Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Advice on self-publishing

I had a request for help from someone wishing to self-publish and thought I would share my reply:

My advice would be to work hard at producing the most professional book you possibly can. It will provide the first impression of your work to your readers and they will not recommend it to their friends or look for your next book if it isn't good enough. You are hoping to persuade people to part with their cash (self-published books are often more expensive than best sellers) & spend time reading your book over something by an author they know & already like. You will have to work harder at marketing and promotion than you did writing the book. 

Smashwords provide detailed instructions on how to self-publish an ebook. It is free and a good way to test the waters but you will still have to work at the marketing. 

Have several people (including experienced authors), whom you trust to give honest feedback, read your ms before you consider publishing. And pay for a professional editor. My memoir was read by 8 people including authors, teachers, a PR person and a doctor. Despite their input, my editor found a full page worth of technical errors that needed correcting. None of these things had been picked up by my spellchecker.

My novel is being published as an ebook by Crooked {Cat} Publishing. They are a new company and very professional. They edited my manuscript but I'd had several people read it, including an appraisal done by Cornerstones, before I submitted it. 

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