Self-Publishing: An Easy, Free Way to Publish Your Work

by Madeleine

This is a how-to article. The world needs more writers with strong voices, and who better than to fill that need that teens? After all, we are the next generation. We should write, and say something worthwhile—shape the future of our world.

Self-publishing is a great opportunity for anyone, but especially for young and emerging writers. I am a freelance writer, and I know from experience how hard it can be to get your work published. Countless rejection e-mails are sitting in my inbox from this past year, all of them form letters. When you are a writer actively trying to get your work published, you’re going to receive a lot of form rejection letters. My favorite ones are when they forget to insert your name and they just read “Dear (Name)”…it’s amusing. But after so many rejection letters, they lose their sting and you learn to expect them. Then when your work is accepted you are pleasantly surprised.

If you are looking to start a writing career (or even just seen your work in print) I suggest starting out by submitting to teen magazines. Some of my favorites are Teen Ink where you can possibly have your work published in their print magazine, but if not it will most likely be published on their website where you have the chance to receive comments, ratings, and Editor’s Choice awards when the editors recognize your work as being ‘a cut above the rest.’ Also there is The Slam: highly selective, but it is a thrill to have your work chosen. If your work is published on The Slam, you have the chance to have it reviewed so you can receive feedback on your work. Homeschooling Teen, which you’re reading right now, also publishes stories and poems.

It’s an incredible experience to see your work in print, and share them with other people. Submitting your work to magazines is a great way to build confidence, hopefully get published, and get feedback on your writing that will help you improve and perhaps see mistakes that you didn’t notice the first time around (or the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time.) Plus, any published writing experience goes a long way when submitting work to publishers that ask their writers to have a long list of credentials.

But if that doesn’t work out and you still want to have your work published, you can go a different route—Self-publishing.

For non-fiction articles, news stories, or really whatever strikes your fancy, on you can submit articles (which are published on websites with an agreement with and are paid per view. Not a great pay day, but still something.

Also, there is All you need is an Amazon account (which is free) and then you can submit your document as a word file, upload a cover, enter the required information, and set your own price. Then you can click submit and within 24 hours your writing will be available in the Kindle store for anyone to purchase. You can select either a 35% or a 70% royalty rate. (The royalty is how much of the proceeds you receive.)

I know how rewarding it is to see a book in the Kindle store as I just took the leap and self-published my first full-length novel on Amazon (previously I have only published short stories on, and now people can buy it in the Kindle store. Feel free to check it out if you have the time: The Box of Secrets. If you’re lucky, sometimes there will be a promotion where you can download the book for free. [Don’t own a Kindle? You can download a free Kindle app to read Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.]

If you take the leap yourself, share it with your friends and family, and let other writers (especially teen writers) know about it. Be sure to let me know about it by way of my blog. Who knows, your story could be a bestseller.

Madeleine, 16, says: I want to help people and I want to tell stories, especially the stories of people who don’t have a voice of their own.”


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  1. I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading this article. I didn’t know how easy it was to publish a book on Amazon. I like to write novels, too. I’ve always wanted to publish one and maybe someday I will! I’m currently working with an assistant editor of a local magazine in my area to edit my most recent story. I kind of want to self-publish (that way nobody takes 99.99 percent of your profits–ha, ha). But, then again, I think, “If I self-publish I won’t be able to sell any copies of my book.”
    Have you gotten a lot of sales on your novel since you placed it on Amazon? If so, were they all from people you previously knew, or did Amazon “get the word out” for you?
    I think that you commented on my column, Laughter, Tears, & Our Teen Years, a while back. I wanted to tell you that I really appreciated that. Thanks, Madeleine!

  2. Hi! Thanks for reading the article! 😀
    As far as sales go, it really depends on what you write. Popularity is everything. I tend to lean more toward literary fiction, so my novel doesn’t really sell that many copies. My short stories are far more popular though (example: in the past six weeks, i’ve sold 1 copy of the novel, but 4-5 of a short story collection.) If you write popular fiction such as Paranormal Romance, I’m sure you would get a lot more sales. On the other hand, publishing with allows you to have free promotions, where people can download your book for free. In a twenty-four hour period, I had more than 150 downloads for my novel–if only half of those people read it, that’s still a lot of people reading my book and the word will get around. :-)Hope this helps you–please let me know if you decide to publish one of your stories, I really enjoy reading your column and would love to see some of your other work published! Good luck! 😀

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