Self-Publishing – First Step

So, back to now.

I’m almost finished Outsider. I know I said that earlier, but I’m closer to finishing now that I was then.

So, why am I self-publishing? I’m glad you asked.

I’m sure like every hopeful author I presumed I would write a blockbuster novel, get courted by a major publisher and then sign a book deal worth millions.

I should point out, that along the way I also thought I’d begin to play guitar like Eddie Van Halen too.

Ok, so I dreamt big – but hey, you have to aim high, right?

So anyway, I actually finished the first draft of Outsider in November 2013. 27 November 2013, according to the file saved date. Until then I had a collection of stories that eventually became a manuscript. I was so excited that I printed it all out! It’s sitting in a folder somewhere. I presumed that would be my ‘book’.

I sent it off to a publisher, one of the major ones – they have a ‘come and try day’ where anyone can e-mail an unsolicited submission and it will be considered. Sadly I never heard back from the publisher, so I lost interest and went back to playing bass with some mates.

 Anyways, about six months later I was chatting to a workmate who mentioned that her sister had written and self-published a book. I bought the book and was inspired to publish my work. So I began researching self-publishing online. There’s a massive amount of info out there – and a massive amount of traps for the unwary. I opened ‘free accounts’ with several companies, simply because I had no idea what was involved. Most wanted to charge large sums of money to put my work out there into the public domain. Sadly most of these companies seem to harass you into spending money with them. There are enough horror stories on the net – I’ll not add to them.

That’s ok I guess, but there are other (cheaper) ways of doing it yourself.

I’ve gone the ‘doing it yourself’ path – not because it’s easier, but I think more rewarding.

So on 5 May 2014 I finished the second draft. It was better than the first (like a lot of things!). After I finished the second draft, I began to chat to other authors who had experience with self-publishing, and the more traditional way. They seemed split 50/50 on whether to get an editor. I’ve compromised and am using my wife (using her in a nice way – see earlier blog).

Everyone I spoke to spoke very highly of two self-publishing pathways – Amazon’s CreateSpace, and Lightning Source’s Ingram Spark. I liked the sound of them, because you get to do most or all of the work yourself.

I’ve had to become a publisher, but I need to stress I’m just an enthusiastic amateur – not a professional. Same with being an author! A steep  learning curve, but good fun.

Enough for now – next time I’ll write about the steps in the process.

Cheers,

Pete

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