Like most writers, I was initially daunted by the prospect of self-publishing. I was wooed by the status of being an officially published author; how good it would be to tell people that my book had been picked up by a major (or even minor) official publishing house. I had already finished my first book, obtained a copy of the much fabled Writers and Artists Yearbook and feverishly started sending off letters in the hope that one would show interest.
Alas, much like so many other green authors out there, this was not to be.
I received rejection after rejection, but was determined not to let this get me down. I had decided that I liked the title of writer and author for myself and was not going to be put off that easily. It was at this time that a colleague who I work with sent me a link to a website that sang the praises of self-publishing.
The more that I read into it, the more I was enticed in. There was a paradigm shift as I was slowly brought to realise that if I had landed a deal with a publisher, they would lay claim to the lion’s share of my profits, and I would still have to do most of the marketing and footwork myself. This was backed up by a fellow writer who was desperately trying to get out of his publishing contract as he was only making a paltry 12p per book sold!
After reading into the monumental successes of books like Fifty Shades of Grey and the Wool trilogy, I thought that I would take the plunge. Initially signing with Amazon to deal with the e-book and Lulu to manage the print-on-demand side, I formatted according to the guidelines, found an artist for my covers and uploaded. I was amazed at the flexibility and creative input that the sites allowed. I was also very happy with the profit margins that I could manage myself. Any changes, amendments, improvements that I decided were easily made. I later discovered that Createspace’s books were better suited to the style that I wanted and have made the move to publish with them. Although I don’t expect to shift as many paperbacks as e-books, it’s an amazing feeling to hold the fruits of my labour in a quality product in the palm of my hand.
I have since signed a deal to provide a major manufacturer of educational Android tablets with copies of my book, as well as getting sales through Amazon. The rewarding feeling of achievement is right up there with some of the greatest accomplishments of my life, and I have even started to advise other professional authors into the same method.
I feel that I came into the writing and self-publishing business at the right time, as from what I can make out it has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years and is only going to get better. I am already looking forward to getting the second book in the series into the system.