If you've written a book, chances are you have at least considered self-publishing. There are many excellent reasons to self-publish, even if you have the chance to publish traditionally. Where self-publishing was once seen as the last recourse of the desperate, it has fast become valid method of publishing.
You may have been toying with writing a book for your business for a while, but you're unsure. You're not good enough to write a business book. You're not sure it's worth the investment. You're terrified at the prospect of self-publishing. You're worried nobody wants to read about your business, and you don't really know what you're talking about anyway...
Today, 60 years on, Guinness World Records - as it was renamed in 2001 when it was finally sold by the brewery - continues to top the best-sellers lists. In 1974, it overtook Dr Benjamin Spock's Baby and Child Care as the biggest selling copyrighted title of all time, and it remains the world's best-selling annual book, with accumulated sales to date of more than 132 million copies.
The Writing the Future report puts a figure on this lack of cultural diversity, estimating that ethnic representation within the publishing industry is just eight percent. Another key statistic highlighted in the report regards UK literary festivals; at Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Hay festivals, a measly four percent of the programme was made up of UK Black and Asian writers.
You may have a hundred thousand words of great content, but you may end up stripping away half of that content to preserve your best posts. It is worth thinking about whether you want a literal version of your blogs in book format or whether you can do more with the text when planning how it might be read on the page.
So here I am, no longer in the world of generous advances. My book will have to work quite hard to earn its keep. But at least it's out there. Amazon is criticised for undermining bookshops. But if more novels see the light of day and more readers get to read them, that surely has to be a good thing, doesn't it?
I'd never wanted anything like I wanted to be a writer. I remember spending whole days sitting around and moping about how I'd never be good enough/would never manage it/would never get to be an actual writer. I realise now that this was somewhat pathetic... but it did half lead to some very vague experiences of publishers before the competition.