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How I Self-Published a Book as a Writer Who Is Visually Impaired

maribel and harry toasting each other

What better way is there to leave a legacy to your family than to self-publish your own book? A book with stories and family recipes from three generations to nourish their future? This was my reason for keeping my publishing project a secret from my family so that I could produce the final book as a Christmas gift to my grown-up children. Come behind the scenes to discover how, as a writer who visually impaired, I created my book with three "helper elves" to make my legacy a reality.

A Precious Gift

The bright spark of an idea came to me in a flash three months before Christmas. I’d write a recipe book as a surprise and gift it to them for the festive season. But how to whip up a batch of family favorites and a collection of anecdotes in time seemed total fantasy.

I raced over to share my basket of thoughts with a visual artist and friend. Being new in the book design business, she loved the heritage cookbook concept and jumped at the challenge. We gave each other a big "high five," our hands clapping loud in the air. "We can do it, girlfriend," she said.

There was no time to waste. In the following few weeks, I pulled apart all of my recipe books on the kitchen shelf, and using my CCTV (electronic magnifier), searched for recipes in my old school books and recipe folders with my mother’s favorites too. With my technology for the blind, I used JAWS (a screen reading program) to make the task of writing out the recipes and short stories an independent task to file into my laptop. I could hear it all making some sort of sense and sent manic instructions across cyberspace to my book-buddy creator, Bee.

Rounding up Helper Elves

Two helper elves also had to be sworn to secrecy as there would be no other way to produce a quality book without their invaluable expertise and loving support. One was my father, a seasoned writer and editor who often worked well into the night to edit the manuscript as it appeared in many versions. As if by magic, he often sent my pieces back, all neat and tidy, ready in my inbox the next morning.

The other was my life-partner, an ever-ready helper who checked the visual aspect of the pre-published files. He scanned and cropped the images we chose together, making sure that none of the photos of my family contained any little people in their birthday suits!

An Eye and an Ear for Detail

My book was designed to be in full color, a recipe book that was attractive and practical. With Bee’s artistic eye, coupled with my keen sense of hearing to keep track of her audio guidance through the pages on her computer screen, it was extremely important for both of us to be precise in the use of our design language.

maribel and Bee working on publishing book on computer

When it came to the short stories, I sat with a bright overhead lamp and peered through a magnifying glass to read out loud the edits and changes required as I worked slowly through proofreading pages. Bee clicked through the pages on screen to make sure the design, fonts, and photos were visually pleasing as we used a publishing template by an online program with a company called "Blurb."

Hit the Publish Button

book cover my mother's harvest with picture of sunflower

On the very day we had set aside as our deadline, all the files were ready. We checked everything meticulously. All seemed good until Bee stopped to ask one final question, "Do you want the pages to be printed on matte paper or on gloss?" Sitting perched on the edge of my chair, seconds away from pushing the one very important button, "publish now," I felt a rush of panic and indecision: this final choice was a visual one. I called my partner, who had no confusion—"Gloss," Harry said.

Bee and I held hands and took a deep breath. Seconds later on her computer, the message read, "Congratulations. Your publication has been successful." My Mother’s Harvest: A Collection of Family Recipes & Short Stories gave my family the best Christmas surprise ever.

Being a print book, I can order on demand. I planned a book launch as my friends were also keen to have a copy. The surprising part of self-publishing my book was the interest it created from people I had never met and how it opened a whole new world of contacts internationally when I became a published author.

About My Mother's Harvest

My Mother's Harvest ebook contains a selection of family recipes that have nourished three generations. In the second half of this e-book, Maribel Steel recalls stories from her childhood, making the connection between Spanish and English culture and cuisine and how these colors and flavors have become a part of the lives of her Australian children.

Do you have a story behind the scenes of your book too? Please leave your comments.

Further Reading

Reading and Writing Blind with My Buddy Called JAWS

Self-Publishing: A Pathway to Sharing Your Story

Self-Publishing: Challenges and Rewards


Topics:
Low Vision
Personal Reflections
Reading
Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing: Challenges and Rewards

Compiled by Maribel Steel

Have you wondered about publishing your own book to share your life’s experience and expertise? You may think there are a lot of books out there about living with low vision and indeed, there are quite a few—except there is always room in the world of self-publishing to include your creative work too. In a previous post, Self-Publishing: A Pathway to Sharing Your Story, Dave Steele, a peer who is visually impaired, shared his reasons for publishing his poetry by taking this route in the publishing world. In this post, two more VisionAware peers, Sue Wiygul Martin and Max Ivey answer some questions to give their perspectives on the challenges and rewards they found on the journey to creating a published book as "Indie Authors."

