Want to publish your book yourself? 12 things to consider before you start
By international bestselling novelist Sarah Rayner
Let me cut to the chase. There is a huge amount out there about self-publishing, and I don’t want to double up on what other authors have already shared when a few links can point you in their direction, so you’ll find the links below. Plus there’s a limit to how much I want to write about self-publishing. It strikes me that self-publishing a book on self-publishing is a bit like looking in parallel mirrors, you know when you see endless pictures of yourself, repeated ad infinitum into the distant darkness? My grandmother had a set of mirrors like that, and they always seemed downright spooky to me. So, here are 12 things that I have learned self-publishing my ‘Making Friends…’ series of self-help books, that I hope add to the discourse and are helpful.
Before you venture into self-publishing, take a long, hard look at yourself. Ask yourself if you’re good at networking, highly organised and prepared to blow your own trumpet. If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these, I’d say self-publishing is probably not for you, unless you’re not bothered about selling many (possibly any) copies. Some people aren’t I suppose, (maybe you don’t need to earn any income from your venture, but simply want to get your creative work read by friends and family and are after an easy format to help them do so). But if your ambitions are greater than that, you’ll need to network – like MAD – if you’re to self-publish your book and sell copies of it in any significant numbers. Even if you give it away for nothing, there is so much available already that you won’t have a hope in Hades of being Free Kindle books are … well, I was going to say ‘a dime dozen’, but then I realised that was a tautology. Still, you get the gist.
Read the other 11 points on Sarah’s website HERE
Her first two novels, The Other Half (Orion 2001) and Getting Even (2002) were well received on publication and translated around Europe, but it was her third novel, One Moment, One Morning (Picador 2010) that made the biggest mark in terms of sales, selling 300,000 copies in the UK alone.
Sarah’s fourth novel, The Two Week Wait, was published in 2012, and 2013-14 saw the launch of her fifth novel, Another Night, Another Day. Like The Two Week Wait, it features a few of the Brighton-based characters who readers first met in One Moment, One Morning, but is a complete standalone novel.
She chose to self-publish ‘Making Friends with…’ series of self-help books. In the Making Friends with Anxiety books (there are now three titles), Sarah draws on her own experience of anxiety disorder to help others help themselves. There is now also Making Friends with the Menopause: A clear and comforting guide to support you as your body changes, co-authored by Dr Patrick Fitzgerald.
Sarah will be talking about her experience of self-publishing at Write by the Beach, the Brighton writing conference on Saturday March 12th.
photo credit: More Books Than Space via photopin (license)