Growing up I learned very quickly that most words that people use are empty. We’ve created language so that we can convey ideas and emotions, but our words often fail us, either because we don’t think through what we are saying, or we are hiding what we truly want to say.
The Instagram DM came in when I was getting ready for bed, mouth full of toothpaste and eyes gritty with fatigue. Is everything okay with you and hubbie? I blinked incredulously at the message. Um, what? Then it clicked. A friend had seen my latest Instagram post – something about heartbreak or relationships, I can’t remember now – and incorrectly assumed it was about me and my better half.
So you worked on that one poem for weeks, and it is about a subject that is close to your heart. You press post and your palms are sweaty. And there it comes. The stink. It always comes first and is soon followed by that dreaded hairy internet beast: in walks that fucking troll.
I remember setting out to publish my first book of poetry and asking for a quote at this design studio that I loved. When the quote came back and equalled like three payslips (which I would have gladly paid if I didn’t have to, you know, pay rent, groceries, feed my dog and pay for the clothes on my body) I was taken aback for a minute. I studied photography at art school and was neck deep in student loans, so I thought, why not look into this Canva thing someone mentioned. I knew about images, just sucked at shooting them, I knew about what designs I liked, just wasn’t able to create them myself, so Canva turned out to be a lifesaver.
The internet can be a magical place, and it totally is when it comes to submitting your work to magazines and online publications. Submittable makes this easy for you. Submittable gets that you’re a busy Millennial who is trying to juggle keeping a roof over your head, getting dressed in the morning and deciding between toothpastes, so it made all the browsing for literary journals easier. It did it for you.
Self Publishing your first book can seem a little daunting at first. Where do you begin? Should you hire people to design your cover? Do you even have the money to hire people to be involved in the process? In this article, we share the tools we use to publish our books. They are all free, and you don’t need to have a degree in rocket science to use them. We will devote separate articles to these life-saving tools in the future. For now, here’s a little summarization of everything you need to print your first book.