Two Perspectives: Why Did You Decide to Self-Publish Your Book?

Sue Martin kneeling at Seeing Eye Path to Independence  

Sue: “It was my first book, so I felt that I had no track record to attract a traditional publisher. If I had pursued a publisher, it might have taken many attempts to entice them to take a serious look at the manuscript and possibly years for the book to get published. I really didn’t want to wait that long.”

“The main challenge for me, however, was trying to keep up with my full-time job and finding the time to manage the whole process with a full home life too.”

 

Max: “My first book came about a little by accident. I’d like to say that I had a good reason for self-publishing, but in fact, the book was born out of a challenge I was given by a producer who knew of my work from my blog. She prompted me to think about writing a book or some other offering for the public with the added incentive of promoting it for me. This got me thinking. I jotted down many ideas and had intended to produce a simple PDF file of information.”

“The offer of promotion fell through, but I kept on writing, and the PDF grew in length until I realized I had created a book! I felt such a sense of accomplishment in having finished the project that I didn’t even try to find a traditional publisher. I decided to see if it could be published straight away. A good friend from wordingwell.com walked me through the entire process of submitting the manuscript to Amazon. By using Amazon's CreateSpace service, in no time at all, my book, Leading You Out of the Darkness was born.”

How Did Publishing a Book Help You in Your Career or Personal Life?

Sue: “Publishing my book was a huge personal milestone. Because of my book, Out of the Whirlpool, I’ve met the most amazing people, and I’ve also become friends with new colleagues who have introduced me to others in the field of mental health and suicide prevention. This was a whole new world of information that I knew nothing of before publishing my own personal story. My life has become far richer from the experience.”

Maxwell wearing a purple shirt and smiling at the camera

Max: “By self-publishing a book, it has given me credibility as a life-goals coach, which has allowed me to help others reach their goals too. Having a book to promote, led to the natural progression of becoming a public speaker, and at present, I am also working as an online media publicist. I firmly believe that by taking that leap into self-publishing and promoting my work, I gained the confidence (and incentive) to produce many podcasts, which in turn has brought me recognition all over the Internet as the blind blogger. Career wise, the book continues to open up other opportunities in doing radio interviews too.”

Would You Recommend This Pathway to Others?

Sue: “Yes, I would. When you publish your own book, the print-on-demand option is quick, economical, and flexible to suit anyone’s budget and time schedule. I know that I couldn’t have afforded to do it any other way, either financially or time-wise. Self-publishing is also a great way to help promote a person’s "brand" through social media platforms for those who want to tell their story to a wider audience.”

Max: “Be aware that the process of self-publishing is not for the faint-hearted. It takes a huge amount of work to build a name or an author’s platform (this means to create a place where people can find you on the web). But, if you are excited about taking control of your creative work, then by all means, self-publish. You get to maintain the rights to your work as well as control over your schedule. In my opinion, the low commissions paid by traditional publishers to unknown authors are rarely worth giving someone else title to your hard work.”

Final Words of Advice

Sue: “Self-publishing is not the easiest way to make a living, but I still feel it is a better option for most of us who want to get our story of overcoming out there and not have to wait to take the traditional route. Interestingly, many publishers these days are signing up previously self-published authors (known as an Indie-author). The book market has expanded so much that these major companies are discovering new authors who took the challenge to self-publish and offer a contract to republish their work. So you never know who is out there reading your book!”

Max: “My main tip to others considering this pathway is to start promoting yourself and getting your name out there long before you finish the book. It’s all about getting onto the radar of others who can help take your story to the next phase on the publishing journey. I am almost finished my third manuscript, having used several chapters of the first book to win me a place as one of the Amtrak Writers in Residence 2016. The story is about my trip to New York City. I know I wouldn’t have received such a great opportunity without having written my first book. So, try not to be discouraged if you receive rejections from a publisher. The most important thing is to weigh the challenges versus the rewards and go with what works best for you.”

