I’m not what you’d call an excellent writer, someone whose books will become national bestsellers, but I think my stories are pretty good. The only problem with ‘pretty good’ stories is you’re not very likely to find someone willing to publish them. So where do you turn when you want to get your book out there but the major companies aren’t an option? You self publish.
Now I know it sounds daunting, but to be honest, it’s not really all that difficult. Depending on how you do it that is. I know when you think of published books you immediately conjure up images of bound books sitting on bookstore shelves, but for those of you out there who are like me and don’t have the money to pay for the expensive process of having the books printed, I recommend making them into eBooks. I know there’s not a huge market for them yet, but give it a few years and printed books will be a thing of the past, bought only by those who truly enjoy the feeling of turning each page. I doubt they’ll ever disappear completely, but with each passing generation they become less and less popular since it’s so much simpler to download one and read it on a reader/laptop/IPad/etc.
I’ve been selling books for a few years through Barnes and Nobles Pubit (now called Nook Press) and while I haven’t made a whole lot, I’ve managed to sell a few. Recently though, I’ve found the site Smashwords, and I like it much better. Not only does it have an easy to use setup (Nook Press is simple now too), but if you get into their premium catalog they’ll ship your books off to several major retailers. Both sites are completely free to use, but Smashwords gives you the option of listing things for free as well which, let’s face it, is essential if you want to really get your name out there.
I will likely continue to use both sites, there’s no reason not to, but if you don’t have the time or patience to keep track of two different retailers I’d highly recommend using Smashwords for the simple fact that you’ll probably get more exposure.