THE BLOG
04/09/2014 09:53 BST | Updated 02/11/2014 05:59 GMT

How to Successfully Self-Publish

You've written your book. You've had it edited and proofread.* You've received a respectable amount of rejection letters from publishers, and now you want to get it out into the world. Where do you start?

What to do if you're not JK Rowling, you don't have a big publishing house to promote you but you're determined to make your book a success?

You've written your book. You've had it edited and proofread.* You've received a respectable amount of rejection letters from publishers, and now you want to get it out into the world. Where do you start?

Six months ago, self-publishing was a dirty word in my book. It was for old people who write dusty memoirs and nutters who ramble for 800 pages about giant lizards taking over the world.

But after a ten year apprenticeship of three and a half novels and a road littered with

a big agent, several near misses with publishers and my own fair share of rejection letters, I eventually had to change my mind.

At first I found the world of self-publishing pretty scary. One end consists of hundreds of companies offering packages costing thousands of pounds and promising to make my book a success. Yeh! The other end was the cheap-seats Load-it-up-on Amazon yourself and hope for the best.

Being so technophobic, I can barely plug in a toaster, the latter was too traumatising, but I certainly wasn't about to part with £5,000 (that's what the top end self-publishing houses can charge just to get your book out there, without even any PR and marketing).

About a month into my research, I read about a one day Guardian Masterclass called Secrets of successful self-publishing. Initially I hesitated at the £150 price tag, but it turned out to be worth its weight in gold. Presented by Joanna Penn in eight hours I learnt more about self-publishing (pitfalls and all) than the previous four weeks of brain-fry.

It gave me the bare-bone mechanics of getting my book out there, warned me off some (but not all) of the self-publishing companies, told me how to promote the book in a crowded market place and above all, instilled a feeling of 'I can actually do it - and it's not such a shameful secret.' What I also loved was her message that 'We're all in this together - it's about cooperation, not competition.'

I emerged with a completely new attitude - I would self-publish with pride (and passion). That was six months ago and since then I've been lucky enough to meet with, amongst others; the former head of digital marketing at Harper Collins, a highly experienced publishing online editor, a book blogging expert, an Amazon algorithm whizz and a seasoned Twitter aficionado. All of whom were able to give me advice that I couldn't find anywhere else. So in this new spirit of cooperation, I am going to pass it on.

To lighten the tone, I'm also going to include some of the happy coincidences which happened along the way, together with some of the grub I ate whilst criss-crossing London to learn about self-publishing. Nothing fancy - just a cheese and pickle sarnie here, an orange flavoured flapjack there, - but definitely worth noting, in my book.

Next week: When is the best time to publish?

What I ate : a very nice moussaka at the Masterclass.

• If you haven't had your manuscript edited or proofread, it's well worth the investment. Cornerstones have a great reputation.

• For good proofreaders, check out the Society of Editors and Proofreaders

Hattie's debut novel Cinema Lumière due out 24th September available on Amazon.

For more info www.hattieholdenedmonds.com

Facebook: facebook.com/hattieholdenedmonds