing company, but never heard back. But I didn’t let that ruin my spirits. I turned to self-publishing. At first I thought I could never go the route of self-publishing, because I knew nothing about publishing. But I soon found that Amazon has a great, very user-friendly, accessible publishing software called Kindle Direct Publishing. With videos and helpful tips to walk you through the process, publishing your work is quick and relatively painless!

So after reading through my manuscript multiple times, sending it to friends to proofread it, and giving myself quite a few pep talks, I uploaded the information needed to publish my book. The best part? It was completely free!

I could give a lot of tips for publishing, such as make sure to heavily proofread your book, think long and hard about how you’ve organized your poems and whether or not it makes sense, don’t forget a dedication page, it may take time to format your manuscript correctly, and post about it to get others interested in reading. But my number one tip is to not listen to yourself when you start to think that no one will want to read your book. I published my poetry for me, to show myself that I could do it. And now that I know I can, I feel like I can do anything.

So if you have some stories in you that you want to share with the world, do not hold back! There are tons of books out there, but no one has worded things exactly like you have. Write, write, write. Research about publishing, and then do it. The only thing holding you back is yourself (and I believe in you).

HCXO, Hannah

P.s. If you want to check out my book, you can find it here!