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Self-Publishing Support Thread

(190 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.

DonkeysYears Tue 10-Mar-15 14:47:30

Thank you countess! They are really good and seem to really 'get' what I want.

Love a bargain! grin

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 10-Mar-15 11:02:34

That's a bargain, DonkeysYears! Your cover is nice - I would never have guessed it was that cheap grin

I am always amazed by some of the really poor home-made covers out there, especially when they go with really pretty good books, given how cheaply good ones can be. (I'm currently reading a YA historical where the quality of the writing was a complete surprise to me because the cover was so home-made.) I wonder if sometimes it's because a friend or relative has designed it and the author can't tell them it's not good enough. A few years ago there weren't all these options for cheap covers so you could see someone being grateful for help and then not being wanting to explain that the bar has risen.

DonkeysYears Mon 09-Mar-15 09:17:20

Also, I've just had the cover for my next book (they did the first one as well) designed by pixelstudio at fiverr which cost me the princely sum of $16!

You send them sample covers you like, which stock photos you need (these cost $5 each, the basic gig is $5), tell them what colours you like and they do the rest. They also did two sets of modifications for me at no extra charge!

Lovely people and highly recommended.

DonkeysYears Mon 09-Mar-15 08:04:43

Here is my book (it's the first time I've ever linked to anything on MN so wish me luck...!):


And my Twitter page (for what it's worth. 94 followers woo hoo!):


I write what I hope is feisty, funny chick lit.

umbrellabird Tue 03-Mar-15 23:15:35

Great thank you Countess! I will keep you posted.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 02-Mar-15 10:18:10

Thanks, Umbrellabird!

(I had a panic today because I thought they'd taken away my little yellow banner, but it turned out it was because people are now buying the paperback so if you search the title without specifying what sort of book it shows you that, and it's the Kindle book that has the banner.)

Re Amazon, I haven't had to do it directly because my agent is doing it for me (it's a long story...) but there are lots of amazingly helpful blogs that explain things properly and have screenshots of every stage. Always check the date of what you're reading, though, because they change things quite often.
Based on my experience in the last few days I would say the most important things are choosing the categories carefully, and getting the best cover you can afford (which doesn't have to be expensive, but it is worth looking around and spending a bit).
The Goodreads forums look pretty helpful, too.

umbrellabird Mon 02-Mar-15 01:02:54

Countess that is awesome! So inspiring!I am marking my place as due to get to the self-publishing moment shortly…Can you give us any tips about how to negotiate Amazon. I have had a quick look and it all seems a tad confusing….

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 28-Feb-15 10:58:05

Thanks Guilianna! smile

Yesterday was mad - it is the #1 hot new release in YA and children's historical fiction, and #1 bestseller in its category (YA historical, Renaissance), as well as getting to #5 overall in YA historical shock

I wasn't expecting anything like that, but, grin grin grin

Now, realistically, YA historical is not a big selling area, hence the difficulty of finding bricks-and-mortar publishers willing to take a punt, so we're not talking hundreds of sales in order to get to those positions, but I couldn't have hoped for a better start. I suppose, basically, this is the flip side of it being hard to find a publisher - it's easier to get visibility as a new author in the field.

It even has a little '#1 bestseller' banner shock

guilianna Fri 27-Feb-15 21:48:10

Just read your extract, REALLY like it! Tremendous.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 27-Feb-15 10:33:43

My book is open for pre-orders now smile

I've held off doing my 'introductory' post even though I've been on here for months, because I wanted to wait till I had an Amazon link so I had everything together in one place, so here it is:

Five Wounds on Amazon

Me on Goodreads

Me on Facebook

Me on Twitter

My blog

Feel free to like me, friend me, follow me, mark me 'to read', etc etc... flowers

Blinking flip though, this social media business is time consuming for writers these days <dreams of actually getting some more writing done hmm>

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 27-Feb-15 10:21:13

How are you getting on, Gussie? It sounds like you need deadlines and targets, if you're feeling intimidated!

gussiegrips Fri 20-Feb-15 20:43:30

marking place. Am writing a non-fiction book, kind of education/self help about pelvic floors. It's called "Gusset Grippers", is supposed to be factual and funny.

