How I Published My First Book

For over 30 years, I have considered myself a writer. In the early 1990s as a staff member for my alma mater high school marching band, the idea struck me to share my memories by writing a book of what it was like to be in marching band. Using my journals and assorted band memorabilia, I soon had a 140-page book. In 2005, I became the author I had always dreamed of being.

My goal

When I first started writing my memoir of my years in or working with the marching band, my ultimate goal was simply to publish the book. I really didn’t care if it became a best seller. I just wanted it in print so if a band member, or even a band fan, wanted to read it he could.


My biggest obstacle was where to publish my book. I researched various self-publishing companies and didn’t want to spend the money to publish my own book. I thought about finding an agent and publishing it the traditional way, but I didn’t want to put myself through the rejections. I just wanted it in print.

At the right time, I saw an article in our local newspaper in which a man was publishing his own book through a company called PublishAmerica, and I decided to give them a try. They accepted my manuscript, and I was on my way to becoming a published author.

Helpful tips

Once I found the publisher, I had to obtain my own copyright. Thinking that I had done what I was supposed to do, I mailed off the paper with my $30 check for the copyright fee. However, it was returned to me because I had neglected to send my manuscript with it. I will be sure to read the instructions the next time.

I will admit I haven’t sold very many copies of my book, but I haven’t marketed it as I should have. I have recently renewed my contract with the publishing company and decided to buy a few copies of my book to have on hand. I have created a Facebook fan page and a Web page and use Twitter to build my fan base. I have learned one important thing. If you want to sell your book, you must market yourself.

While I haven’t gotten rich or become a best-selling author, I achieved my ultimate goal of publishing my book. I have sold enough copies to cover the $30 copyright fee and make myself proud. While it would be nice to sell more copies, I am pleased with what I have done, and it only encourages me to keep writing and make the next book even better.

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