Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Self-publishing--a tale of the 'F's'

Anyone who has ever self-published a book would know that the process is one fraught with the ‘F’ words: namely feeling ‘fascinated and frustrated.’ No doubt a few other F words would have been uttered too from time to time, unless one has a hold on permanent sanity!
I have found that I have learned a great deal in the last four years, from that time when I first looked over the entrance to the Manukau harbour and out of the blue decided to write a book, a fictional account of the events surrounding the wrecking of the Orpheus, in 1863. That book was written; indeed it began a few days later. It became a massive book and I have still to do the final ‘bits’ to enable me to publish it, but it keeps getting out back.
‘Fascinating’ as that process has been, something always comes up to prevent me from jumping off the deep end and spending huge amounts of money to get the book ‘right.’ There is the second ‘F.’ I have been constantly ‘Frustrated’ buy the effort involved, the expense, the mistakes, the stupidity and naivety involved when one tries to do it on your own. So many factors intervened to stop me from getting my current books out there. There were issues with the agents I used at the beginning to help me get published. I won’t go into those now, but they were costly for little or no return.
It was only when I made contact with ‘professionals,’ that things began to change. It is paramount that you bring aboard a ‘good’ editor, a book designer and go the extra mile to have a creative cover along with many proofreading stages. There is nothing worse than thinking you have got the book ‘just right,’ only to find yet another plethora of errors, some only tiny ones, but they all add up to the overall enjoyment on the part of the reader. One also needs a publicist and a person who does digital stuff and now I have all of those people. They are all excel in their particular area of expertise.
That has been done now for ROSKILL, but not for the other two books, so they will go back to the ‘drawing board,’ if I decide that I want to sink yet more money into the project. That is debatable for me at this stage.
Now, looking back, it feels like something is about to happen. Roskill is on Amazon and is available as a hard-copy version or as a download onto Kindle or other reading AP. Indeed of you buy the hard-copy, you get a free download. I shall keep pushing the book and will attend various functions to help get it out there. Hopefully having the publicist on board will help to move things too.
Are you considering self-publishing? You may have much more success than me, because you do the homework first. It will cost money and unless you are one of the lucky few who manage to get a publishing ‘house’ on board, then be prepared for a long journey. I do wish you all the success in your venture.