Friday, 3 January 2014

The Pitfalls of Self-Publishing -- Kurt Chambers

So you wrote a whole book? That is so awesome! I know exactly what it's like when you put your heart and soul into writing a whole novel. No one but another writer can fully understand just how much you put into your creations. But you did it! You probably spent the same amount of time bringing your story to the best it can be ready to publish. This is a massive achievement for anyone, and a very exciting time for an author. You are about to release your baby to the world!

You have two options: try to get published the traditional way by submitting to a publisher or agent, or self-publish. If you choose the traditional route, please be aware that there are a lot of sharks out there ready to take your money. Before you get too excited with the offer of a contract, always check out an agent or publisher first. There are some good sites and forums you can search for on Google. This is a good example by the Reedsy website. Here is a story of how I nearly got caught out in an old blog post, Getting Published.

For those of you who are going to self-publish, it is important for you to know when your book is ready to release. There are a lot of books out there that are simply not up to a publishing standard. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of publishing a book. You can't rely on a read-through by your mum or a few good friends. If your book is not ready, you will get bad reviews. This WILL affect your sales! There are plenty of groups and forums out there that will help you learn the 'rules' of writing which will make you a much stronger writer. If you are serious about becoming an author, you need to learn your trade just like any other trade. This would be my biggest recommendation. Learn to write creatively and become a great writer.

Here is a list of some of the best places to try out ... BestSocial Networking Sites For Writers

When you are ready and you have your manuscript as good as it can be, you still need to have it proofread by a professional proofreader. This doesn't have to be expensive, but you should use someone that has been recommended. I use this service myself, PenPals Editing.

Now you have the perfect manuscript, you will need an eye-catching cover to go with it. It's important to have a professional-looking cover. It's your first contact with a potential reader and you want your book to look irresistible. Again, ask for advice from your newly acquainted writer friends and shop around for a good deal. Dawne Dominique is my cover artist. I love her artwork so much.

Formatting is the next on your list. In order to publish your book, it will need formatting ready to upload to Amazon and other sites such as Smashwords. You might be able to do this yourself if you are a wiz with a computer, or you can pay a charge to the many people out there offering this service. If you want to have a go yourself, search Google for an article on how to do this. Anastasia Creatives does all my formatting and web design. 

Now comes the hard part. As a first time author, you will dream of fame and fortune in the likes of Harry Potter. I'm going to burst your bubble. This is not going to happen. Selling books is not easy. There are many thousands of other self-published authors out there doing the same as you, and unless you are a marketing wizard, you are going to hit that most difficult time when you struggle to sell or even give away your book. The reason I am saying this is not to discourage you, far from it, but this is something you need to be aware of.

Years ago, when self-publishing wasn't an option, a lot of writers gave up after receiving a pile of rejection letters. These days, we are starting to see the same thing with self-published authors giving up after publishing a few books with disappointing sales. That is why I wanted to point this out. If you are expecting miracles, you will be disappointed, but this really isn't a reason for you to give up. You have to keep on writing, and keep on publishing! Becoming a success isn't going to happen overnight. It's something you have to work hard at and keep on plugging away until it DOES happen. It will probably take years. But the one thing you must never do is give up. You're a writer, it's what you do.

Keep writing and never stop dreaming, no matter how hard it seems. You have a story to tell. Yes! It's so hard sometimes, I know! But it's impossible if you don't try. Believe in yourself.

Shameless plug

Truth Teller by Kurt Chambers is free to all readers

How can ten-year-old Charlotte ever envisage that magic really exists? The place for other realms belongs in a child’s fairy tale. Or so she thinks, until she discovers the strange shopkeeper and begins an adventure that changes her life forever.
Discovered alone in a far away forest, Charlotte embarks on a journey encountering heart-stopping dangers and real life monsters, but a far greater threat shadows her every move. Even the strength and skill of her new companions cannot protect her against a ruthless druid assassin.
But in this realm, Charlotte is not the vulnerable little girl she thought she was.

Download a free copy in any format for any device:



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  1. Nice post, Kurt. I did self-publish a book and got good reviews, and STILL it's a lot of work to get it out there. My next book did get an agent, who is submitting it to the places I would never be able to submit to, and I am so glad, because now I can concentrate on writing the next book and the next. But self-publishing was a good experience, and I learned a lot from the process. You could say it "jump-started" me into the world of network, and it's also a book I'm proud of.

    1. That's fantastic, Elizabeth :) and massively encouraging! I had a near miss with an agent last year with my newest novel. My self-published novel wouldn't be of interest to the market, but like you, I was too proud of it to just shelve it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post and make a comment :)

  2. Most of the authors I've seen become successful (even with traditional publishing) have taken at least three books to get there, sometimes as many as ten. Personally at the moment I have other priorities beyond promoting my books, as I'm trying to get my PhD thesis finished, so in the meantime I'm focusing on improving my work, and when I'm a Doctor then I'll start actively marketing again. (Plus I'm going to invest in new covers for my novels, something which I totally missed the importance of when I started out, because I'm visually impaired and literally never see covers of my kindle books...)

    1. Hi Rachel :) It's great to see you here on my blog.

      I have three complete novels waiting in the wings to be edited and published. There's hope for me yet! lol

      Good luck with the PhD. I can see why you are a little tied up! I can't wait to see your book covers. I can't even imagine what it would be like not seeing them. It's a good move though. The cover is very important :)

  3. Sad but true :(

    Hey, on a brighter note, you have an aussie website address with! You're an official Aussie now ;p

    1. haha!! International author :) It has a ring to it!

      Good to see you here, Louisa :)

  4. Once again, great blog! So true... happy New Year!

  5. Thank you, Julie :) I hope you are all well <3