TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — They say everyone has a story to tell, and many people dream of someday writing a book. That someday could be right now. There are basically two ways to publish a book: through a traditional publisher or you self-publish. The former often requires getting an agent and having them sell your book to a publisher. This road is long, rocky, and more often than not, it is an unachievable dream. The latter way will cost you some money, but it guarantees you’ll see your story in print.

Tom Bulger was an avid runner, and for decades, wrote short newspaper articles about running in the local newspapers. When COVID hit, he got an idea.

“When the pandemic hit, I was kind of, like, frozen. There wasn’t anybody to write for, and I said, this would be a good time to compile some of these stories and put them in a book.”

Michael Kennedy, like Tom, always dreamed of writing children’s books. When he had a stroke, caused by a rare disease known as CADASIL, he vowed to raise money to help others who are battling it, too. Michael penned three children’s books about the dogs who he’d met in his doggie daycare center in Clifton Park.

As Michael puts it, “The first book was about a boarding client that would not eat his breakfast unless I sat down with him and drank my coffee with him. He made a good subject for my first book.”

Still, the question remained, how would Tom and Michael publish their books? The answer was The Troy Book Makers.

Jessika Hazleton is the owner. “We publish everything here, cookbooks, poetry, children’s books, we even did a math textbook once,” she said.

Publishing your own book is not free and while Tom and Michael didn’t divulge the exact amount they spent, plan on spending between one and two thousand dollars. Of course, if you sell the books to friends, family and strangers, you can recoup the costs. And if you are not an accomplished writer, Jessika says don’t worry about it, “Someone can say my daughter’s a graphic designer and we just need help getting the book printed, that’s it and we can help. Or you can come in with a bunch of loose sheets of paper with your poetry, recipes or story on it and we can help you too.”

There are other services online that can help you self-publish a book but be careful that you are dealing with a reputable service and make sure you get all the costs upfront and in writing.

And if money is the concern, The Troy Book Makers can work with you, “We think everyone should be able to make a book if they want to and we try to find ways to make it possible, even when people are on a budget.”