Self publishing: What I know now that I didn’t know then

I’ve been quiet recently on the self publishing front, but I really wanted to give you all a quick update this week.

Sometimes I do wonder if I choose quite the right times to publish novels? Think: Moving house (well, country in fact!), selling belongings, organising schools for my children back in England,arranging leaving parties and sales and camping trips (to make the most of our last couple of months in Kenya) alongside self-publishing a novel.


The strange thing is though that, despite all the above, I am feeling bizarrely calm. I have a tendency to get myself worked up into a panic about things, hence why this calmness has come as a surprise. Could it be something to do with the fact that this book really is ready to be released to the world? That I’ve worked really hard on it, and soon it’s time to let it go? Yes, I think so.

I’d like to share with you a few things that I know now about self publishing that I didn’t know at the start of this journey:

✯ Self publishing is a LOT of work. But it is also surprisingly satisfying. Do you remember the first time you looked into the lid of a piano and stared at all those strange little hammers and springs and coils? Well, this is what it feels like to me. I won’t lie: I was pretty nervous (not to mention quite skeptical) about going it alone BUT getting to know the inner workings of the life of a book has actually been pretty fascinating.

✯ Formatting. I took the decision to employ somebody to do my formatting rather than figure out how to do it myself. I don’t regret this decision, particularly given time factors, BUT what I realise is that if you keep finding little mistakes (which I do) that slipped through the net, you have to keep bugging the person you employed. If I decide to self publish again, I will take a deep breath and learn how to format myself.

✯ Blog tours. These seem all the rage right now, and maybe they have been for some time. If you’re not familiar with them, your book is reviewed by a different book blogger on a different day leading up to the publication of your book.There are many people out there you can pay to help you with this publicity, but I decided to have a crack at organising my own blog tour. I reached out to a number of contacts (and some I only had very tenuous links with) and have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve been offered by people I hardly know (or don’t know at all.) These bloggers aren’t going to be reviewing my book per se, but I have organised a different blog to interview or host me on one day each in the week preceding my book publication.

✯ Costs involved. I was really concerned how expensive all this self-publishing business was going to be. Well, I’ve been pleasantly surprised as it actually has not been as much as I’d predicted. There are so many people out there offering authors with X, Y & Z. All I would say is this: Retain a healthy dose of skepticism. Ask, do I really need this? And what can I do myself?

Ok, that’s it for now. Time is running, this book is moving and…this time in a month, it’s going to be available for everybody to read!

A photograph taken this weekend of the view from our camping spot, moments before the thunderstorm hit. There’s something about spending time in the wild that helps to keep me grounded and calm.

Interested in reading about previous steps on my self publishing journey? Click here to read Part One in which I embark on something I thought I’d never consider; here to read Part Two in which I share my misgivings about the whole enterprise; here to read Part Three in which I talk beta-readers and the other end of the tunnel; and here to read Part Four in which I discuss the importance of changing mindset in self publishing.