Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Jasmine Jones: self publishing as a student

Monday, September 7, 2020
Southeast junior Jasmine Jones holding her self published book “Ghosts We Become.”
Photo submitted by Jasmine Jones

The idea of publishing a full-length book sounds daunting at first mention, and even more so for a college student. Southeast junior Jasmine Jones discovered at the age of 18 that this is not the case.

Jones published her first poetry book, “i don’t want to be a tree anymore,” in 2018 as a freshman at Southeast. According to the book overview, it is “a collection of poems that focus on human growth and change.”

Jones said the process of getting self-published is surprisingly easy, and she learned of the opportunity by watching poetry Youtubers.

“A lot of modern poetry is self-published,” Jones said. “Later if [the book] does well enough, it will be picked up by a major publisher.”

Her second book, “Ghosts We Become,” was published in July.

“It’s about how our memories and our experiences become ways that you’re haunted,” Jones said. “I talk about all sorts of things in there, like childhood, love, relationships — everything is covered. It’s split into three sections: there, here and beyond.”

Jones said she keeps a long running document of poems that she writes whenever something comes to her or she just wants to vent. The poems are a “therapy” for her.

Both of Jones’ books were published through Barnes and Noble, which offers authors a chance to self-publish for free. Jones said the process is simple, and the author gets to decide much of the layout of the book.

“I was thinking about using a [traditional] publisher, but it’s so hard to find an agent,” Jones said. “It’s easy with organizations like Barnes and Noble.”

The process on Barnes and Noble allows the user to decide the color of the pages, if the book will be hardback or paperback and the size of the book. Jones designed the covers for both of her books, but she said authors can hire any designer or illustrator to create them. She said it took about a week for her to perfect each of her covers.

“A lot of people buy books online nowadays, so it’s a good way to find an audience,” Jones said.

Jones’ books are available for purchase on the Barnes and Noble website.