Once upon time self-publishing was the social pariah of the writing world. The world of publishing would disapprove of the mere mortals who had the audacity to think they knew better than the great God of traditional publishing. But then the evil Sith Lord Amazon with his online Global marketplace, created a worldwide shop floor for wannabe writers to punt their wares. And guess what some of these wannabe writers wrote books that millions of people wanted to read and they were able to become professional writers without even needing a publishing house. In fact, some even had publishing houses begging for their business and pleading with them to take out for the longest lunch in the world. It’s Cinderella for writers.
Here’s my self-publishing journey so if you fancy getting your magnus opus out there you know how to do it. I used Amazon’s Create Space online publishing package. I decided to publish on Tuesday and it was on sale by Friday. I did everything myself apart from the editing.
- Write manuscript (This took six months)
- Find another writer to edit it
- Find an editor to edit it
- Find a proof reader to proof it
- Format the manuscript into a PDF so it’s laid out like a book
- Design a cover and turn it into a JPG
- Upload the PDF onto Create Space
- Wait 24 hours for authorisation
- Go through the recommended changes
- Print off the book and proof read
- Persuade someone else to proof read it
- Make any necessary changes
- Upload new version
- Wait 24 hours for authorisation
Bob’s your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt and your book is on sale, retire a millionaire to the Caribbean – yes? Er, no! The truth is that you earn about 35% royalties on every book you sell – which is likely to earn you around 35p to 50p per copy, depending on your book’s price.
If you do self publish, once the book is displayed amongst the hundreds and thousands of books on Amazon, somehow you have to convince people to buy it, read it and ideally review it.
Amazon doesn’t wholesale into retailers for you so you become your own self-publicist and it’s a big job because you are going to become your own book bore. Those closest to you, if you are not careful, are going to become saturated with your tireless drum banging – ‘buy my book, buy my book, buy my book.’ But if you don’t bang your own drum, then your book will sink into the sea of other books and nobody will know it’s even there.
Create Space does offer a wholesale partner and I am about to get my book into my first shop and am working out how to get it into Waterstones. Every day is a school day because now I am not just a writer, I am a publisher, I am a publicist, I am a saleswoman and I am a marketer.
And finally, buy my book….
A Modern Military Mother – Tales from the Domestic Frontline
A Modern Military Mother – Tales from the Domestic Frontline is a compilation of blog posts from the blog amodernmilitarymother.com about the life, reflections and rants of military wife Clare Macnaughton. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad and sometimes crazy, this is a quick and easy read. A literary, light snack.
About Clare Macnaughton
Born in the motherland of Yorkshire and then migrating south to the kingdom of Wessex, Clare Macnaughton dedicated her life to hedonism, sailing, beaches and sunshine, for as long as possible. Then she did some other stuff before she ghost wrote a battlefield memoir called ‘Immediate Response’, in-conjunction with a serving Royal Marine Major, published by Penguin. In September 09, in the second week of sales it entered at number 9 in The Sunday Times hardback, non-fiction, top 10 bestseller list.