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Self Publishing.

(134 Posts)
Mimosa Thu 21-May-15 18:21:10

This week I launched my first self published book. I have written and illustrated The Amberstone Dragon an adventure story for older children and adults. This is now available on a digital format in the Amazon Kindle Store.

The reason for starting this post is I would really like to chat to anyone who has done the same thing. What process did you use to promote your book? I am on Facebook and the usual media platforms, but at 68 it does sometimes seem rather daunting. Any help would be wonderful. Thanks x

NanKate Thu 21-May-15 18:42:41

Hi Mimosa. Well done to you for finishing the whole process of writing, illustrating and self publishing.

Here are a couple of tips on promoting your book.

Get some friends to read and review your book on Amazon.
Join a writing group and pick up lots of ideas on how to get your work out there.

Best of luck. smile

Mimosa Fri 22-May-15 19:01:57

Thank you so much Nankate, so appreciated. I am going to follow both those very helpful tips you have given me.

Have you done the same? Thank you again.

JessM Fri 22-May-15 19:15:12

Hi Mimosa congratulations on getting through the fiddly process of getting your book out there. I have self published 2 books, one on the immune system and the other about heartburn and reflux.
Marketing is the hard bit and someone made the useful suggestion that you can't do everything, so do things your will enjoy.
The free Smashwords guide to e-book marketing by Mark Coker is full of ideas about the way to promote your book.

Good luck.

NanKate Fri 22-May-15 19:20:53

No I am not the writer in the family Mimosa it is my son who is a full time children's author, so we as a family know a lot about the publishing business.

I have a friend who has self published a novel but to be honest she has had more success with writing short stories and articles.

My only concern for you is that with Kindle you do not have any hard copies to promote yourself with.

Feel free to ask me anything you want and I will help if I can.

IF I have found the correct book of yours on Amazon I love your cover which I believe you did yourself

Mimosa Sat 23-May-15 19:10:04

Hi Jessm

Thank you so much for getting in touch, so appreciated. Also, a big thank you for the link you have given me. I will go on to this and have a read, so helpful.

Was very interesting the comment you made about the marketing being difficult and only do what you enjoy. I love painting and writing, the marketing is not my strength, but I am determined to make a success of this.

Thank you so much again.

Mimosa Sat 23-May-15 19:17:23

Hi NanKate

Thank you for your kind comments about the cover of my book, yes I illustrated the cover, my book has a lot of illustrations through out...took forever!

I totally appreciate what you said about not having a hard copy to promote The Amberstone Dragon with. Unfortunately, at present I cannot go to that expense as I divorced my husband not long ago, so have to watch my pennies. My book is going on Apple and also Google Books Partner Centre and I am hoping that eventually I will have enough dosh to create some hard copies. Either that or find a rich man!

I have received some really great advice here, the main issue is getting people to actually see my book. At present I am in the process of getting some reviews done.

Thank you again for your help and if OK will probably pester you again.

NanKate Sun 24-May-15 18:05:41

It isn't pestering I am more than happy to help.

Hope life is treating you better since being on your own. flowers

Mimosa Sun 24-May-15 18:33:45

Thank you NanKate that was so lovely and the little flowers as well, very kind.

To be honest I have never been so happy! Having the time of my life, such a relief to not have to worry anymore. x

NanKate Fri 29-May-15 23:23:50

Mimosa there was a very interesting programme on radio 4 tonight at 7.15 broadcast from The Hay Literary Festival all about authors, getting books published and self publishing.

Do you ever use the Listen Again facility on your computer for radio 4 ? It would be worth you listening to the programme to pick up some tips.

I have to say the Hay Festival organisers are cheapskates in my opinion. My DH appeared there this week for the fourth year and all they give the authors are a few bottles of wine, no payment at all, even though the children and their families pay to see the authors. hmm

Anya Sat 30-May-15 06:07:42

Well done Mimosa and best of luck with your book.

