From the invention of the printing press to the establishment of e-books, writers and their works have influenced the world since people could read. Though previously the process of publishing ones work may have been complicated, newer authors can now self publish at a low cost with companies like Kindle.
Rhett Downing, a fourth year communication studies major from Granbury has self published two books and is in the process of writing two more. Downing said that all things considered, publishing was an easy and relatively free process.
“My freshman year is when I wrote my first book. If anything, the book was an excuse to get out of the dorm and it gave me a purpose,” he said.
Downing writes within the science fiction and horror genres, he said. The first and second books are about a team of scientists who go to an island and discover they’re being hunted by something otherworldly, Downing said it could be compared to works like Jurassic Park and Predator.
“My father and my brother are huge sci-fi fans and I've grown up with it,” Downing said. “I heard this quote where people don't write about anything but themselves. My books, even if they're in a science fiction realm- it's got some real world applications.”
Fifth-year natural resource management major from Abilene, Jack Carlin, works with Downing at the library. Though he has not read Downing's book, he said he looks forward to being able to when the semester is over.
Carlin said he has been working with Downing as he has been writing his next several books and navigating the publishing process.
“I really am into science fiction and even non-fiction. I like thinking about how things will be in the future and science fiction is a great way to take an idea and see how people will deal with it,” Carlin said.
Carlin is also a writer, though he has not published anything yet he said he would really like to someday when he feels like his writing is ready.
Downing’s third book is set to release December 24 2021 and his fourth early in 2022. Downing said that anyone who wants to become a writer should start with a word a day.
“I understand the thought of it is daunting but if you sit down and force yourself to a certain extent to write one word I promise you'll go pretty far,” Downing said.
Since publishing, Downing said his books have done well considering he hasn’t been actively marketing and being a new writer.
“When I published my first book, I didn't think I’d make ten cents. I made 100 dollars.” Downing said. “(Publishing) it just felt right.”