Posted on April 16, 2014 in Archive

It’s easy to be a publisher nowadays


These days, not everyone starts off with a book deal. Some do, but that’s a rarity. What is more likely is for the writers of today to self-publish or have their works moderated online by like-minded communities or to write a blog online. Who says that isn’t getting published, though?

Being an unintentional publisher is easy. Chances are, you might be one already. Getting your work published is as easy as opening up a WordPress account – which is pretty easy. Admittedly, there might still be some stigma around publishing your own work, because someone didn’t pluck you from obscurity and print your words for you. But who cares? This has been discussed multiple times on this blog before – you just have to get yourself out there.

Why stop at publishing? You can get all of your creative hobbies involved – photography, art, curation, writing, design. Jann Alexander is a great example of this – she recently took to Medium to explain how she became a publisher, all through the use of personal blogging. She bases all her various online enterprises through an easy to use dashboard that easily links everything in one place. Did you notice the phrasing? Links everything to one place. That’s important – getting your content onto multiple platforms where there will obviously be more traffic to view it is essential if you want to increase your reader base.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands posted a blog last month that discusses the various ways you can develop your online presence as a writer (you can find the link to her article at the end of this blog). Since all of her suggestions are great ones for budding writers, here are the websites or methods she recommends:

  • Hi : A real-time storytelling platform where writers can submit a 20 word snippet of their work, or an image related to a location. You can narrow this further by adding related search terms like ‘creativity,’ ‘craftsmanship,’ and ‘old age’ (just some examples from the first page). This is an awesome idea for those interested in travel writing, photography or just interested in experimenting with new fragments of work. So far Hi has accrued 833,803 words from 2,119 cities.
  • 1:1000 : You know the old saying – “a picture says a thousand words”. Well now you can contribute to this project by submitting either a photograph, or one thousand words. Some people seem to enjoy doing both (though I would argue that this doesn’t really fit in with the title, but they seem happy to allow it). 1:1000 cleverly archives their older posts through Pinterest, an image aggregation website. They also do writer profiles and interviews in the 1:1 section, which is a great potential way to gain notice.
  • Tumblr: This website is great for curating content. Many writers use these short-form blogs to gather favourite images, quotes or pieces of writing onto one page. It’s also a less formal setting than a blog, so this may be an opportunity for you to try out different content that you aren’t sure is suitable for blogging. Be careful, though – there are very little restrictions on what you cannot post on Tumblr, so there’s a chance you might come across unsavoury material, or even worse – find that someone has reblogged your lovely piece of writing next to some adult-only visuals.
  • Medium: Rowlands recommends Medium for one-off pieces of writing that you may want published, but just not in your own space. It’s solely for writing, and it’s cool interface is tailor-made for longform writing.

Furthermore, creating a web identity for yourself isn’t a bad idea if you are interested in getting published in different online avenues. It can be as simple as creating a custom design or layout that can be applied to anywhere that you publish your writing – that way, regular readers can immediately identify your work, even if they come across it randomly. Creating a ‘best of’ page within your work can also help bring in readers – other people are always interested in what’s popular with everyone else.

Having a passion for what you’re blogging about is of utmost importance, however. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it be motorcycles, cooking, geraniums or technology.  It will come through to readers in your writing if you aren’t genuine – people are annoying like that. Try to keep in mind, too, that you won’t become a successful publisher at once. This particular blog hasn’t had enough old sayings, so here goes – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you do all of these, it would be safe to say that you are now a publisher of the modern age- congratulations! Maybe you’ll be able to start monetizing soon…