I just wanted to first of all say Happy Christmas to everyone who has supported me thus far. I am incredibly grateful for all the encouragement I have received and I am looking forward to what 2023 brings.
I would also just like to briefly pause to give encouragement to anyone who is considering publishing their own novel. If you have a story in mind or on paper, but are unsure what to do next, let me reassure you that you can do it!
I, like many, first thought to pursue the traditional route, but disillusioned with the industry, decided to look into self publishing more seriously. I'm not saying I will not try traditional publishing in the future, but at the moment I am happy with my choice.
So, to any newbie authors, my advice is to take your time researching and choose the route you feel most confident with, but don't be afraid to look at freelancers on fiverr. I really wish I had found that site sooner!
Afraid of going it totally alone, I circled around vanity and hybrid publishers but the high cost, varying rewards, and big hit on any future royalties sent alarm bells ringing.
Settling on a compromise, I employed the services of a publishing assistance company, where the book remains 100% mine at all times and fees were laid out plainly in advance. Although I found some elements of the process frustrating, the company was helpful and did deliver, so I do not really regret starting my self publishing journey with them.
However, as The Minority Rule is part of a trilogy, I began thinking about parts 2 and 3 - wondering if I could do more myself, spend less, and remove the frustrations that I previously experienced. I didn't use the publishing companies editing services, instead finding both my copy and proof editors on fiverr. This was such a positive experience, so I possibly could have skipped the assistance company's help, but at the time I still was extremely nervous and felt the package they offered was beneficial.
Now slightly more confident, I decided to look for a typesetter and cover designer - the latter being really important that they understood the brief, linking the trilogy covers together. This actually was one of the leading reasons I wanted to change tactic as the previous designer never really took the reins from me, instead replicating a version of what I said, rather than taking my rough idea and making it shine.
I messaged someone on fiverr whose work I liked and had good reviews but they didn't seem quite right, so I kept looking - and hit the jackpot! She - Richell - saw my original cover and immediately saw how to improve it and, in one attempt, finally gave me the 'wow' feeling I was missing when I look at my cover. Richell has just prepared book 2, 'Beyond the Fence', which I hope to publish in January 2023, and is now starting book 3 (including typesetting) - all at a fraction of the price I paid for the first book.
Some people might have the time, patience, and expertise to complete any or all of these elements themselves. Great if you do, but I don't. So, if you're like me and are very new to authorship, but eager to get yourself out there in a professional, but enjoyable fashion without absolutely emptying your bank account, research fiverr! Take your time, chat with people, read their reviews, but find someone who understands your genre and take pride in the achievement of having finished a book!
Whether I 'make it' as an author remains to be seen. Marketing is another learning curve, but I'm proud of my books, loved writing them, have every intention to keep writing.
I have been humbled by feedback so far and whether you are an author, reader, or both, I hope you will continue following me on my exciting journey.
I also hope this helps someone else see their book in print, whilst also saving money and stress. If that is you - Good luck!
To all reading this, I wish you a merry Christmas and blessed New Year.
PS. If you need a break from mince pies and turkey and want to curl up with a book, my debut novel, The Minority Rule, is free on Kindle Unlimited - or can be purchased in ebook or in paperback worldwide!