I want to self-publish but where do I start?

My advice to new authors is to always give the traditional route a chance before turning to self-publishing. However, it’s my feeling that self-publishing may be the only option for many writers. I read an academic paper last year, one of the first to look at authors from a Black, Asian or other minority background. One of my major takeaways was around the barriers that exist for authors from all minorities. There is a practice that exists within most publishing houses called ‘comping’ where submitted books are compared against previously published works to get an idea of how commercially viable they might be. So, what’s the problem?

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If you’re self-publishing then who are your most important readers?

The answer isn’t complicated, it’s those people who you ask to read your book before you publish it. I’ve touched on this subject a few times in my posts so why write about it now?

My latest book, A Concrete Case of Murder, took quite a while to write. Too long for my liking. Writing is never an easy process but, due to a confluence of adverse circumstances, writing became impossible for some months. Since retiring, I have been publishing two books every year, however, A Concrete Case of Murder took over eighteen months to complete. Having a series of ten books already published, most of which were well-received, I found myself getting a little paranoid about this latest one. I think that my paranoia was mostly triggered by an offhand remark someone made which was something to the effect of, ‘If it was hard to write it will probably be hard to read’. It was not a comment I appreciated all that much.

And so, the seeds of doubt were sown. All I could do was carry on writing and then trust to my readers.

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Self-publishing – some positives and negatives

KDP logoI started categorising my blog posts when I restyled my website and I was surprised that I had only blogged once about self-publishing. So, here is blog post number two. In talking to other authors, I realised that quite a few of them have only tried the traditional route because they are either still unaware of what self-publishing can do or find the whole process a bit opaque or even scary.

You need to be aware that when I say ‘self-publishing’ I mean Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP. KDP is basically the only game in town. It will publish your book in virtually every major market but you have to play by their rules. I talk more about this below. So, if you’re having problems with finding a traditional publisher, you should definitely read on. Continue reading

Some thoughts on writing and self publishing

writer at work night park benchThe next Mac Maguire book, the fifth, is nearly there and after some three years or so of seriously struggling to put the right words in the right order this has given me some pause for thought. Looking back I’ve learnt so much from the writing process and I’ve no plans for stopping anytime soon. So what’s changed with me since I started out on my writer’s journey?

Why did I start writing? Continue reading