My focus is on self-publishing this year

A woman walking into a book filled with a forestFor a while now I’ve been trying to work out what I wanted to do with this blog.

I’ve largely talked about the process of writing and traditional publishing, which is the journey I’ve been on until a year or two.

Because of that I don’t want to make this my author website, so if you’re interested in my stories (as opposed to my writing processes) visit My Author Website and subscribe or sign up for my newsletter to keep informed.

As I’m about to focus on self-publishing my first novel soon, so I thought I might share my experiences here.


So far I’ve written several novels, with the main focus on the novel now called Divine Prey (formerly Prophecy of Power or a similar iteration).

I gained an agent and a publisher for it. Unfortunately the agent quit the business and the publisher folded, leaving me where I before landing the agent.

I could have started that process again – looked for another agent and publisher, but the process was drawn out over several years and there were a few things involved in it that I really don’t want to revisit, like the time it took or giving other people control of the process.

Traditional publishing wasn’t an experience I felt comfortable with, though having an agent in your corner is a really good validation for your writing.

However, having chosen to go down the self-publishing path I have full control of everything, but I also have to take responsibility for everything.

The first part of that is ensuring the story is in a state fit for publishing; a product as good as what you’d see from any big publisher (hopefully).

Big ask.

So after far many rounds of editing and rewriting, I’ve now got it to a state I’m happy with. At the end of last year I also had it proofread by Jo Clay, a fantastic author and editor.

Les Petersen has also produced some professional cover art for me.

The next steps are:

  • apply the proofreading Jo did for me
  • complete the cover, including:
    • front
    • spine
    • rear (including the blurb)
  • lay out the interior (text), including:
    • front matter
    • story
    • back matter
  • publish
    • ebook
    • print (three versions which I can take to trade shows like Supanova and ComiCon)
      • I might need to produce slightly different layouts/covers for the different versions

I’d like to have all that done by the end of February. If I get the time, I’ll outline the process here as I go, or if not, afterward.

Don’t forget to visit My Author Website and subscribe to the blog or sign up for my (highly infrequent) author newsletter.

The five key elements of a successful writer, Part 5, Gratitude – Guest Post by Amanda Bridgeman

Today I have the privilege of presenting the final part of Amanda Bridgeman’s guest post on being a successful writer.

I can honestly say it’s wonderful to have Amanda here – her advice on writing is always encouraging, and her understanding of the publishing business is both insightful and grounded in experience.


Amanda Bridgeman sitting on a chairIn my eighteen months of being published, I have met quite a lot of people in the industry and I’m happy to say that most of these people have been awesome.

I’m the kind of person who remembers when someone has done right by me (and there have been a lot), and I also remember when they have done wrong.

I was raised to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, so it’s ingrained into me and in everything I do.

When people support me by retweeting or sharing my posts, I always make sure I say thank you and try to reciprocate with their next promo tweet/post.

I also try to pay it forward and support other authors I may not know.

One trend I’m seeing, particularly on Twitter, is that less and less people are saying thank you, and less and less people are reciprocating when you retweet/repost something of theirs.

Now, I obviously don’t expect a big-name author to say thank you or retweet something, as they tend to have thousands/millions of fans, and that is just not feasible.

BUT, when I see ‘small’ authors who are still trying to climb their way up, who don’t say thank-you or offer support in-kind, well I’m a little disappointed to be honest.

I normally give them a few chances before I decide that my time is best used in supporting someone else who will appreciate it.

So, I guess what I’m saying here is: Don’t ever take anything for granted.

The publishing industry is a small one, so don’t be rude, don’t be selfish, don’t think that you don’t need anyone else’s help.

I guarantee you that being kind and generous, being supportive, and being thankful will get you more places, faster.

If someone is taking the time to retweet/share your book news, they are helping you promote and potentially sell your book, so for god’s sake show your appreciation and say thank you!

And that doesn’t just go for supporting other authors, it applies to everyone in the industry and your readers too. Especially your readers.

Catch the rest of Amanda’s series on the five key elements of being a successful writer:

Aurora Series of covers

Born and raised in the seaside/country town of Geraldton, Western Australia, Amanda was raised her on a diet of Rocky, Rambo, Muhammad Ali and AC/DC. She studied film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University. Her debut novel Aurora:Darwin was published with Momentum in May 2013; the sequel Aurora: Pegasus was published in December 2013; and Aurora: Meridian will be released on 11 September 2014.

 Where you can find Amanda:

Publishing and marketing a novel

Prophecy of Power - cover imageHere I am at the pointy end of getting a novel to market.

It’s written. It’s been critiqued. It’s been rewritten. It’s been edited. It’s been sent out for further feedback. It’s attracted the attention of an agent. It’s getting a final rewrite.

What now?

Well, that depends on the agent to some extent – I haven’t had that conversation yet. What I do know is that no matter what happens, I’ll be doing almost all the marketing myself.

So, assuming a publisher takes it and actually puts it into bookshops, their marketing campaign will probably include:

  • sending out review copies prior to publication
  • advertising it on their website
  • advertising it in their newsletter.

In addition, this is how I plan to market my novel:

  • blog about it here
  • do guest blogs – at least 20 to 30 if I can manage it
  • contact review websites and try to get it reviewed on them
  • send out extra review copies to any blogger who says they want to review it prior to publication (I’m not sure about the publisher’s take on that – they may not let me)
  • tour bookshops and do book signings
  • attend conventions
  • announce it on social media
  • ask anyone who reads the novel to post an honest review on Amazon (or elsewhere).

Of course, there’s no guarantee a publisher will take it. If that’s the case I’ll publish it myself – electronically and via print on demand.

That’ll mess up my dreams of getting it into bookshops, but at least it’ll get it out there.

Either way, the marketing plan will be pretty similar. What else could I do? What have I missed? What have you done that’s worked?


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