Like so many writers of my generation, I wanted to avoid the stigma of vanity publishing, simply meaning paying to have your book printed. The internet has changed the rules of the game. Now a writer can put a book online for a few dollars to acquire a domain name and hosting website.
You can still spend thousands of dollars to have an online operation do all of the work involved in putting together a book: editing, layout, cover, promotion, etc.
The outcome undoubtedly will be the same as if you yourself put in the effort to put together the book and to offer it free online, for sale online or a combination of the two. When I say effort, I mean struggling through the unfamiliar processes of turning your manuscript into a worthy online book.
After decades of almost getting my novels into print through an agent, I had come to accept that my works would end up in the dustbin of the unread. Then, at the instigation of one of my grandsons, I offered my best novel, THE DREAM DANCER, as a free online novel.
Then along came the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest last year. I entered another of my novels, THE JYNX. As mentioned before, I didn’t win the contest, but I made it to the semi-finals and after the contest, Amazon offered entrants a chance to sell their online books as paperbacks (via CreateSpace) and e-books (via Kindle). The easiest way to get your novel into the Amazon process is to hire Amazon’s CreateSpace to do the job. I chose to do it myself guided by the advice offered by April Hamilton. Her THE INDIEAUTHOR GUIDE provides computer amateurs like me with all of the information needed to put together a book for online publication.
You should also consider offering your novel as an e-book via Smashwords.
All three, CreateSpace, Kindle, and Smashwords sell books under a royalty arrangement at no cost to the author.
So take your novel out of the closet and throw it into the ocean of the internet via CreateSpace, Kindle and Smashwords—and maybe someone will buy a copy.