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Self-Publishing is hard but it doesn’t need to be. I did it – so can you.

Self-Publishing is hard but it doesn’t need to be. I did it – so can you.

Self-publishing a book is hard work, mostly because it’s so bloody scary
…. which is why I joined Self-Publishing School to launch Destination Dachshund. And, even within that great community of writers and the helpful course modules it was still scary. For several reasons there were still many unknown factors in the publishing process:

  1. The course was mainly geared toward standard non-fiction,
  2. It was mainly geared to the American market, and as such not all the course worked for me as an Australian writer,
  3. It did not provide much information about print book options – only ebook.

All authors, writers, or any artists anywhere will have the same fears when launching their art in the world, in what ever form it takes – but for the indie author who doesn’t have the backing of a publishing house, and doesn’t want to pay a few thousand dollars for a course like I did (I figured it was way cheaper than the cost of my husband converting his Ducati 1098s into a street fighter. He has his hobbies and I have mine, haha!), and has no experience in ebook or print options, front and back matter, ebook or print book formatting, book covers, setting up a launch team, keywords, metadata, ISBN and barcodes, or how to get your book into online bookstores – then it can become overwhelming.

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Holding your print book in your hands is the ultimate goal for a writer but it just doesn’t seem to happen to everyone as much as they may strive for it. There are so many fantastic stories written by amazing people, but that does not guarantee publication. Talent is not enough. To me it is a combination of talent, perseverance, and being in the right place at the right time.

I’ve personally witnessed many writers reach the conclusion that despite years of writing (and I mean years and years), dozens of writing courses and workshops, blogging, mentorships, costly structural edits, the ‘almost’ pick-ups by an agent or publisher, and lots of wine – that maybe, just maybe they might have to take their writing career into their own hands.

Self-publishing may open the doors to your future writing career – it may not – but why not take the chance on yourself? It certainly shows that your serious about your writing and willing to take risks.

Bookends Publishing

My 2017 goals include not only publishing two more books of my own through my newly created publishing house Bookends Publishing, but to also help other writers publish their own books. Next year I will release a series of step-by-step PDF guides on how to self-publish, as well as a more detailed ebook.

The first wonderful writer I am providing some advice to is Robin Elizabeth with her heartfelt, moving, and funny memoir ‘Confessions of a Mad Mooer’: Postnatal Depression Sucks’ about her time in a psychiatric hospital after having gone through postnatal depression with both her daughter and her identical twin boys.

I can’t wait to share her book with you!

Visit Robin’s website Write or Wrong for more information about the book and her commentary on PND. Next week, the 13th to the 19th November is Postnatal Depression Awareness Week and Robin will be writing a daily blog on PND. If you or someone you know has been touched by PND then tune into to Robin’s blog here.

Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them. #auslitlove

Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them. #auslitlove

After becoming an author, finally, after years of writing, it has come to my attention that it is pretty bloody wonderful to be contacted by a reader to tell you that they enjoyed your book. 

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And more, to tell you they loved your book, have recommended your book to others, to let you know that their book club is now reading it, they are now spotting dachshunds and have felt that same grief about losing a beloved pet. I have message from people who have never thought they could travel with family but now they think they could give it go, that my book reminded them of the gift that their family is and to ‘hug them tight’, that it inspired travel ideas and that basically it was a nice, heartwarming, sometimes funny, sometimes sad read.

They have gone to the effort of tracking me down on Twitter or Facebook, or through my website. Or I have come across lovely comments written about Destination Dachshund in forums. It’s nice to read after all the pain and suffering that is not only writing a book, but self-publishing a book.

I have rarely contacted an author directly. Why?

I didn’t really think about the author sitting there at home after releasing their creation out into the world, doubt eating away at their fragile self-esteem as they chugged down a bottle of wine. Now I am thinking about it. Now I am going to send people messages on Twitter or Facebook, or a quick email when I love their book.

A book review is the ultimate thing for an author – but the nicest thing of all is to receive a  message from someone to let you know they liked your book. I cannot tell you how much it means to me, and I would think to most authors, whether they are NY Times Best Sellers or a self-published author from Western Sydney, like me.

This blog post was mostly inspired by all the wonderful messages I have received from readers, but also inspired by a snobby negative comment I recently heard about self publishing, (it’s self-published so it must be crap, right?). It’s not crap, it may not be something everyone wants to read, but enough people do want to read it.

I could have sat around for another ten years waiting to be picked up by a traditional publisher but I didn’t want to – not with this story. I created it and it’s scary to put writing out into the world to be judged. There will be negative comments, but there is also the wonderful comments, and these are the comments that make it all worth it.

So – what am I going to do now?

I am going to let authors know when I loved their book. I will do a review – it doesn’t need to be long – everyone is short on time and so am I. But also, if I loved it I will contact the author, whether it be a quick tweet, a Facebook message, or sharing the author love and letting the world know of a great book or author.

I am inspired by this by my good friend Robin Riedstra over at Write or Wrong who is always sharing the author love around and spreading the word about great authors and books. Robin was inspired Walter Mason, author of Destination Cambodia and Destination Saigon. She says in her post about author love, Let me Love You! that ‘…Walter gave me the inspiration to give Australian authors a shout out, loudly and often. He said to the audience, “bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature.” This resonated with Robin, and now with me. Robin’s wonderful memoir Confessions of a Mad Mooer is out soon, so you can be assured I will be sharing the author love about her book when the time comes. ♥

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Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them.

#auslitlove

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