Publishing tips from an absolute beginner? No way.

But if you want tips and advice from people who actually know what they’re talking about, click on the links below.

ALLIANCE OF INDEPENDENT AUTHORS (ALLi). If you’re unpublished, you can join as an “Emerging Member” and get access to their amazing resources. Well worth the money if you would like to learn more about the self-publishing industry.

JOANNA PENN; she’s informative, inspiring and truly awesome. I’m astounded by her knowledge of the self-publishing industry.

Read on if you’d like to know more about my Indie Author journey…

Why did I decide to self-publish? In a nutshell, I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to do something that I love doing. Something that uses the business skills I’ve honed from working in TV production. Something which allows me to work from home and be there for my children. I started to go down the traditional publishing route – I was even signed by a literary agent – but after a few months, once the initial validation that I could write something worth reading wore off, I began to really dislike the process. My work was in danger of no longer being my work, and I spent most of my time nervously checking emails hoping for one from my agent, then feeling anxious and rejected when I didn’t get one. And this was even before the novel had been submitted to publishers! I knew not everyone’s experience of traditional publishing was like this but for me, it wasn’t fun. I realised that all that energy and time, waiting, checking emails, worrying, could be put to better use. I’m used to the fast, dynamic world of TV production, to managing budgets, schedules, engaging professionals, and managing a team. I was used to producing something, and I soon learnt that the process of producing a book isn’t that much different to the process of producing a TV show. So I got pro-active. I took control. PUBLISHING IS HARD WORK whichever route you take. I chose the route that gives me the most pleasure and satisfaction. After all, I want to enjoy the journey. It’s part of the adventure.

Can anyone self-publish? Technically, yes. But just like pretty much anyone with a pair of working legs can ‘technically’ run a marathon, you have to put in the hard work. I spent months and months learning, researching and preparing, and that’s not going to stop any time soon. The work is ongoing and you need to have the right mindset, splitting yourself into two separate people – a businessman/woman and a writer. Self-publishing is a business, and your books are products to sell as part of that business.

Run your own race. Learn from other writers, listen to advice and do your research but also get to know yourself. What works for one indie author might not work for another. Adapt what you’ve learnt to suit your own needs and set your own goals. Define “success” under your own terms.

How much does it cost to produce/publish a book? I can’t speak for every author as different books have different requirements. Authors have different production methods, use different services/suppliers. For example, some format their own books and design their own covers. I don’t have the time for this so I engaged professionals to do it for me. All good advice indicates that professional cover design and professional editing are always an absolute must, but not every author agrees with this. The list below is what it cost me to produce Her Outback Driver (ebook and paperback).

In addition to this, there are publicity costs involved. This will be an on-going concern! I’m still finding my feet with it but in the first 6 months, I think I spent approx £500. Most of that was spent learning what works and what doesn’t. To be honest, most of what I did, didn’t seem to result in many sales BUT I learnt stacks and stacks. I’ve been advised by a few people not to spend a lot of money on advertising until I have at least two books written, or preferably three, so I’ve really scaled back my expenditure and am concentrating on writing more books.