Maribel: Thanks, Sue and Max. For more titles on living with blindness or low vision, VisionAware has a list of over 70 titles on our book shelf.

Out of the Whirlpool book cover book cover of it's not the cookie it's the bag with picture of cookies in jar Sue squatting next to guide dog book cover of Leading you out of the darkness into the light with image of man in doorway

Sue Wiygul Martin’s Books

Out of the Whirlpool: The Story of a Suicide Survivor and the Rebuilding of a Life

In Dog We Trust

Max Ivey's Books

The two books: Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light: A Blind Man's Inspirational Guide to Success (2015) and It’s Not the Cookie, It’s the Bag: An Easy-to-Follow Guide for Weight Loss Success (2016) can both be found on on Amazon.

Please Comment

Do you have an experience of self-publishing versus the traditional path with a mainstream publisher? Please let us know how the process was for you.


Topics:
Low Vision
Personal Reflections
Reading
Self-Publishing

Grandma’s Glory: Tips for a Successful Visit from Your Grandchildren

Editor's Note: In honor of Grandparent's Day (Sunday, September 10th), Mary Hiland, a VisionAware peer advisor with retinitis pigmentosa, has written a delightful post about a recent visit from her grandchildren. Read and enjoy!

Grandma's Glory

By Mary Hiland

Mary Hiland

My daughter Kara and her family, husband and three children, were just here for a few days, and we had a wonderful time together. When they arrived, they had been in the car for many hours, so I was expecting everyone to be tired and grumpy. But I was in for a sweet surprise. I was sitting on the patio when they came through the door, and the next thing I knew, the three-year-old had her arms around my knees and had her face pressed into my lap in a warm embrace. It had been several months since I had seen her, so I was delighted that she not only remembered me but was happy to see me. You never know what a toddler will do next, so it’s a bonus when she presents herself with a loving embrace. Next came the other girls, both teenagers, with Kara bringing up the rear. Soon they were all chattering around me with stories of their trip and the plans they were making for their visit with me. The typical quiet of my house was swept away with their laughter and enthusiasm. This happy greeting set the tone for the next few days of joy.

What to Do with Teenagers and a Toddler

Entertaining two completely different ages was somewhat of a challenge, but the 13- and 15-year-old girls were not expecting excitement and thrills on this vacation. They were prepared for visiting cousins and other low-keyed activities. The three-year-old was introduced to lightening bugs and was delighted with their magic. She got to feed the ducks at a nearby creek side park, and the older girls got to be the pedalers on a paddle boat with their little sister and their dad riding in the back. Kara took pictures from the bank and gave me a running description of what was happening.

Bonding with My Granddaughters

mary and teenage granddaughters playing scrabble  

One night, the two older girls and I played Scrabble with my braille Scrabble game. Teenagers are bored easily, but it was a delight to see how engaged they were and to encourage their sense of competition. I coached them on strategies, such as saving an "S" or a blank when they really needed it to make a great play, and they were grateful for the advice. It was getting late, and we were all tired, but they insisted on seeing the end of the game play out. The next day, the 15-year-old said the Scrabble game with grandma was the highlight of that day.

On another evening, my son brought his two teenage daughters over for dinner and a spirited game of spoons. It’s a fast-moving card game, too fast for me, so I opted to help my daughter clean up the kitchen while they shouted and gleefully grabbed spoons from the middle of the table. It was heartwarming to hear the interaction of the two families as they played together. After the dishwasher was loaded, my daughter and I took the youngest out in the back yard to throw the ball for my dog guide and for blowing bubbles and drawing on the concrete with the sidewalk chalk I had bought for her.

Mary Hiland's guide dog Dora lying in the floor in front of a bookshelf with a book between her paws

Tips for a Successful Visit

  1. Prepare the kids for a less than exciting time. Be sure they have plenty to read and/or games on their iPads.

  2. Have toys on hand that a toddler will enjoy. Shop garage sales for used toys that you can sanitize easily and/or keep an eye out for sales on quiet activities such as sidewalk chalk, bubbles, balls, or toys with wheels.

  3. Look for special events in your area that will appeal to your grandkids. Concerts, festivals, and other entertainment will help you all enjoy each other’s company.

