Self-publishing used to be considered an arrogant, egotistical way of getting yourself published – aka vanity publishing. You didn’t need a publisher to certify your work and get it printed. Instead, you could take out the middle-man and advocate your own work as being worthy of publishing. Rather than having your manuscript sitting in a pile of other dusty pages begging to be picked up, vanity publishing gave the person the power to stand behind their work without a third party backer.
That was then. But, now the stigma has dramatically changed and that’s thanks to the explosion of the digital world. What it’s done is eradicate the term vanity publishing and made self-publishing a celebrated platform open to all.
As the largest and most welcoming publisher ever, the internet, has allowed anyone to become an author, contribute to the news and make their voice heard. Whether through a blog, a social stream or a comment, everyone can get their ‘manuscript’ seen. There’s no requirement for a formal education, just access to the internet.
Books in general are adapting to the web. In January, a book-app of Anne Frank’s famous diary was released, transforming the book from a printed edition into an impressive digital version. It includes a documentary, interviews, maps and timelines along with the original text. Classics including The Clockwork Orange, The Waste Land and The Sonnets by William Shakespeare have also been adapted into app editions.
To become an author today, you need to be online – writing, interacting, becoming known.
You don’t necessarily need to write a book – you can blog, write articles or freelance to other publishers or websites. And who knows where you’ll end up.
Blogs have grown dramatically since their days as online diaries. Now, prolific bloggers are even being offered book deals – being rewarded in the literary world for their efforts in the digital world. Lydia Whitlock is a prime example. Her first book, To My Assistant, was released earlier this year and spawned from her blog (of the same name). Now, there are even plans for its adaptation to the small screen.
Who’s to say it can’t happen to you?