Since Microsoft Word 1.0, there has been a low barrier to entry for anyone whose dream it was to write a book. If you had an idea for a story and the time to dedicate to the keyboard, you could produce a manuscript to enjoy by yourself or share with others. There have always been writers… with stories to tell… and very little friction – besides hard work and determination – to get in the way of completing a manuscript.

Now, if your dream extends beyond a Word document, let’s say, to getting your book sold through the retail channel, the barriers to entry become very large, very quickly. Unpublished writers are faced with trying to convince the gatekeepers of the publishing world – known as literary agents – that they have a marketable asset… something that can sell in volumes large enough to offset the tremendous costs of getting books into stores and in the hands of readers. Before the Kindle and e-publishing, this was practically the only path to getting published. Read the rest of this entry »