NanKate Sat 30-May-15 07:57:49

I meant to say DS not DH.

soontobe Sat 30-May-15 19:21:06

I am thinking to go to Hay next year NanKate. From the 2016 dates, it appears to go on for 10 days.
Which are the best dates to go, or doesnt it matter?

I presume they get away with not giving authors anything, because there are authors who would do it for nothing.Not very nice though.

etheltbags1 Sat 30-May-15 19:53:58

Good luck Mimosa, I have several stories on a stick and have not got a clue as to how to publish so I have read with interest all these posts and you never know I may publish mine in the future.

NanKate Sat 30-May-15 21:28:23

Soontobe if you sign up to the Hay Festival online at the beginning of next year they will let you know which authors are appearing and when. It is advisable to book your place at their shows as some authors sell out.

If you want to stay for a night or two you need to book a B and B early on in the year to secure a place.

My DS says only the very top authors get paid. His travel and accommodation and food were paid by his publishers but that is it.

Ethel if I may give some advice, you need to join a creative writing group or go on a short course on how to publish your books. It is really crucial to follow all the rules so that you give yourself the best chance to get your books promoted.

However if you just want a copy for yourself and a few friends you can shop around on the internet to find companies who will self publish for you - at a cost.

In the last 8 years since my DS became a full time author I have learned a lot about the publishing business and am happy to give advice if asked. I am not the Oracle on publishing but feel I have got a pretty broad knowledge now.

soontobe Sat 30-May-15 22:08:45

NanKate, when you say a short course on how to publish, are you meaning self publishing? Or a publishing house as well?

NanKate Sun 31-May-15 06:32:29

Both Soontobe. Creative writing classes have lots of ideas on how and where to get published. I am talking about short stories and articles for magazines not novels which are notoriously hard to get a publishing deal for. Your library might host this type of class or a adult education class or your local U3A.

At these classes they would have advice on self publishing too. Or you could just look on line for companies who offer self publishing deals and compare them for price and what they offer.

Also there are magazines for aspiring authors with advice. Go and have a look round W H Smith.

Hope that helps. If you have more queries just ask.

soontobe Sun 31-May-15 08:00:18

I am surorised that you have not had more replies to your op, Mimosa. That gransnetters or lurkers dont appear to have done the self publishing and marketing route.

Can I ask NanKate, am I right in thinking that self publishing doesnt generate many sales. And mainly because people have to self market? Or are both points utterly wrong?

Jane10 Sun 31-May-15 08:31:42

On looking at various websites it seems that self or independent publishing is the way ahead. I don't know how to do links but one that I found mentioned that 6 out of the top 10 books are independently published. There is a big difference between independent publishing and vanity publishing. Its a huge subject and well worth researching online. My book is being published by a small independent publisher who is part of a writers collective. They make no charge at all and have spent hundreds of hours helping me with all sorts of aspects of a book from copy editing, proof reading and cover design etc. I'm happy to help out the others in whatever way I can. A key aspect is that they are very choosy about the books they take on. This was reassuring to me. They reject more than they accept as they are investing such a lot of energy in it all. They are real enthusiasts and I've learned such a lot from them and there's so much more to learn. Writing the book is the easy part!

soontobe Sun 31-May-15 09:50:12

Which websites are good ones to read up about it all, self publishing and how publishing houses work?
I presume your collective couldnt do marketing for abroad?
I presume there are very few small groups like yours?
Presumably they keep to one genre? They wouldnt deal with say, text books?

Soutra Sun 31-May-15 10:05:53

It sounds as if you might be an aspiring author soontobe - is there a book gestating?

Anya Sun 31-May-15 10:08:54


soontobe Sun 31-May-15 10:10:59

I am half way through writing a book, yes.
A christian one - no surprise there.
But, I am not so sure about the self publishing route in my particular case. But, as others have said, the other route is tricky to say the least. My book may well be better suited to the American market, but I wouldnt have a clue about that either.
One the other hand, it may never get further than my desk.

Jane10 Sun 31-May-15 11:38:48

Get Googling soontobe!

Galen Sun 31-May-15 12:01:37

If you don't know about the American market, how do you know your book is more suited to it!confused