The self-publishing industry is becoming one of the fasting growing industries around at the moment, and as more and more people jump on the bandwagon, just whose idea was it to forego the traditional publishers and do it all for ourselves?
If you look into the past at one of the world’ most famous literature writers, you might be able to imagine that it was Virginia Woolf who brought us the possibility of publishing our own books. Virginia Woolf is by far one of the most well regarded women writers in history, but many might be surprised to know that the majority of her work was published herself.
While her first novel The Voyage Out was published by her half-brother’s publishing house Duckworth Press in 1915, Woolf then went on to create her very own publishing press in order to escape the constraints that traditional publishers forced on her. Together with her husband, Leonard Woolf, Virginia created Hogarth Press so that she could from then on avoid any creative restrictions in terms of writing as well as publish books that most commercial publishers at that time would have turned down.
The Woolf’s also decided that they wanted to make book covers beautiful. While the couple were hardly struggling for money, creating their own press was a brave move and it allowed liberation in the publishing field. Virginia went on to write essays, short stories and novels that were published through Hogarth Press as well as hand publishing those from other more creative authors who wanted to escape the typical constraints.
The couple would bind books with patterned paper that they spent time and effort seeking out, such as Japanese print, patterned paper from Czechoslovakia and other cheerful designs. It was this couple that make books what they are to look at today, and it is also perhaps this couple that enabled self-publishing to be the industry that it is today.
If anybody ever tells you that real writers use a traditional publisher, just remember that Virginia Woolf could not be regarded as anything but a real writer, and it was she who first broke away from the rigorous demands of traditional publishing in order to writer and publish her own work in her own way. Real writers self-publish too, and they’re good at it!