Self-Publishing Support Thread

(162 Posts)
APodPerson Fri 06-Jun-14 17:24:07

Hi all,

Following a number of other threads suggesting this, I thought I’d set up a support thread for us self-publishers (although traditionally published are welcome too of course).

The purpose would be for us all to support each other, share our books, tips and tricks that have worked, and anything else self-publishing related.

MNHQ have given us the go ahead, although of course we need to make sure we behave ourselves, and if it ends up being nothing but spam it'll get pulled.

So, Rule 1: No spam!

I suggest one post introducing yourself with a link to your books, and goodreads profile, twitter, fb page, website etc, but then no further links or any kind of self promo unless it is directly related to a question from another poster.

It's easy to make a Goodreads page, and if you have a blog you can get a Goodreads feed on it. I use Goodreads to log my reading (I have challenged myself to read 100 books this year), but it's a good place to keep all my links together and very SEO friendly.

ImperialBlether Wed 11-Jun-14 22:14:21

Some really great ideas here - thanks very much. I'm going to look at Goodreads now.

fackinell Sun 22-Jun-14 12:38:05

Hello all, back after a six month MN break (needed to focus on writing and RL for a while.) A friend/fellow MNetter told me about this new fred so I thought I'd check it out. Well done to you all on your writing success. grin

Tunip, I just saw an old post from you on another thread (about hating my lead character and I hadn't replied. She finally got some balls and I'm really happy with her.) Chicklit book two now released and now two kids ones. Just started #3 for adults.

I'm not brave enough to post my link but fair play to you all for putting them on here. It's nice to be back. I've missed you all.

GoEasyPudding Sun 22-Jun-14 17:51:41

This is a great thread. I am not a writer myself but I am very interested in what you chaps are doing!

fackinell Sun 22-Jun-14 19:06:06

Are you thinking about writing, Pudding?

MeanAndMeaslyMiddleAges Sun 22-Jun-14 23:46:15

Ooh, marking my place I'm afraid. I have been writing a collection of short stories and there's still a way to go yet, but I am thinking of self-publishing on Kindle. I've never been published and I am utterly utterly terrified of going it alone. But also terrified of giving up on my dream.

I suppose my eventual aim is to get something with my name on it 'out there' and then concentrate on a novel. Not that I am purely using short stories as a means to an end - as a medium, I prefer writing short stories to novels. However, I appreciate that there isn't the market for short stories in the same way that there is for full-length ms.

fackinell Mon 23-Jun-14 00:28:49

Mean, I am awful at writing short stories, I find it difficult to end books. You could try writing a book of short stories, there are a few of those around.

Mean, my book of 100-word stories is my most successful seller (so far). I'm good at writing short stories, I like the challenge of a tight word countgrin.

TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 24-Jun-14 15:04:26

Yay, Fackinell. Glad your heroine grew some balls and congratulations on getting so many books out!

GoEasyPudding Tue 24-Jun-14 17:45:35

I must confess fackinell I am thinking about it. Haven't written a darn thing but I have piles of note books with ideas, plots, and characters. More notebooks on films, TV shows and novels that I really enjoy and want to analyse why I like them.

I think I am a bit like a Train Spotter, I'm never going to drive the train but I like to know everything about my favourite subject.

TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 24-Jun-14 17:53:11

Wow, how interesting, GoEasyPudding. I've known writers who do that as part of their developing their own writing, but never people who do it without writing. Though there are a lot of people who do book review blogs, I suppose.
Have you read any books on the craft of writing? If you're interested in the mechanics of why you like things, you might find books like 'Story' by Robert McKee, or 'The Anatomy of Story' by John Truby, rather fun.

I'd love to see what happens when you do sit down to write, having thought so much about it in advance.

fackinell Tue 24-Jun-14 20:57:27

Thank you, Tunip smile

Pudding, I bet you'd be great at it. You can't put all that effort into creating characters and plots and then not be. You must feel like you really know them now. I always miss my characters when I'm finished writing, they become friends almost.

GoEasyPudding Thu 26-Jun-14 10:42:00

This seems really odd confessing all this fackinell and turnip!

I don't write but I have read Robert McKee and John Truby.
I adore Julia Cameron and On writing by Stephen King.

Love John Truby. Simply fascinated when he explains why a recent film doesn't work, and when it does despite bad reviews. I even went to see Godzilla on his recommendation.
I have even attended screenwriting classes. All this and yet I don't write! I am a strange creature!

My Uni degree is in film studies and I have friends who are real life film reviewers, and ones a published author. One self publishes after having an agent drop him.

I have just felt so intimidated by my friends over the years and the publishing world is such a mystery I have never ever had the nerve even to write a short story.

Back in school if there was a creative writing assignment I would Ace it and I would entertain my pals with decent fan fiction! When I read back those teenage musings I actually think they are pretty good and yet I can't do it now. Just so intimidated. UNTIL NOW!!!

