Self-Publishing Support Thread

(273 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.

ImperialBlether Wed 25-Nov-15 13:01:59

I'll PM you if that's okay.

helloeveryone Wed 25-Nov-15 12:49:25

Yes, I emailed my submission - and in the covering email I mentioned I've self published and I put the Amazon link on. Which agent took you on? If you don't mind me asking?

ImperialBlether Wed 25-Nov-15 10:04:04

Sorry, meant to wish you the best of luck, helloeveryone.

ImperialBlether Wed 25-Nov-15 09:55:42

Thanks, helloeveryone.

Are you submitting the book that you've self-published? When we had the MN publishing day, Janklow & Nesbit said they would consider books that had been self-published but I know others don't. You would need to check with them first.

helloeveryone Wed 25-Nov-15 09:15:08

Wow congratulations Imperial! I've started going through the red book and submitting to agents again too. Whether anyone will take me on now that I've self-published though?

ImperialBlether Tue 24-Nov-15 11:39:23

Thank you, IShouldBeSoLurky! Now the real work begins!

IShouldBeSoLurky Tue 24-Nov-15 10:09:09

Oh congratulations Imperial, that's tremendous news! wine

ImperialBlether Mon 23-Nov-15 20:59:46

Thank you! There's going to be a bit of work but at least she meant January 2016 and not January 2017!

Off to celebrate with my friend now. You have to take these small victories where you can get them!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 23-Nov-15 20:53:51


Congratulations! I am so pleased. grin

ImperialBlether Mon 23-Nov-15 20:50:21

Just to let you all know all those relentless submissions have paid off and I now have an agent! Some rewriting to be done (of course) and she hopes to sell it in the new year. Wish me luck!

helloeveryone Sat 07-Nov-15 15:13:35

I have set up a facebook author page. Would anyone like to 'like' it? Thanks in advance.

IShouldBeSoLurky Fri 06-Nov-15 20:49:37

Reviews are being v weird at the moment - showing in your review count but the review itself taking days to appear. Also the way Amazon appears varies massively depending on who is viewing it and on what device.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 06-Nov-15 11:22:42

That's very weird about them appearing and disappearing. Maybe it's just a bug and they haven't pulled them after all, and eventually they will all settle down and reappear?!

The fact that they will only act if the reviewer complains is very annoying. Because if the reviews pulled are by totally unconnected people (and hence the pulling is utterly unfair) and writer is obviously not going to be able to get in touch with the reviewer! And I don't honestly think I'd notice, as a reviewer, if my review disappeared - I don't always remember what I've reviewed and certainly don't go back to check it's still there.

However. The writers I know who do well don't tend to spend an awful lot of time fixating on reviews - MmeGuillotine has said she never even reads them. I'm sure it's a better strategy to forget them and just get on with the writing <fails to follow own advice>

helloeveryone Thu 05-Nov-15 15:27:52

Well... Amazon emailed saying that they can only look into it if the person who wrote the review contacts them, because otherwise it would be against privacy. It's really strange because my mum logged in and hers is on there - but when I log in it's not. There is one by T Hayward. Sometimes I look and T Hayward is on there, and sometimes it isn't. I obviously can't get in touch with people for them to complain, because other than my mum, I don't know them. It seems like all 16 are on there - but only 11 show at a time, a different mix each time. I think basically there is nothing I can do about it, which is annoying!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 04-Nov-15 09:02:59

Here is the review policy. They don't make it particularly visible.

The important bit here is, 'If you have a direct or indirect financial interest in a product, or perceived to have a close personal relationship with its author or artist, we'll likely remove your review.'

They do say, 'If you think we got it wrong and removed a customer review that we shouldn’t have, please e-mail and we will take another look', so I was wrong about no appeals. It will be interesting to see how you get on with getting the others restored.

helloeveryone Tue 03-Nov-15 20:33:50

I didn't realise that my mum doing a review (when she was a verified purchaser) was breaking the rules. I also don't know how they would know she is my mum where we have different surnames. Annoying. I'll let you know what kdp say.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 03-Nov-15 20:04:56

Well, your mum doing it does break the Amazon rules, to be fair. And it sounds like you have loads of good ones from people you don't know, so is it really worth it? Alternatively could you persuade her to join Goodreads and put it on there? They don't object to friend reviews.

helloeveryone Tue 03-Nov-15 20:00:21

It is really annoying! Yes one was my mums but the other 4 we not from people I know. I have 2 author friends and we have reviewed each others and they are still on there at the moment. I wonder if my mum could re-do hers?

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 03-Nov-15 19:47:06

I have heard of writers being very pissed off because reviews have been wrongly pulled. Eg if two writers review each other's books (which happens quite naturally and with no need for collusion) and in one case, someone who had a review by someone with the same common surname, and someone else who had a review from someone they didn't know personally but who lived on their street.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 03-Nov-15 19:42:31

They pull reviews if they suspect they're by a close friend or family member, or someone with a financial interest in the book, and I have heard they are ruthless and often wrong and do not let you appeal. I am sorry this has happened to you.

helloeveryone Tue 03-Nov-15 19:35:15

I'm so annoyed. Yesterday on Amazon I had 16 reviews and today I have 11? My mums review is one that's disappeared too. Has anyone else experienced that? I've emailed kdp and Amazon.

helloeveryone Tue 03-Nov-15 10:54:47

I am doing a promotion on Amazon (well I don't really know what I'm doing) but I've scheduled it. It's for 7 days and starts on 5th November. Reducing my book 'Swaying' from £1.99 to 99p. I'll let you know if it generates more sales!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 27-Oct-15 11:07:09

I got my agent very quickly (from my first round of submissions and she got back to me within a few days) but then finding a publisher wasn't so easy. It's a very unpredictable game and the key is to not take rejections as absolute judgements at any point.

Re Twitter, I think it depends how you use it. If you put the effort in to use it to reach a particular audience the number of followers will result in sales. If you just passively acquire numbers of followers by sitting back and letting people follow you, you won't get people who want to buy your book because they will all be people who just want you to buy their book.

When I was first on Twitter it was before I was writing seriously, and I was tweeting very specifically about feminism and history, and the followers I picked up tended to be genuine followers who were interested in what I had to share. People like that are a potential audience for a book, but in order to maintain that you need to put a bit of thought and work in. You get back what you put in, really.

If I was trying to build an audience in a new genre and had unlimited time to spare I would actively follow lots of people who follow writers similar to me, and then some of them would autofollow back and might translate into sales. As it is, though, I would rather spend the time writing.

IShouldBeSoLurky Mon 26-Oct-15 23:07:24

mad I can't remember TBH. More than 10 but less than 20. I had a request for full really quickly, which was amazing, although the agent didn't end up signing me (and she took aaaages to decide). Then a fuckload of no's (mostly rejection slips and ignores, but one really nasty letter). Then another request for full, and another wait. Then the agent who'd asked for my MS asked to meet me, and another agent requested my full MS at the same time. I met agent 1, liked her, put the pressure on agent 2, he said no after reading the MS over a weekend, so I went with agent 1. It's not been a fairytale but I like her and trust her, and I'm just about making a living from my books, which is more than I could have dreamed of (had I been dreaming sensibly, which I obvs wasn't).

madhairday Mon 26-Oct-15 20:19:13

I agree, Harriet - it seems a better use of time just to write!

IShouldBe - how many agents did you submit to before you got signed? Did you get many MS requests or many outright rejections? It is incredibly depressing, isn't it - each one feels like a kick in the guts.

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