I am a self-published writer and 2015 is promising to be a good year for us indie writers. The caricature of the self-published writer has tended to be one of a retired male, often embittered and full of life's disappointments, putting the world to right. However, new research has recently exploded that myth.
Spring's here and the self-publishing sap is surging with three unmissable events...
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.
I gave up my well-paid job to become a full time writer. This is the bloginations of my emotional, psychological, creative, angst ridden and time-consuming toil on my 'journey' to hold a finished novel in my hand, and gaze out from the top of Maslow's pyramid.
"An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull," said one of the twenty publishers to knock back Lord of the Flies, which later sold more than 150 million copies.
A good editor is essential to the success of any book. So this week I interviewed Sarah Vincent, author and editor of ten years with Cornerstones, one of the UK's leading Literary Consultancies.
What to do if you're not David Walliams, you don't have a big publisher to propel your Aweful Auntie to the top of the Christmas sales tree, but you're still determined to make your book a success?
Marketing your self-published book is a long game and there are all sorts of ways to keep up the interest, including blogging, podcast interviews, videos, signings and entering it into competitions. Giveaways are another great route to get your book out there and top of the giveaway options is Goodreads.
Writing is a solitary business so it's important to celebrate your book's birth into the world. The launch doesn't have to be a fanciful, costly affair, but if you want to spread the word wider than just family and friends, read on.
Tweet about your favourite bookshop. Tell others when they are putting on one of their intimate readings, or which book the insightful manager has just recommended. And if you can sneak a story into the local press about your own book and where it can be bought, even better.
Once upon a time there was a cat called Simon, who won numerous awards for bravery thanks to the part he played on board HMS Amethyst during its epic escape from the Chinese Communists many years ago. He became the world's first celebrity cat.
Keywords are crucial to the discoverability of your book so you should include these in the description. They need to be specific so that your target audience can find your book when they are searching online.
Book bloggers can be a self-published author's best friend these days. But there are thousands of them out there so you want to make sure that you are targeting the right ones for your particular book. Once again, a scattergun approach is wasting both your time and theirs. So do your research.
As for getting reviews for your book in the print media, you have a much better chance of being reviewed by the online book bloggers - nevertheless, it's worth a try. Again, target each one separately and don't use the scattergun approach with a generic press release, as many of the self-publishing services do...
But crowdfunding is fairly standard now, and people are getting the hang of it. Many books, films, music albums and so on have been very successfully made this way. It's a long road, but it's A ROAD, and I am on it, and moving forwards.
The ideal press release will contain not only all the relevant information about your book but also a tantalising hook to snag the attention of any journalist reading it. It should be as concise as possible and no longer than an A4 piece of paper (around 500- 700 words).