Ever since I became a school magazine editor in 1996, I have always dreamt of becoming a book author. In the old days, it was impossible without a publishing house contract. You would have needed to send your manuscripts to local publishing houses via postal mail just to get your work reviewed. Additionally, the publishing houses would have taken their time to review your manuscripts, which would have led to excruciatingly long waits for review and hopefully, an offer from the publisher. In fact, some might say becoming a book author sounds impossible. However, nowadays, everything seems to be a bit easier. You can find publishing houses reaching out to new authors by conducting workshops. In addition, an opportunity was presented to me, so I attended one by Bookology Bootcamp sponsored by Gerry Robert.
Entering the seminar at Melia Hotel Kuala Lumpur, I felt so happy and blessed. However, my dream was crushed when I found out that Gerry Robert only works with authors of non-fiction books. I attended the seminar in hopes of publishing a children’s fiction story book. Nevertheless, I decided to persevere, completed the three days workshop and managed to learn a lot about publishing non-fiction materials.
Serendipity: Meeting A Self-Published Author!
On the last day at the workshop, I overheard a conversation from Lisa (a girl sitting next to me that day), that a self-publishing author from our class would be conducting a free training for those interested to join. Hence, this immediately caught my attention and I requested Lisa to introduce me to the self-published author.
Lisa took me to the back of the room and introduced me to Marilyna Lyn. Since I was in a hurry to get to my next meeting, I could only introduce myself, exchanged contacts and promised to meet up again soon.
Coffee With Author Marilyna Lyn
Three days later, I called up Marilyna Lyn to see if she would be free for a quick chat over coffee. Lyn then asked if we could meet up that evening at Mercu Suites where she was staying as she would be going to her elderly parents’ house in Seremban the following day. Thus, Lyn suggested that we have coffee at Cafe:In House.
I couldn’t help myself but be drawn to the pastries displayed in the glass cabinet as I entered the coffee shop. Everything looks so delicious. Lyn startled me with her abrupt “hello”. As we were standing next to the pastry counter, she recommended we try the butter scones and café latte. Thus, I agreed and we found a nice cosy corner by the window of the coffee shop overlooking beautiful Jalan Cendana, Kuala Lumpur in the evening.
Breaking The Ice With The Author
The café is a self-service outlet, thus we took our scones and coffee to our table after five minutes of ordering. I noticed Lyn’s warm smile; dressing elegantly in a Uniqlo UK purple shirt and a pair of Charles & Keith shoes; as she settled down on her seat putting away her Guess black bag.
As soon as we were comfortably seated, I started asking about Lyn’s background while sipping our café latte and enjoying the delicious scones. It reminded me of my trip to London coffee shops in 2016. In addition, I found out that Lyn was born in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Above all, it was interesting to note that she had worked as a flight stewardess and business consultant prior to becoming an author.
What Does It Take To Be An Author?
I curiously asked Lyn, “What made you want to become an author?” Lyn recounted that there was a period when her mother got really sick and she couldn’t work nine-to-five anymore. She had to find another way to earn a living while staying at home. Since she has always loved writing, she decided that publishing her own book would help her earn continuous passive income. Lyn remarked that anyone can be a self-publishing author, however, there are a few steps to follow.
1.0 Determine If Writing Is Your Passion
First of all, before deciding to write a book, one must determine if writing is one’s passion. To finish up a book, writing daily and continuously will be part of the work requirement and discipline. If writing has always been something you do daily, then becoming a self-publishing author might be easier than you think.
2.0 Do Some Research
2.1 Research On Material You Like To Write
Once you have decided that writing is indeed your passion, you need to determine what material you would like to write about. Fiction or non-fiction? Fiction refers to literature created from imagination, and as for non-fiction, it refers to literature based on facts. This makes the list of writing genres quite massive and you will need to do your own research on what kind of material that you would like to write.
2.2 Research On Publishing Platforms
There are many online platforms that help authors to publish their own books nowadays. You can still publish a book the traditional way by going to a printing company to print copies of your new book or you can go the green way of publishing your book online, paper free. It all depends on your budget at hand. Some of the free eBook platforms available are like Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace, Lulu, Google Play Book and Barnes & Noble Press. You will need to do your own research and decide which platform you feel most comfortable to work with.
3.0 Using Kindle Direct Publishing
Recounting her experience, Marilyna Lyn uses Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to work on her first book series. Lyn decided to use KDP because she already had a friend, who is a coach and an experienced user. She added that there are a lot of video resources on KDP and on top of that, their service is user friendly.
4.0 Earning Passive Income Through Amazon
The other main reason Lyn said that attracted her to use KDP was the fact that it was an Amazon eBook publishing unit which makes it easier for any new book to be sold easily through the Amazon website. Therefore, an Amazon platform such as Kindle Unlimited, offers services that allow authors to earn uncapped potential income.
Interested To Self-Publish? What’s Next?
As we wrapped up our two hours conversation, we made plans to see each other again and become friends. Lyn reminded me to check out Kindle Direct Publishing and start my journey to self-publishing my first book.