The Internet age has made it easy for us to share our creations with the entire world. Written pieces, audio and videos are shared instantaneously and I have even published my own book.
To make a long story short, my friend and I innovated a simple version of baseball that could be played with as few as four people. As our friends joined us playing every week, we built a bit of a movement. This led to official rules being written, a website and even merchandise. As with any game, the longer it is played, the longer the rules become. Our rules eventually took up an entire section of our website. I decided that an official rulebook would be really cool.
I researched self-publishing online, but quickly became frustrated. All the services seemed to charge a lot and had minimum orders in the hundreds. Finally, I found what has become one of my favorite websites, cafepress.com.
I was able to simply covert the file that contained the rules into a PDF format. I even arranged diagrams and other artwork within the document. It was very important to use the same dimensions that the book would be printed on to ensure the finished product looked just like I designed it.
So, the PDF became the meat of my book. Cafepress.com allows you to design a cover separately. Once again, the dimensions were very important. The website had templates available and even gave dimensions for the spine of the book (the size of the spine depends on how many pages are in the book).
I carefully stuck to the templates and crossed my fingers as I uploaded them to cafepress.com. Once I completed the design, my book was available on my cafepress.com store. I immediately bought a copy of my own book for about twelve bucks.
Online, everything looked great, but I was full of skepticism as I waited a few days for my book to arrive. When it showed up, I felt so proud and grateful. It was the perfect manifestation of my design. I eventually even sold a few to my friends through my cafepress.com store, which made me a few extra bucks.
My goal may have been humble, but with the right ambition, creative promotion and some great content there is no limit to the freedom authors have to create and earn while publishing themselves.