Really Useful Links for Writers: Self Publishing

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Paul FitzSimons

I took a look at Self-Publishing here a while ago but safe to say that it’s evolved since then . Having a significant presence at this month’s London Book Fair suggests that Self-Publishing is now universally accepted as an alternative to the traditional route.

It is also fair to say that, with the increase in smaller independent presses and support services for self-publishing writers, the gap between traditional- and self-publishing is well-and-truly bridged. And, although there are a few culprits still out there, most writers no longer see self-publishing as a short-cut or an easy path to publication.

There are plenty of reasons for us to decide to self-publish, most of which are not actually related to our writing. The publishing business is exactly that – a business – and, as a result, there are reasons, besides our book not being good enough, that it won’t be accepted by a publishing house. It may not fit into an established genre, it may be too long or too short, or there might already be something similar in the pipeline. For those of us getting these types of reasons – and generally editors are honest when sending something back – then we should consider self-publishing as an option.

If, on the other hand, we’re getting notes on our book’s plot, characters, pacing or anything else that suggests a rewrite (yes, even if it’s another rewrite), then now is probably not the time to self-publish. Better to bite the bullet, take the notes on board, (have a quick cry) and start writing.

When we do feel that we’re ready to head down that self-publishing road though, there is plenty of help available.

In 2012, writer and publishing expert Orna Ross established the Alliance of Independent Authors, having previously decided to part company with her publisher and go-it-alone. Since then, ALLi has become an authority on all-things Self-Publishing and offers invaluable advice on publication, contracts and rights and provides online talks, seminars & workshops from leading lights in the industry. It also offers all the resources, such as editors and book-cover designers, needed to self-publish a book and publishes a regular newsletter and blog, full of advice and news.

If there was ever a sign that self-publishing might be here to stay, it was the launch of Self-Publishing Magazine. A quarterly print and online publication, it features articles about this ever-growing industry, advice from established self-publishers and tips on using editors, proofers and printers. It also gives writers the chance to have their novels reviewed and gives service providers the opportunity to advertise their services. Through the website, we can subscribe to the print magazine and even view a free evaluation copy.

Whenever I’m asked what books every writer should own, top of my list (maybe 2nd after Stephen King’s On Writing) is The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. WAYB is nowadays acknowledging the force that is self-publishing and there is a section of both the book and the WAYB website dedicated to it. Writers and publishers such as Roz Morris and Eoin Purcell advise us on the practicalities of self-publishing, such as when to submit to a copywriter and how to be strategic in our self-publishing efforts. The WAYB website also has a useful comparison engine, designed to get writers the best price for our editing, design and printing needs.

Since publishing her first book Mousetrapped in 2010, Catherine Ryan Howard has become one of Ireland’s leading authorities on self-publishing. Like so many pioneers, Catherine learned the hard way how to (and how not to) become a successful self-published writer. She then decided to help the rest of us avoid the mistakes and pitfalls she encountered and so published her adventures, initially on her blog, and later in the book Self-Printing. Catherine points out that she’s not telling us what to do, just what she did. And, for anyone considering self-publishing, the advice in her book and on her website should definitely be heeded.

I talked a few weeks ago about Podcasts and suggested which ones might be of most use to writers. One that I carelessly omitted (or left out on purpose knowing I could mention it now) was the brilliant does -as-advertised Self-Publishing Podcast. Similar to Catherine’s advice, this is an experienced self-publisher – or three experienced self-publishers, to be exact – telling us what works for them. Recent episodes discussed marketing a Self-Published book, using crowd-funding to fund a Self-Publish and creating an Audio-Book.

 

“Self-publishing is not a short cut to anything. Except maybe insanity.” ― Zoe Winters

 

Join The Alliance.

With members all over the world, the Alliance of Independent Authors is a non-profit association for self-publishing writers.

“People self-publish for many reasons and all who want to do it well are invited to join our diverse, supportive and friendly community.”

http://allianceindependentauthors.org/

 

There’s A Magazine….It Must Be Here To Stay.

The Self-Publishing Magazine is a UK-based print and online magazine packed full of essential advice for anyone about to self-publish their own book.

“The Indispensable guide to help you get the most from your Self-Publishing projects.”

http://www.selfpublishingmagazine.co.uk/

 

The Big Red Book (And It’s Website).

The Writers’ & Artists Yearbook (print and online) now has a section dedicated to Self-Publishing.

“Writers and Artists aim to provide you with an impartial, comprehensive comparison of self-publishing providers and their services.”

https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/writers/self-publishing/

 

She Who Knows.

Acclaimed writer Catherine Ryan Howard shares her self-publishing adventures with us. Oh, and she’s from Cork.

“Catherine currently divides her time between the desk and the sofa, drinks a LOT of coffee and wants to be a NASA astronaut when she grows up.”

http://catherineryanhoward.com/

 

Three Blokes.

Johnny, Sean and Dave bring us their regular Self-Publishing Podcast.

“Infrequently off-topic, often NSFW, and always authentic. It’s three guys telling you what does and doesn’t work for them.”

https://selfpublishingpodcast.com/

(c) Paul FitzSimons

 

About the author

Paul FitzSimons is a screenwriter and novelist and has written the novel ‘Burning Matches’ and a number of scripts for film and TV. He has worked as a storyline writer on RTE’s ‘Fair City’. His short stories are published in ‘Who Brought The Biscuits’ by The Naas Harbour Writers. Paul likes crime thrillers, good coffee and Cadbury’s chocolate. He doesn’t like country-and-western music or people who don’t indicate on roundabouts.

Paul also runs the Script Editing service Paul | The | Editorpaulfitzsimons.com

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