  4. Save quiet games for the end of the day. Plan more active entertainment for the mornings.

  5. Look for games that a visually impaired grandparent can play too!

  6. Be sure the younger children have a quiet place to nap and to sleep at night.

  7. Allow time for naps for the little ones.

  8. Stock your fridge and cupboards with snacks that are approved by the parents.

  9. Keep meal-planning simple, but nutritious.

  10. Stay tuned in to the moods of your guests. There might be times when they just want to read a book, and there might be times when they need to get out and make some memories.

Plans for Next Year

As they loaded the car and prepared for their long trip home, I was touched as they talked about coming back next summer for the fourth of July. The parade, the picnics, and the fireworks will be a little more exciting than supper on the patio with the cousins, but I truly believe that they all had a good time at grandma’s this year... and so did I!

Your Comments

Tell us about what you do when your grandchildren come to visit? Do you have any tips to share?

Read More on Grandparenting

Grandma's Thoughts

Grandparenting with Vision Loss

Blind Parenting Series


Topics:
Blind Parenting
Caregiving
Holidays
Low Vision
Social Life and Recreation

Accessibility for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NYC

Holly standing outside at the 9/11 Memorial with her guide dog

As we approach the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, blind and visually impaired families should consider taking a trip to New York City’s 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The memorial and the museum are located at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan at 180 Greenwich Street. Visitors can currently access the memorial at the intersection of Liberty Street and Greenwich Street, at the intersection of Liberty Street and West Street, and at the intersection of West Street and Fulton Street.

The memorial features two cascading waterfalls and reflecting pools, set within the footprints of the twin towers in the original World Trade Center Complex. The names of every person who died during the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001, are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools.

The museum portion is an educational and historical institution both honoring the victims we lost that fateful day and historically examining 9/11’s continued global significance through artifacts and records.

A Staten Islander and First Responder Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Holly's husband with her guide dog visiting the 9/11 Memorial

My husband and I visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum together last fall. My husband was a New York City Police officer during the time of the attacks and was stationed at Ground Zero on patrol. I, myself, was fully sighted when 9/11 occurred and was undergoing cancer treatments. I volunteered with the Red Cross and several organizations in the vicinity of Ground Zero with my therapy dog, a black German Shepherd named Samson. Those first few months after the attacks were dark days for New York City.

While we knew the memorial and the museum had been open to the public for some time, emotionally, my husband and I had decided to wait before revisiting the site. I had also delayed the trip for fear I would not be able to independently participate in the exhibits as a visually impaired patron.

The Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial was absolutely breathtaking. I stood for a long time just listening to the flowing sounds of the tranquil waterfalls of the reflecting pools. My husband guided me around the perimeter, and we were easily able to find the names of the many friends and colleagues we had lost. It was a somber moment, but an inclusive one, as I was able to run my fingers over the deep cuts of the engraved bronze over the names of my friends.

The 9/11 Museum

We had taken my guide dog, Frances with us on our visit. As expected, security was very tight after you entered the 9/11 Museum. Shoes, bags, coats—everything—was removed as both Frances and I were directed to go through the metal detector. Frances was even thoroughly wanded by a hand-held device. All this was done professionally and politely.

Most of the museum is 70 feet below street level on the bedrock that was the foundation of the World Trade Center towers. The flow of the exhibits is organized in a winding, downward, sloped walk in the form of ramps. Stairs are located in certain areas, and an accessible elevator is available. The one downside from the perspective of a guide dog user is the slick, shiny floors. I could hear the tap, tap, tapping of Frances’ nails as we made our way further through the museum’s corridors.

While I didn't make arrangements for a guided tour, several docents (museum volunteers) independently approached us to offer some of the best descriptions of the exhibits that I have ever received from any museum. It was obvious that the 9/11 Museum staff had been well trained and were comfortable with assisting visually impaired visitors. Equally surprising, not one staff member asked to pet my guide dog!

Reflections

An overhead view of the 9/11 Memorial Museum with a large steel beam exhibit in the middle of the room

While both my husband and I were happy we had such an informative visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, we left feeling emotionally drained. We spent approximately three hours in the exhibit halls. During that time, we found ourselves reliving the personal experiences we had shared with so many victims and survivors all those years ago.

