Tag Archives: publishing on Blurb

Life as a self-published author #1

Just over one month ago I pushed the publish button on Blurb to initiate the first edition print run of The Journal Writer’s Handbook. It was an exciting moment, and since my books arrived I’ve sold a respectable number of them – and not only to people who know me!

To celebrate my first month as a self-published author I thought I’d include the Blurb BookShow in my blog post today, which shows a preview of the beginning of it, and an idea of the indexes at the end. Here it is:

Life’s been full of surprises since I completed the book. The very first surprise came when I held the finished article in my hands. I’d heard countless people say what a special moment it is when you first have your own book in your hands, and you read your name on the front. What surprised me however was that I didn’t feel particularly moved by the sight and feel of the book itself. I saw my name on the cover and thought “about time!” I guess as a writer this is what you’d expect to happen sooner or later. It’s normal.

So no, the physical product, while gem-like and beautiful, didn’t of itself send me into paroxysms of joy. Instead I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in having achieved what I set out to do. Once you’re holding your book in your hands you have the ultimate manifestation of the hours spent scribbling and editing and self-doubting and doing-it-anyway. And for me that is where the joy lies.

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A self-publishing adventure

Yesterday my hubby, who’s doing all the techie side of getting the Handbook published, pushed the button on blurb.co.uk to order the first proof of my book. Yeayyy!

I’d written the manuscript in Word, he’d converted it to pdf (though a very specific format of pdf), then uploaded it to blurb’s ‘pdf to book’ service. All this nitty gritty left me cold. “I’m a writer,” I declared. “I need to be doing the writing and I need someone else to do the content uploading and formatting for me.” I’m lucky to have my own technical monkey to help!

Yesterday afternoon I spent in the company of local writers as we listened to crime fiction author Jen Hilborne give us the benefit of her experience getting published both the traditional way and the self-publishing way. It was a very rich workshop, packed with hints and tips about how to use Amazon and social media to promote our books, and how to decide which publishing route to take. I learned the distinctions between self-publishing, independent publishing, vanity publishing and traditional publishing, and it was useful to know that self-publishing is becoming an increasingly respected channel to market.

It also goes to show how quickly things are changing in the publishing world since I started thinking seriously about writing in 2007.  Back then self- and indie-publishing were invariably tarred with the same stigmatising brush as vanity publishing. The advances in digital technology, and the determination of the writing community to exploit as much of it as we can manage to get our words out into the world have completely changed the picture. Now, thankfully, blogs, e-books, and print on demand have begun to steal the market from the vanity sharks, who prey on the delicate egos and vulnerable wallets of new writers through their gushing letters of flattery and boiler-plate promises of authorial greatness.

If you’re a writer local to Swindon and you’d like to learn a bit more about publishing and book promotion online, Jen has offered to run another workshop at Basepoint, West Swindon, in the New Year 2013. Drop me a line at juliet@treetopscommunications.co.uk if you’re interested in attending.

If you’re struggling to upload your content into blurb using pdf to book, check out my hubby’s extensive blog on the subject: Blurb publishing.

And if you’re into crime fiction check out Jen Hilborne’s books No Alibi, Madness and Murder, and Hide and Seek via her website.

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