There are now dozens of websites to help budding authors to publish their novels, poems and pictures and, perhaps, even make a profit from it. 

If you want to realise a dream by publishing your own book, there are lots of companies willing to extract upwards of $500 from you for the privilege. At the other end of the spectrum is Amazon’s digital text platform, which allows you to upload your pre-prepared files to its Kindle reader and then set your own price.

The catch? Amazon takes 65% of the income from sales. Ouch. Fortunately, there are lots of other options – of which more later – for budding authors. What you get out of them is subject only to the limits of your imagination.

It doesn’t have to be an embryonic bestseller because self-publishing is best suited to limited editions. Anything over 1,000 copies and you would be better off going to a traditional printer to take advantage of economies of scale. I know a lot people who are self-publishing a record of their own lives together with memories of their parents and grandparents as a bit of family history. That’s not vanity publishing, just a great way to preserve memories for future generations and add to the archive of local history. Self-publishing is ideal for that. Les mer: