Saturday, 26 January 2013

To Self-Publish Or Not To Self-Publish?

Hi everyone. Hope you are all surviving the snow and the thaw. When I was out in my garden this morning, the snow was literally melting before my eyes and all you could hear was the sound of rhythmic dripping. Very atmospheric!

Well, I'm really pleased to say I've almost made it to the end of January without falling off the writing wagon again. I've had one or two low moments but on the whole, writing is going pretty well for me at the moment (possibly because I'm only doing it one day a week!) and I certainly feel in a hugely better place with it (and other things) than I did this time last year.

I feel I definitely did the right thing in taking a lengthy "Sabbatical" as it has really cleared my mind and helped me focus on what I really want to write. I think I've known for a while that the end was in sight regarding my freelance journalism and indeed, magazine work in general but it's taken me a long time to accept that, having had a relatively successful career as a freelance journalist in the past.

Now I'm ready to look forward and the future is definitely books. The question is, what sort of books? "Real" ones ie ones made from paper and shiny cardboard or the "cheat's" variety, namely e-books.

I think I mentioned in my last post that I had come to a decision about the whole self-publishing/e-publishing situation and I can now officially announce that I have gone over to the dark side. After months and months of coming up with all the arguments I could against publishing an e-book and, if I'm totally honest, maligning those who were already doing it, I can't hold out any longer.

The main reason I've succumbed is because I feel very strongly that I need a "product" to take to market. Having just spent the last two months creating and marketing a crafting website with an online shop ( I've become very focused on selling and marketing and realised that I should be applying the same strategies to my writing.

Although I fully intend to keep plugging away with the traditional agent/publisher route for some of my books, I hope that e-publishing a book (once I've worked out how to do it!) should provide me with a definite product that I can promote, try to sell and hopefully be reasonably proud of, for little or no cost. Also, I can get that product to market considerably quicker (I hope!) than if I had to wait for a traditional publisher to take it on.

I've decided (I think) to go with my collection of poems for teenagers as I've had quite a good reaction from the small number of publishers it's already been to and I'm hoping it will attract the sort of readers who would be easy to reach through blogging, social networking etc.

So, I'm just off to Amazon's Kindle Store to see how many books of poems for teens have already been published. I may be gone sometime!

Keep warm, dry etc and whatever you do, keep writing.



  1. Good luck with your self-publishing venture. People are sometimes a bit sniffy about it, but given the difficulties of getting an agent, let alone a publisher, these days, taking that route means that a lot of worthwhile stuff gets published (a lot of non-worthwhile stuff does too, unfortunately). The downside is all the marketing you have to do yourself but it sounds as if you have had of experience of that with your crafts business. There's a lot of mystique surrounding the mechanics of self-publishing but people who have done it tell me it isn't all that difficult.

  2. Hi Vanessa. Thanks for your comment. Always good to hear from you. Thanks for your good wishes too. I was certainly one of those who was a bit sniffy about self-publishing (to say the least!) especially e-books but I definitely feel it is right for me at the moment and I'm quite excited about it. I'm just getting into the whole social networking thing with my crafting so hopefully by the time I've published my e-book I shall be pretty au fait with it all!