To self-publish or not to self-publish…

downloadTraditional Publishing? Self-publishing? Which way to turn?

This is a topic that has been occupying my mind for a few years, but it was only last year that I decided on the right course for me… If you are still grappling with this one, there are some great articles about… Here’s a recent one from Claire Cook:

And there are many on Joanna Penn’s wonderful blog for writers:

So what did I decide? I’ll start with a bit of background…

For all the years I’d been dreaming of becoming an author, I’d been assuming that I wouldn’t be satisfied unless I was published by a bona fide publishing company with a wide distribution. The whole idea of a ‘vanity press’ made me shudder – how could I claim to be a true author if I had to pay someone to print my books? And who would want them?

BUT the tides they have been achanging, and there are quite a few conversations and insights out there which talk about the advantages of becoming an independent author and using some of the relatively new (and very cheap) platforms for e-publishing via Amazon et al.

And I am now officially a convert – I have seen some of the figures. You may not reach the same number of readers that you would with conventional publishing companies, but you should be able to get a much larger slab of the takings and you get to retain the rights so you can issue your book in other formats whenever you want.

And best of all for those of us new to the world of writing and publishing, it is relatively affordable and you don’t have to face 100’s of rejections. You certainly will still need to get your work professionally edited and ensure it is something you can be proud of, but you don’t need to be weighed down by the years of plodding through the mire of trying to get noticed by conventional publishers (which seems to be a bit of a lottery by some accounts). So that’s worth thinking about.

There can also be quite a bit of flexibility with the self-publishing route. If the e-Book starts to do OK, you could consider printing out hard-copies (one at a time or in small runs), and even sell them through distributors so you don’t have to handle the hassles of postage yourself. Things are looking up.

I am very grateful to the many wonderful people who have shared their experiences in the world of writing and publishing, as they have helped me to realise that my preconceptions were stuck in the past and it is time to think about the new opportunities we have.

If you think self-publishing might be the way to go, here’s another great article

Tricks to make proof-reading easier

downloadOne of the hardest things for editors and proof-readers to pick up are those words which often get interchanged. Because when we read through text in order, our brains will often correct mistakes as we go.

A good way for the writer to pick these things up and iron them out before the proof-read is to use the software package’s “find and replace” tool. Develop your own list of words you know are a problem for you… It might be there/their/they’re, or affect/effect. There may also be punctuation foibles that keep cropping up for you… I know that I usually write out “He had” and “she would” in long-hand, and when I have finished a contemporary book, I try to check every instance to see whether it would read better if I abbreviated some more of them. Yes, it is boring, but it doesn’t take THAT long, and most importantly, it definitely improves the read when these things are ironed out.

I found the following article useful – it has a great set of suggestions for things we should all check for…