I've been writing as a hobby for many years - the challenge of creating a subject and turning this into a finished novel is thrilling. It's only now I'm retired, however, that I've been able to give it a real go. This is all down to self-publishing.
Like many other budding authors, I tried going down the traditional publishing route, but after numerous rejections from agents I became very disheartened. Not least because my last rejection said I would never get a publisher as a result of the economic climate! As a person who doesn't believe in quitting, though, I went to a local publisher for advice, who suggested I try self-publishing.
I'm very grateful they did, as at the age of 75, I have 10 novels in the Kindle store and the future looks rosy.
There are a range of self publishing platforms you can try. I used Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), as it's free, easy and enables you to receive up to 70% in royalties. If you're interested in giving it a go yourself, here's how you can go about doing it...
First off, log onto KDP sign-up page and create an account using your Amazon.co.uk email address and password. The page takes you through the process step-by-step and even has a video showing all the publishing steps.
Next, you need to create a book for your manuscript and write a synopsis for it. KDP supply cover blanks so you can self-create. However, I chose to do my own to help me stand out from the crowd.
Once you have your book assets in order it's time to think about price. Books should be priced to attract Kindle users, so none of my novels exceed £1.99! Of that I will get either 35% or 70% depending on how you wish to play it. Amazing, really.
The process of getting your book onto the Kindle store takes around an hour. Amazon then takes about 24 hours to process your submission and will send an email when you are truly published.
Once you receive this your book will be on the Kindle store for everyone to buy!
Once you're published, it's all about advertising your book. As a starting point you need to set up author profiles for each of the Amazon sites globally, especially amazon.com. Just generate a biography and ensure all of your Kindle books appear along with a photo of yourself.
Joining KDP Select is a great way to help get your book out there. It basically gives you a range of perks for choosing to make your book exclusive to Kindle. For example, you can be included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which lets Amazon Prime members borrow books once a month for free and you earn a share of the fund based on how frequently the book is borrowed.
You can also have access to a new set of promotional tools, such as the offer enrolled books free to readers for up to 5 days every 90 days.
So that's my story, I hope it inspired some of you to give it a go, too!
You can view my books by typing Edward Parrott on amazon.co.uk and could perhaps even download a copy for just £1.99. If you are a Prime customer on Amazon.co.uk the good news is you can borrow my books for free through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
I'd love to hear what you think, so get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org.