Continuing with the extracts from my book Be An Author, here we are looking at the contributors experiences of self-publishing. For more extracts, or to find out about the contributors, visit the Book Extracts section of the website.
“If you are self-publishing, you may already have all the skills you need, or you may need to develop some along the way. How was this for our contributors?
What skills do you think you had (or developed) that made you successful in self-publishing your books?
Wendy : I was determined about the layout of the book, developed a lot of courage in talking to bookshops. I overcame financial restraints and there was the skill of remaining positive throughout.
Simon : You need energy, commitment and determination – because no one will do it for you. You’ve got to go out to the media and libraries and sell yourself. Build up an interest in your work so you can demonstrate that to a mainstream publisher. Save articles, posters about your talks, anything that might impress, and send them in any future applications to other publishers. Take any edge you can get.
Linda : Editing definitely, and I already had reasonably good levels of skills when it came to putting the various files together to make the finished book. I also had a ready-made marketplace to act as a springboard.
Sallyann : My background in marketing and copywriting was really useful. I am happy to talk to people and phone bookshops, newspapers etc. It was harder, though, to promote my own book rather than a product I had been hired to market – that thin line you have to tread of belief in your book as opposed to arrogance.”