I read literary fiction mostly. I get frustrated by genre fiction, although I love the thrill of the plot. So I guess something like Sarah Waters or John Faber would be my ideal. However what I fear most is my writing will be like Garth Merenghi. (If you know what I am talking about high five Dark Place fan!) and here's a link!

what I fear my writing will be like!

Its very exciting to see that self publishing works for people and its something I can have a go at without worrying about agents and publishers and what they want.

I just feel so liberated reading this thread and watching the kindle self publishers on You Tube.

GoEasyPudding Thu 26-Jun-14 10:50:58

Whoops....I meant Michel Faber... you know, Crimson Petal and the White.

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 26-Jun-14 10:52:02

You are deeply bizarre grin
Maybe it's about not having found a story you want to tell up to now.
There's also a point at which reading too much on craft can inhibit you because you know too much about what you should be doing so you keep stopping to check you're doing it right.
Maybe you could do NaNoWriMo, or set yourself your own NaNo-type challenge, where you write a 50k first draft in a month.
Also, here's a thought - maybe if you're scared you have Garth Merenghi tendencies (loved the link btw) you should set yourself the challenge of writing something that is like Merenghi but grabs the reader anyway!

GoEasyPudding Thu 26-Jun-14 11:13:45

Yes. For a good 15 years I had nothing to say. Truly, nothing real, nothing that meant anything.

In my real life I had issues with not acknowledging difficult and uncomfortable feelings and of course it's the bad and juicy stuff we all want to read about. Even comedy has a dark side.

Now I am fully in touch with all that stuff...I have the time...I have a laptop...amazon invented KDP...I can't hide anymore.

You are very kind to listen to me and click my link. I shall look into your suggestions as I haven't heard of NaNoWriMo before.

What stage are you at Tunip? Whatyerdoin?

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 28-Jun-14 16:44:49

I'm about to take my first foray into self-publishing after my book almost-found-a-publisher-but-then-didn't.
And busy writing the next book which has been in doldrums for months but is now racing along, yay!

It's all about rewriting. Write your book but then get someone to read it, and then rewrite it. It's amazingly satisfying and interesting.
I wrote for years but I kind of expected everything to come out right first time and if I didn't, I assumed it was because I was crap. Then when I started reading books on the craft of writing, I learned a vocabulary to talk about why my books weren't working and what could be done to fix them, and then I was away.

fackinell Mon 07-Jul-14 11:08:12

Just back from my hols. Love the link, Pudding! grin
Do you think their could be another area of lit you'd prefer to do other than write? Maybe a critic or an agent. It sounds like you have a flair for it and it does take huge confidence to put yourself out there. If it is writing you're interested in then at some stage you will end up just going for it, I reckon. The good side is that often it will surprise you and do well. If it doesn't then you generally have some feedback from reviews to go back and change it. Tunip is right, rewriting is key.

Well done on your hard work, Tunip, it sounds like your writing is going from strength to strength. smile

olivespickledonions Fri 11-Jul-14 12:33:34

Very interesting thread! I submitted my book to agents this week but am already planning for rejection and then self-publishing. Great links re. book covers, I was having nightmares about having to draw something, taking a photo of it on my iPhone and then attempting to turn it into a jpeg...or something (hopeless non-tech whizz)!!

Peacocklady Sat 12-Jul-14 08:21:30

How do you serialise a book? I've written about 10000 words of a novel. I quite fancy trying out a bit to see how it's received and if it does well finishing it!

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Sat 12-Jul-14 08:34:52

Marking my place

fackinell Sat 12-Jul-14 11:02:07

Good luck, Olives. I hope you get the answer you're hoping for. I do some of my own illustrations and they've turned out fine. I drew my lead character and a few surrounding details, scanned and then used the paint option to do the title and background. Well, DP did that bit but it looked really good.

fackinell Sat 12-Jul-14 11:05:25

Peacock, you can get feedback on sites like Authonomy but do expect a lot of spam in the inbox. There are lots who will read and critique in return for you doing the same for them. You can make the HarperCollins short list to end up in the Editor's desk too.

Personally, I got friends to give me feedback but you have to expect them to be honest. Some of mine took no prisoners. grin

olivespickledonions Sat 12-Jul-14 14:08:28

Ooh interesting fackinell, did you use a particular (god I don't even know the word!) programme, app?
Re. agents, thank you. I am totally realistic. I'm assuming what I've written is utter shite. I think it's the only way!

fackinell Sat 12-Jul-14 14:34:20

The programme is called GIMP, Olives (unfortunate name, I know grin) it's tricky but you may be more technical than me. We use publisher for my kid's pic book layout.

I'm sure your writing is amazing but SP is a great option too. I've now sold circa 40k of my first novel and that was turned down by three agents. Well, one didn't have time to read, one didn't reply and one said not their style.

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