The next best-selling author


No magic lantern slides today. I thought you find this little diversion interesting.

It is said that we all have a book inside us. Well, in my case, I waited sixty years and then wrote seventy of them, with more in the pipeline. It would be better to describe most of them as booklets, as they typically have about fifty pages but the concept I’m about to explain works equally well with a weighty tome. Traditionally, to publish a book, I would have typed it, proofed it, printed (very expensive) copies, looked for sales outlets, agreed a wholesale price, shipped them, chased payment etc. Typically, most of us don’t get beyond the printing stage and our books then gather dust in the garage for the next twenty years. All of this is now unnecessary. New technology enables anyone to publish and sell the novel, textbook, self-help guide, family history or local history book that they always intended to write, without cost or risk.

The technology is called ‘print-on-demand’ publishing. In simple terms, you write your book and create a cover image on your computer, then upload them to a print-on-demand publishing website. I use, an Amazon owned company, ‘though other businesses offer a similar service. With createspace, once your text and cover have passed their initial authorisation processes, you can purchase a printed copy to proof read or do so online, as I do, free of charge. When you’re happy with it, you set the price and the royalty level, determine which countries you want to sell it in and, with one final click, launch your masterpiece into the digital world. It appears for sale on Amazon and when (or if) one sells, Amazon prints and ships it without your involvement and pays you a royalty at the end of the following month. With a few more clicks, you can publish your book as a kindle ebook.

Other print-on-demand publishing packages and platforms reach different markets and you would need to consider which is best for you but createspace meets my particular needs. A word of warning ….. if the service you are considering requires a payment, then you might have accidently clicked through to the wrong website and you should check its domain name. This has happened to a couple of people that I know.

It’s not, of course, as simple and straight forward as I’ve described here and you’ll need some computing ability and a good dollop of patience but it really is free and it works.

If you have a story to tell and are looking for a zero-cost method of sharing it with the rest of the world, give it a go. My books are steady sellers, yours might be a future best seller!

If you found this interesting, please share it with your family and friends. If you’re not reading it on my ‘Magic Lantern World‘ website, then please visit. There are over one hundred illustrated articles about Victorian slide projection and links to my historical photo-booklets on Amazon, my Ebay shop for magic lantern slides and Etsy store for historical photo greetings cards with a twist. You can read about my authentic Victorian magic lantern shows and talks on ‘Optical entertainments before the movies’ and lots more!

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