I remember being 12 years old, starting a vampire fiction in my black and white composition book after watching Queen of the Damned for the first time. I probably wrote about 3 pages before I thought to myself, "Who is ever going to read this anyway?" and closed the book. I grew up in the 90's when technology was advancing, but having things like computers in the household was a privilege not too many people I knew had. If I wanted to get on the internet, (which during that time was either a chat room or cartoonnetwork.com, I had to go to a library.)
I didn't start using the internet religiously until I was about 15, when I got a Myspace account. It was the first time I could communicate with my friends outside of school and house phone calls, and that was only over a relatives house or library. I didn't own a cell phone until I was 17. My first cell phone where I could actually access the web, I didn't get until 18. I went from loading school research papers on floppy disks to thumb
drives in less than a decade.
so you can understand how a girl like me, at 12 years old would get discouraged about pursuing a career in writing. I remember hearing about how JK Rowling submitted Harry Potter to dozens of publishers before anyone took her seriously. This seemed to be the story of most famous authors back then, which would diminish anyone's dreams of making it. If you couldn't get a publishing company to say "yes", you were pretty much screwed.
But now, we live in a different time. While I'm sure self-publishing isn't anything new, It has most definitely become more common than it once was, due to the growing dominance of modern day media. From social media platforms, to online marketplaces, and even e-books, The sky seems to be limit for anyone hoping to have any kind of career in writing. Sources that were once pretty much non-existent are plentiful.
Take social media for example, sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become staples in entrepreneurship. Everyone knows getting yourself noticed is the most important part of selling your work. You can create business pages and personal pages, building loyal followers and a fan base without even getting out of bed. Facebook even offers low cost advertising to draw in viewers and clicks. Sites like Amazon offer selling options, and even offer free or low cost ISBN numbers if you sell through them. (Don't carve that in stone, feel free to do your own research on their ISBN's)
That also brings me to another point, depending on how you plan to sell, ISBN numbers are not mandatory, so if you plan to sell from your home and not through a retailer, you don't even need one. You just saved yourself some money. There are also plenty of services assisting with editing, covers, formatting whatever you need to get your work done. Even printing and ordering copies is easy with the convenience of the internet.
I can't imagine the hassle of self-publishing before the internet. Who knows how many aspiring authors had or still have manuscripts sitting in a box in their closet. I know I am extremely grateful to be able to start my journey of self-publishing at 26, and I'm looking forward to everything it has to offer! Check out my summary for my upcoming book My Colorblind Rainbow on my book selections page and follow Chanel Hardy Publications on Facebook!