Tag Archives: Independent Publishing

Your Book at #1 Part 2

You have written your book. With justification, you are very proud of it. What next? The obvious move is to contact an agent or publisher. However, in the 21st century this route is becoming old-fashioned. Agents and publishers reject far more than they accept. They take a percentage of the royalties. They exert control over content, cover design, marketing, etc. Sometimes, they take a very long time to publish a book. If you are happy with that package, give agents and publishers a go. They could be ideal for you.

If agents and publishers are not for you, you could try self-publishing. Amazon and Smashwords, for example, offer excellent self-publishing platforms that place your books in front of millions of readers. Self-publishing is now an established part of the book industry. The stigma, which existed at the start, has long gone. Indeed, many traditionally published authors are turning to self-publishing because they recognise the advantages it offers. Lesley-Ann Jones is a Sunday Times bestselling author, yet she decided to publish her memoir, Tumbling Dice, independently to great media acclaim. You too could become a bestselling author. More about that next time.

Your Book at #1 Part 1

Advice For Budding Authors

You have written a great novel, a memoir or a work of nonfiction. But what next? What should you do with your manuscript? You could approach a publisher. However, many publishers will only accept manuscripts through an agent. So you could approach an agent. However, agents are mainly interested in authors who have a track record or public profile. It’s a classic Catch 22 situation, an example of how mainstream publishing is a closed shop.


However, these days there are many alternatives. The easiest route to publishing is through independent publishers and self-publishing. Note: never pay a publisher to publish your work. A genuine publisher will never ask for money.

To self-publish, and to reach an international audience, you can use the following platforms: Kindle Direct Publishing, run by Amazon, and Smashwords. Smashwords distribute books to Barnes and Noble, iBooks and Kobo. Through these platforms you can publish in paperback, eBook and after that explore audiobook and translation possibilities. Thousands of readers download my books every month. Through this method they can download your books too.

Next time, I will explore this subject further. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about publishing feel free to contact me through my website.

Indies United

The first Indies United newsletter is now available for free download or through email. Each month we will feature authors and books by our member community. Our Newsletter will include competitions, giveaways, interviews and other great features. So don’t delay, claim your copy today and take advantage of free and special offers!



An Invitation

An Invitation to Join Author Central on Facebook

A few years ago, Mark Coker the founder of Smashwords wrote, ‘Back in the old days of publishing (four or five years ago), many writers viewed self-publishing as the option of last resort. Self-pubbed authors were the black sheep of the writing community. They were considered failed authors because they couldn’t find an agent or sell their book to a big publisher. They were ridiculed as “vanity” authors. Sadly, much of the most vitriolic criticism came from fellow writers. We don’t hear much of that anymore. Self-publishing is finally earning the respect it deserves. High profile indie author successes – utilizing the best practices contained herein – are climbing the bestseller charts. Their commercial success is changing perceptions about self-publishing one reader at a time.’

That comment contains several interesting lines and I’m sure you can relate to them. Independent authors are often regarded as second class, by the industry and, sadly, by some authors. However perceptions are changing. A small example of this…yesterday a leading university invited me, a humble independent author and publisher, to attend a conference on the future of publishing. This is a free event, so they are not after my money, just the sharing of opinions. Independent authors and publishers are the future. Farsighted people are aware of this. Often, in the struggle to make our voices heard and get our books read, we lose sight of our value and feel isolated in the struggle. This group has been created to help banish that isolation, to support authors and their books in every way possible, to laugh at the absurdity of some aspects of publishing, and to help writers expand their network and reach new readers.

If you are on Facebook and would like to join us, please follow this link: Author Central

Adventures in Publishing

shutterstock_765166722-e1413967786800My Books are published by Goylake Publishing, an independent publisher, and I am grateful for that. I am grateful because Goylake offer me free rein to write about the subjects that interest me, to a length that suits the story and because they do not interfere in the creative process. I am free to write, to follow my muse, and that is very liberating.

Of course, as well as supporting creative talent, Goylake Publishing is also in the business of running a successful business, and this part of the publishing process has been an eye-opener for me. As a starting point you would think that author and publisher would want to sell as many books as possible through the large, well-known Internet and store outlets. WRONG! I say that because these outlets take around 55 – 60% of the cover price, leaving the author and independent publisher with pennies. Every time someone buys one of my books from a large international website, for which I’m grateful, that international company makes a profit, Goylake doesn’t, and neither do I. Independent outlets, websites like this one and a loyal fan base are the routes to our success.

When I approached a well-known and well-established publisher with an early manuscript I was delighted when they said ‘yes’ they would publish. However, there was a catch..they wanted me to pay them £5,000 (!) Naturally, I withdrew my manuscript and declined their offer. No one should pay that sort of money to any publisher, no matter what their reputation. Books do cost money to produce, but not £5,000 from the author’s purse.

As many people have pointed out, modern big business publishing is all about the ‘bestseller’ regardless of the book’s content or literary merit. If someone has a marketable name, they will be published, whether they have an interesting story to tell, or not. These books are promoted relentlessly at the expense of many other, often far more interesting, books. From a financial point of view, this is easy to understand – it is far simpler to promote one book and sell ten copies than promote ten books selling a copy apiece. The relentless marketing of ‘bestsellers’ means that people will buy them, often as fashion accessories – the latest bestseller is a ‘must have’ item, even if the book sits, unread, on a bookshelf.

So, whenever you get the opportunity, please support the independent author and publisher. Quite often, these people have far more interesting things to say than the mainstream #!¥¡@ that is pushed our way. A good book, when you find one, is priceless, like a good friend. And friendship, like anything rewarding, takes effort. So why not make that extra effort and, instead of following the crowd, follow your instincts and search out a good, independent, book. You, and the author, will be rewarded.