So far it's a dreadful anatomy chapter and a giant plastic box of papers, notes, scribbles and doodles. So, not really awfully book-like yet.

I've had a publisher say they are interested in seeing a couple of chapters, of course, that means actually writing the thing.

Must get a move on. I'm nervous of putting it together - thought about it for so long that moving to the next stage is kind of intimidating!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 26-Jan-15 17:17:05

aargh, link fail. Try again.

Sell More Books

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 26-Jan-15 17:16:25

Just popping in to recommend a book I've been reading on marketing ebooks - More Books ink{\]]s}.

It's got good realistic advice for those of us who are starting out but he's also lovely and optimistic about it all.

kirstyjanem Tue 20-Jan-15 10:58:56

It's immense fun, Countess, especially thinking about how the action of the historical stories influences the contemporary ones. Although I wrote The Last Prince first, so was more working backwards. I have sequels to both stories in varying degrees of progress at the moment and it's interesting how they interact.

kirstyjanem Tue 20-Jan-15 10:57:15

I do, although I made the possibly foolish decision to use my middle name (which I also use for my non-fiction stuff) for the Father Neri stories, and drop it for The Last Prince, because apart from the setting, the two are utterly different. So now I can't link both of them to my author account.

I have a website here, though, which I keep feeling I should upgrade at some stage.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 20-Jan-15 10:53:50

I do love the idea of taking the same made-up placing and writing different stories about it. My all-time favourite author, Norah Lofts, had a fictional Suffolk town called Baildon and I love the way you get to know the town and the area through the books. As a reader it's very rewarding. Ultimately I would like to do something similar.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 20-Jan-15 10:52:05

Ooh, what fun!

Do you have a Goodreads page etc?

kirstyjanem Tue 20-Jan-15 10:48:48

... and a very silly contemporary romcom/satire all about horses, cavalry officers, political intrigue, class warfare and general swashbuckling is here, and it's 99p until the end of the week!

Lovely to meet you all and I look forward to reading more about your journeys!

kirstyjanem Tue 20-Jan-15 10:46:25

Hello all smile What an excellent thread!

I write Ruritanian fiction, with both historical and contemporary stuff set in the same fictional principality.

The first in a planned collection of linked historical shorts is here ... (making separate posts because the iPad refreshes the page, and loses my post, whenever I go to look for the link)

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 20-Jan-15 10:28:10

I didn't know about FictionPress - is it similar to Wattpad?

I've just approved my cover design and am very pleased. If any wants recommendations for a good cover designer I am happy to pass on details - he's mid-priced rather than at the cheaper end but IMO better than some of the most expensive people.

FiveLittlePeas Mon 19-Jan-15 06:51:40

I've published in FictionPress, just the first two "chapters"... and I got one short review, according to which my piece is "beautifully written"! grin it's a promising start!

FiveLittlePeas Mon 12-Jan-15 18:54:28

Well, reading on a laptop is ok, I do that most of the day anyway! So, here I am.

Been working a fair bit today (meaning, for money), I will write more tomorrow, so I'll have at least a couple of chapters to show...

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 12-Jan-15 09:32:20

You can read Kindle books on a laptop if you can bear to read on a laptop screen - the programme makes them work, but it's never quite as comfortable as an actual Kindle or Ipad.

FiveLittlePeas Sun 11-Jan-15 17:05:25

Oh, I have no idea about genre... Women's fiction, I guess... it's mostly about four women, three sisters and their mother. I am rubbish at this labelling thing, I really have no idea.

Regarding the review, I would like to read yours if you want, but I have no e-reader (other than my laptop, would that be ok? there is something called "kindle" in it, but I'm not sure what it is supposed to be!)

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