As a visually impaired mother, I would strongly caution any parent considering taking their young children to this site. While all the information is extremely educational, you will most certainly encounter people who become emotional throughout your journey to bedrock. I, personally, could not see other visitors crying, but I could hear them. Boxes of tissues are positioned throughout the museum.

The accessibility features throughout our visit far surpassed anything I have experienced in my five years living as a visually impaired woman. Undoubtedly, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum did their diligence in order to provide an interactive, tactile, and audibly accessible experience for all blind and visually impaired visitors.

Accessibility Features of the Memorial & Museum for Visually Impaired Visitors

Audio Description Tours

The 9/11 Museum offers some wonderful accessibility features for the blind and visually impaired. You can download the 9/11 Museum Audio Guide to your smartphone or by asking for a handheld device at the Information Desk. This guide includes an audio description tour, allowing visitors who are blind or partially sighted to independently explore the museum through vivid and detailed descriptions of the museum’s exhibits. The 9/11 Museum Audio Guide is VoiceOver compatible on all iOS devices, including devices offered by the museum.

Guided verbal description tours are also available upon request with three weeks written notice. You may contact (646) 583-3419 (voice), (212) 266-5212 (TTY), or access@911memorial.org to place a request.

Braille & Large Print

Large print commemorative guides to the memorial are available upon request at the same distribution point as other commemorative guides on the memorial. Select braille and large print materials are available upon request at the Information Desk in the museum.

Interactive Exhibits

Staff are available throughout the museum to assist visitors in navigating the touchscreen interactive exhibits. Please see a Visitor Service Host in a blue blazer for assistance.

The Ladder 3 Fire Truck inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum in NYC

Electronic Directories

Electronic touchscreen kiosks are located on the Memorial Plaza to explore the arrangement of the 2,983 names on the memorial. The same information contained in the electronic directories is also available at names.911memorial.org. Visitor Services hosts are also available on the memorial to assist with navigating the electronic directories and locating names on the memorial.

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome at both the memorial and inside the museum.

Memorial Design & Tactile Touch

The design of the bronze names parapets surrounding the twin memorial pools allows visitors to experience the names of the victims by touching the contours of the letters. Affiliations featured on the memorial, such as company or flight names, are embossed, while individual names are cut out of the bronze.

To review all accessibility information for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, head to their website www.911memorial.org, click on "Visit" in the header menu, after the page is redirected, scroll to "Accessibility." The museum specifies Access Programs & Services for visitors on the Autism Spectrum Disorder, Blind or Partially Sighted, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and those with limited mobility.

For additional information about programs and services for visitors with disabilities, please contact the museum staff at (646) 583-3419 (voice or VP), (212) 266-5212 (TTY), or access@911memorial.org.

Know Before You Go

Finding a Name on the Memorial

The names of the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, are inscribed into bronze parapets surrounding the 9/11 Memorial’s twin pools, set within the footprints of the original twin towers.

The website denotes names of each section of the 9/11 Memorial follow these headings:

AROUND THE NORTH POOL
World Trade Center: Those who were working in or visiting 1 WTC (North Tower) on 9/11
Flight 11: The crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 11
February 26, 1993: Those who were killed in the bombing of the WTC on February 26, 1993

AROUND THE SOUTH POOL
World Trade Center: Those who were working in or visiting 2 WTC (South Tower) or other areas of the WTC complex on 9/11
Flight 175: The crew and passengers of United Airlines Flight 175
Pentagon: Those who were working in or were visiting the Pentagon on 9/11
Flight 77: The crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 77
Flight 93: The crew and passengers of United Airlines Flight 93
First Responders: Those who received the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor awarded by the White House on September 9, 2005

The site also indicates, following each heading, the names are arranged so that those belonging to the same affiliation—for example, coworkers of the same company or the crew of each flight—are listed together. The next-of-kin of the victims and surviving colleagues have requested the names of specific individuals next to whom they would like their loved ones’ names inscribed. Some were with relatives, friends, and colleagues; others were with people they barely knew or had just met but with whom intense bonds were quickly formed as a result of a shared response.

Cost & Hours

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial is "free." The memorial is open daily to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is open daily Sunday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the last entry at 6 p.m. The museum has extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last entry at 7 p.m. While visitors are free to walk the exhibit at their own pace, an average visit takes approximately two hours to fully experience everything.

