Recently, I had the privilege of volunteering at Teen Con, an annual sci-fi, fantasy, and comic convention held by the New Castle – Henry County Public Library. It featured games, vendors, costumes (I was dressed as the Red Power Ranger), and panel discussions with local professionals about producing and self-publishing art, including writing, graphic works, and animation. Lots of local authors were featured, who have written predominantly in the sci-fi, urban, and fantasy genres, including Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Stephanie Cain, Hans Cummings, and George Kramer. They were all delighted to talk about their tradecraft, and Hans Cummings and Stephanie Cain led one of the informative panel discussions.
Some of them had self-published their books, using a service such as Lulu, Blurb, Artifact Uprising, Shutterfly, Wordclay (based here in Indiana), or SmashWords (for e-books only). George Kramer, for example, uses CreateSpace for his novels. Their initiative, and high-quality books, impressed me. Once scorned, self-publishing companies have become a great democratization of writing, allowing new authors a chance to market their talents without the gatekeeper of needing a large or even modestly sized publisher, in an industry dominated by those with insider connections.
We’ve written in this blog about writing your own stories before, such as for NaNoWriMo. And IU East offers opportunities for creative writing, from official courses to more targeted outreach like Brian Brodeur’s Veteran’s Writing Workshop. There are lots of opportunities for you to make your own vision a tangible reality.
The library has a number of tools to help new authors, too. From writing, to publishing, to marketing, we have books and resources to help you navigate the best path for your novels or short stories or poetry. Choose from titles like Personal Fiction Writing: A Guide to Writing from Real Life for Teachers, Students & Writers by Meredith Sue Willis, Writing Fiction: An Introduction to the Craft by Garry Disher, The Author’s Handbook by Franklynn Peterson, Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book by Ellen Lupton, Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book by Dan Poynter, Book Publishing Encyclopedia: Tips & Resources for Authors & Publishers also by Dan Poynter, or Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing: Helping Patrons and Communities Use Free and Low-Cost Publishing Tools to Tell Their Stories by Walt Crawford.
If you want to write, you can write. There are ways of getting your book into the hands of your audience! And if you need help finding what you need, ask us at email@example.com!