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By Hilary Hagerman

Jordan Morningstar knew he was on his own if he wanted to get published That’s why the 30-year-old Ryerson commerce graduate chose to self-publish his book, Class of 2009 for

“With self-publishing, the big thing is that you’re the guy in control — no editor tells you what to write or blocks content or stretches things out,” he said. “You can write whatever you want.”

Morningstar also self-published because of the nature of his book. “The concept of the book is that it gives dedication to people that are part of the car community,” he said. “Legislation tends to be very anti-hotrod and anti-classic cars, and I wanted to say ‘here we are, and we’re not that bad.’

“It’s a very small market and there’s not a lot of people in the scene and especially there’s not a lot of publishers who understand the scene.”

The self-publishing process is actually fairly straightforward, said Donovan Bergman, who works for Friesens Printing in Manitoba. The author sources out a designer and editor or does the designing and editing themselves. Next, a printer is hired to output the proofs. Then the books are printed, bound and delivered to the author.

But there are downsides. “It’s not something I would recommend if you don’t have a steady income to support you while you’re doing it,” he said. “That was my big mistake.”

Seth Gumbs, a former entrepreneurship student who self-published an action/adventure novel for kids called Coobo agrees that it can be hard. “One mistake I made was that I tried to do it all myself — I coloured the title page and I made the website, and I’m not a computer tech. I wanted to do it all myself and I was wasting energy doing all those things,” he said.

“I think focusing your time is the best approach. Keep it to your skills, which for me was writing and marketing, and find someone else to do the rest.”

“If you’re going to be a self-publisher, don’t do it as a one-off thing and be done with it — think of it as being the starting point for your writing career,” said Morningstar.

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