Tickets can be purchased up to six months in advance. All admission tickets include entry to all exhibits. 9/11 families do not pay admission.

General admission is $24 for an adult. College students, seniors (ages 65 and over), and US Veterans pay $18. Youth ages seven to 17 are $15. Children six and under are free. There is also a 45-minute guided museum tour and 60-minute museum/memorial guided tour ticket option for an additional cost.

Members of the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY), New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) pay $12 with a valid identification card. 9/11 rescue and recovery workers are free with advanced online registration. Active or retired US military are also free with a valid ID.

There is free admission to the museum on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to closing. Tickets for free Tuesdays are distributed on a first come, first serve basis beginning at 4 p.m.

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum website cautions "the historical exhibition may not be appropriate for visitors younger than 10. Adults accompanying younger visitors should exercise discretion before considering entry."


Topics:
Independence
Personal Reflections
Social Life and Recreation
Veterans

Self-Publishing: A Pathway to Sharing Your Story

Close up of Maribel wearing a black top with a colorful necklace standing in front of a piece of artwork on the wall

Compiled by Maribel Steel

 

Editor’s note: This is part one of a series of posts by VisionAware peers who want to share their experience and advice on the topic of self-publishing. We begin the series with Dave Steele, who has discovered his "voice" through writing poetry. He offers tips on what he has found to be keys to success on his pathway to self-publishing as a person who is visually impaired as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).

Self-Publishing Offers the Potential to Be Heard

by Dave Steele

They say that everyone has one good book in them, but it wasn't until I lost the majority of my sight due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) that I discovered mine. In fact, now, I'm on the verge of releasing my third book of poetry that deals with all aspects of living with a visual impairment. Book three will be my final book in the series and will be released for RP awareness month in February. If I hadn't discovered self-publishing through Amazon's CreateSpace website, then none of it would have been possible.

From Despair to Discovery

As I lost vision, I went through things that will be familiar to many. I lost my independence, my confidence, and my purpose. I became a victim of a flawed support system and felt isolated due to the many misconceptions about visually impaired people. It was then that I discovered my new purpose: a talent for explaining how living with vision loss is for many people in my situation—through poetry!

Dave Steele holding his book, Stand with Me RP

Stand by Me RP

Every day I found new poems spilling out of me, so I created my own Facebook page, Stand By Me RP, as a platform to post them and reach others. The page grew quickly to become one of the largest RP groups in the world. After a year or so, I began receiving requests from the followers of my page to have my poems published in a book.

Impossible Dream to Reality

They told me that the poems had become tools of support. They made them feel like they weren't alone, and my poems helped them explain to others how they felt about their own journey into blindness. Yet, I had no clue whatsoever how I could become a published author to reach others—it seemed like an impossible dream.

The process turned out to be a lot easier than I imagined. Through a recommendation, I was put in touch with a company that specializes in self-publishing. For a flat fee, the publishers could edit, format, and upload my poetry on to the CreateSpace website.

Once uploaded and edited, we set to designing the cover for the book. After I was happy with everything, we submitted all of the poetry to Amazon to be checked. Once that was finished, the book was released via their website. The whole process took only around two weeks. All of a sudden I found myself as a published author!

Print on Demand

There were many benefits to the CreateSpace format, and the way it worked was pretty simple. There were no printing costs, as Amazon supplies an option called "Print on Demand," a service where Amazon takes a commission from the book price to advertise a book via their website. They have an international audience, and they can make the product continuously available.

Words of Advice

Self-publishing websites like Amazon’s CreateSpace certainly offer an easy route to the book market, but my advice is that unless you have an audience or a way of promoting your book yourself, it won't sell.

Also, you don't have the marketing advantages that you would have with a major publisher. For me, however, my audience was growing within the RP and Usher community through word of mouth. In my opinion, that's the key to success with self-publishing.

For me, it’s been incredible. I work every day to help get my poetry discovered by new people, inspired by their daily messages, telling me of the impact my poetry books have made on their lives. Without taking that leap into self-publishing, I wouldn't have realized my outreach and new life purpose.

Tell Us Your Story!

Do you have an experience in self-publishing? Please leave your comment here.

Read Dave's Poetry

Stand by Me RP Volume 1

Stand by Me RP Volume 2


Topics:
Personal Reflections
Retinitis Pigmentosa
Self-Publishing

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