Now publishing a book is easier than ever. Credit
the growth of vanity and e-book publishers. 764,000
"nontraditional" titles were produced in 2009, compared with
288,355 traditional titles that year. Though selling 10,000 books
is good for traditional authors, self-published authors typically
move fewer than 100 copies, says Jim Milliot of Publishers
Weekly. "The barriers to self-publishing are lower, and it's a
crowded marketplace," he says. But older authors are often
motivated more by self-fulfillment than sales. "It's empowering," explains Michael Jackson Smith, 64, who
released The Road to Fort Worth, about his recovery from
alcoholism. If you want to self-publish in print,
companies like Lulu or Author Solutions can help. Or you can sell
e-books via Publit or CreateSpace. As more people try new
technology, Milliot believes, the market will grow. The key?
"Keep your expectations realistic," he says.