Preserving My Writing In Print

Self-publishing my Medium stories

Mark Starlin

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The cover for my Humor book on Amazon. Design by Mark Starlin.

I came to a realization after writing on Medium for almost two years. All of my Medium writing existed only in digital form.

Those under the age of 35 are probably fine with their photos, music, and writing existing only in digital format. But for many of us, a physical book is a wonderful thing. It is more than just printed and bound words, it is a tactile experience. Much like a photo album or a vinyl record album, a printed book creates an emotional response.

I grew up with printed books, vinyl records, and film cameras. The excitement of getting film back from the photo developer was part of the fun of taking photographs. As was reading the liner notes and enjoying the artwork on record album covers.

I decided I wanted my writing to exist in physical form, so I could enjoy the tactile experience of a book I created. I wanted to be able to open it and see my words in print.

Since I write mainly short humor and fiction, and I realize that I am in the minor leagues of writing, I hold no illusions of getting my stories published traditionally. But just because they are not mainstream enough to attract a traditional publisher, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be published and enjoyed by a small group of friends and family. You don’t have to be a great photographer to make a photo album. Or a great musician to make a video of yourself performing. So why not make a book of your writing?

Unless you are holding out hope for a traditional publishing contract, I see little reason not self-publish a book.

If you have been writing for any length of time, you probably have enough material to collect into a book. I have written hundreds of stories on Medium over the past two years. I collected many of them into two books. A book of humor and a book of fiction.

The humor book has over 240 stories. Many are very short, but comedy doesn’t require great length. Some of the funniest jokes are quite short. There are longer stories also, but most are quick reads.

The Fiction book has 92 stories ranging from 50-word microfiction to 13,300-word stories. It covers a wide variety of genres and also includes a good bit of humor.

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