How I Became a Published Author and So Can You

 

 

Back when I began considering a future in high school, I knew--or thought I knew--I wanted to do something literary and creative. At the time, I wanted to become a screenwriter. Ha. That fizzled out quite quickly once I started college. Then I thought, Well, I still want to do something with writing, ‘cause I’m really good at it and I enjoy it. Now, about this time I realized that I really love books. Not like I just realized, Hey, wow, I like books. No. More in the sense that I realized that I really love books...so why not pursue a career down that path? Bingo. My heart was set. My path wasn’t--isn’t still--but I came to an understanding with myself that books are my passion and my greatest dream is to create books for others to fall in love with much like I have.

 

My mom would like me to become a famous author by going down this path but, let’s just say, that’s not happening any time soon. I have dabbled in writing short stories, and had fun and all, but I’m not that good. Definitely not good enough to be published publicly and actually expect people to buy a book and enjoy it. Instead, by failing (which is a life experience I will always spout the merits of!) I discovered that I want become….a publisher. Or editor. The latter and then grow up into the form. I would love love love to work behind the scenes in crafting books. I find such joy in books and it would be my own great joy to make books for others.

 

And this dream came true recently. Kind of.

I become a published author--where I was the author,  editor and publisher.

 

In actuality, it’s really a low-key thing. The story is really simple. I am in a desktop publishing course and for our semester-long project, we were tasked to create a book and send it off to an independent publisher to have it printed….Okay, nevermind, this is actually really cool!! For my project, I decided to just gather together my short stories I have written over the years in various creative writing classes, both in high school (yikes) and college (not as big a yikes). The main focus was learning the basic ins and outs of Adobe InDesign, which I have developed a fondness for and find it fun to explore. Speed up about three months worth of work, this past week my book came in from the printer’s and, honestly, I screamed, squealed and cried once it finally set in that I am a published author. Again, very low-key, very local and very much not worth sharing overly at large with the public (present company excluded). I am still geeking over my book. It’s not special--but it’s mine.

So if you want to make yourself your own published author, I highly recommend checking out Lulu.com and investing in Adobe Creative Cloud for InDesign--which is only about $20 per month for students! A spectacular deal. They are an independent publisher, so you can send in your document (they have special specifications, but are easy to meet), cover art and they will make your book for you! And it’s CHEAP. My book is 6x9in and has 52 pages. For one book, it cost about $2 to make. Two. Dollars. The only real drawback is the shipping, which is about $9 for one book. Boo, but considering what you’re getting in return, super freakin’ awesome.

Lesson learned: If you want to be a published author or editor, even if just for your own gratification, it is totally possible to do it on your own and it is affordable! I have great presents to give to people now.