Having Books Published Gets Easier, Faster
By TAYLOR GRIFFIN
The grueling process of publishing a book recently has become less of a hassle and more of an everyday occurrence. In fact, some methods of publishing have been reduced to vending machine-like convenience.
According to The Associated Press, self-publishing has been made easier than ever since the Espresso Book Machine by On Demand Books debuted in 2006. Basically, a writer can give the machine PDFs of their book, and the machine will spit out a clean finished product, glue still warm in the binding.
"Besides the novelty of it ... it's a way for us to really engage our public and move forward and find a creative way to still sell books," Debbi Wraga the book machine coordinator, said, ac
cording to the AP. "It's a wonderful feeling when you take it off the press and hand it to the author."
Real bookstores are crippled even more now by the rise of e-books and digital reading devices.
The Association of American Publishers reported 3.4 million e-books were sold last year, up more than 300 percent from 2010.
With these dreaded statistics in mind, more and more stores are learning to embrace the Espresso Book Machine.
Along with ready-made books from machines, self-publishing has become a go-to method for getting a story published that a writer feels the need to share quickly and inexpensively.
While there is not a book machine in East Texas, many local writing enthusiasts have published their own works using smaller companies, who tend to give their writers more freedom in the publishing process.
Rachel Allen, 28, of Tyler, so far has had success with her choice to self-publish her Christian mystery, "The Hatpin Killer." She said if someone has a story to share, consider having it published. However, self-publishing may not be the best option.
"It's not for everyone. It depends on what you want to do," she said. "If this is your career or main income, it's not for you. It's a lot of work no matter which way you go."
Betty Lynch, 50, of Chandler, compiled a cookbook, "Back to the Table with my Country Kitchen," filled with family recipes from her childhood and beyond. She recommends self-publishing for writers who simply want to have their books available and published but do not want to spend the money on a big publisher.
"I wrote this because I want people to come together as a family at the dinner table and eat at least one meal together," she said. "I think it builds a stronger connection in the family."
For pet-inspired author, Christie Joy, 43, of Whitehouse, telling children's stories in sing-song, fanciful ways led her to seek the self-publishing option. During the process of publishing her young children's book, "Pet Fairy," her publishing company helped her market and promote her book on her own, with some extra boosts such as a trailer. In fact, the company allowed her to make most of the decisions in the process, including choosing her own illustrator.
"When you see the final product, you're so emotionally tied to it," she said. "It's a great investment, and it returns quickly."
Jerry L. Clark, member of the East Texas Writers Guild, has had experience with seven books published. He said his first book, "Dust in the Saddle," is special to him because of the feeling of holding a published piece of his work that began a career of writing, a feeling he can barely describe.
"They say the first book you ever write is somehow about yourself," he said. "And it's true."
Once a writer develops their style, they develop a voice, he said. Even for seasoned writers, the publishing process is always difficult and sometimes disheartening.
Clark said getting an agent is the hardest part of writing the book because it has to catch their eye in a way no other has before then. "If you want to try writing, my condolences," he joked.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.