For the Legitimately Motivated: How to Become Self-Published

Posted on September 6, 2013



I can recall an incident I had a while back at a bar I used to manage.  It was a slow day, and eventually the crowd dwindled down to only myself and a lone customer. I proceeded to watch the customer consume one too many frozen margaritas, and then as they say in the bar business, he “turned the switch.” I found myself on the receiving end of a barrage of non-related utterances. They were strung together by a man that I had determined was a loose cannon, an assumed crackpot if you will.  He assaulted me with his theories about the Obama administration, the imminent technological collapse of society and the rise of a Texan ideology. Politely, I informed him that I think he’d had enough, and perhaps it was time to be on his way.  He kindly agreed, took one final swig, smiled wide, and stated, “Thanks for giving a lonely poet your ear.” 

“You got it,” I replied, and went about my work. 

When I next arrived to work, there was a book waiting for me: Thus Virginia Passes by James Browning Kepple.  I took it home, opened it up to find it was a book of poetry, began to read and found out it actually contained powerful and moving poetry.  “Who is this author?” I wondered.   After googling the name, I found that, sure enough, it was that “crackpot” from a few days earlier.  Now, though he may remain “cracked” in my eyes he had also shown himself to be a legitimate writer, all because he showed me a published work (a self-published work, as I would later find out). 

Why do I begin with my story of Mr. Kepple?  Because he has chosen to become a part of a growing industry that has a growing audience, a growing clientele and an alternative for many who are finding that traditional publishing has closed its doors.

Sparticus, Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Joy of Cooking all share one interesting commonality, and it shouldn’t take a genius to realize where I’m going here.  All were self-published and all together have sold over a hundred million copies. Now, why did these authors choose to self-publish?  First of all, they were extremely self-motivated people, and second, they all found the traditional publishing industry to be less than ideal (Howard Fast, author of Sparticus, actually found himself blacklisted due to his alleged  Communist ties).  

Those are some exceptional examples of people who have done it and clearly succeeded, but how can you find yourself in that company of names?  You have a great idea, or perhaps you’ve already composed a manuscript that you’ve sent out to publishing houses (hopefully having copyrighted your material first; it’s a must and affordable and simple online- and have received no responses. I think it’s time to take matters into your own hands.  Remember, motivation is essential. 

Online you can find many companies that offer self-publishing services.  Asta Publications offers publishing solutions that include format choices for both print and e-book conversion, professional editing, and some social media marketing.  However, whether you choose Asta Publications or another publishing service, it is up to you, the author, to promote your work and yourself.   People cannot read what they do not know about (simple, but true).

In the end, though I still hope to never be involved in another one of Mr. Browning Kepple’s inebriated rants, I must commend him for his pluck and tenacity with which he promotes his work.  He’s self-published, still self-publishing, self-promoting, and a true testament to the ideology that anyone can get his or her ideas out there if one exudes a little effort.  With that effort one can attain a level of legitimacy, and just maybe find his or her name on that self-publishing genius list next.

Hans Freiwald, Writer and Editor, Asta Publications

Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

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