Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The ups, downs and then ups again of self-publishing.

The ups, downs and ups again of self-publishing. www.authorneilcoleman.com  Counsellor/author
One learns a great deal by trying to self-publish a book or two. Finding people to trust is the most important learning curve. Having not done so well with my first effort and previous publisher, I decided to go it alone. After all, I was being charged for every imaginable service, many of which I have learnt to undertake myself. However for those wishing to start out, check out what is available and get good advice (e.g. From NZSA)
Good proofreading is paramount. If one chooses the traditional publishing road, whereby you search for a publishing house to ‘do it all for you,’ then a huge load is removed. No such luck if you do your own thing. Very few self-published authors can afford more than one or possibly two stages of proofreading and editing. It’s expensive, but essential in order to cull the typos and mistakes. I don’t just mean spelling. It is a very bad look to kill off a character and then have them reappear a few chapters later. I did that in an upcoming book and almost considered changing the ‘genre’ of my book to science fantasy!
I have drawn on my failings, mistakes and let-downs in order to move forward. I decided to find an editor (I have two now) and work directly with my printer. I re-launched my website and had a friend of a friend design a new proactive look. Once again, more outlay but hopefully worth it in the long run.
I decided to have more input into the cover designs and found a picture on my old cell phone and then used it for my latest venture. Some of you took place in voting for the best ‘manipulation’ of that picture. My web designer also played a part with his beautiful photography from the top of the Awhitu Peninsula.
My next task was to build up a trusting relationship with my printer. That seems to be working. Gone are the days of---‘show us the colour of your money.’ My printer even sends his bills after I have received my books. Unheard of!
With my previous arrangement I paid out quite a few thousand to get my books ‘out there.’ Trouble was, I never knew where ‘out there’ was and it was only when friends and their kids told me that my books were in various libraries around the country, that I wondered why I had not received any royalties for my efforts. Someone was doing some work on my behalf, but not telling me.
Now I am sending freebies (I always give the Onehunga Library complimentary copies of my new releases) to people who may be of help, including some talk back hosts. One has to draw a line at some stage though, or the bank balance will head south.
The marketing phase is another new challenge. I have had to put aside my ‘natural shyness and unwillingness to put myself forward’ (Stop laughing!) and put up my shield for the inevitable flack that has come my way. A good Merlot helps with that, along with a walk with the little star (Spot, alias Perdy) of my latest book.
OK – I have started again with all of my books. That meant new covers, ISBN numbers and some editing. They are all live on my new website. I have plans to get them all on Kindle, but that is where I need more help. Check out the website for pictures, blogs and a synopsis for each book.
‘Coastal Yarns’---- New version. (9 short stories)
‘Roskill’--------------New version.
‘Talk To Me---------Check out the website!
COMING IN 2013   ‘Sons of Orpheus’---A three part historical saga
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO PURCHASE A BOOK---GO TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY AND REQUEST IT. YOU WILL NEED THE TITLE AND MY NAME AND THE ISBN NUMBER. CHECK OUT MY WEBISTE FOR THAT. www.authorneilcoleman.com