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How To Self-Publish Your Book

A lot of people ask me how to self-publish but as an author who has gone the traditional route, I’ve never felt qualified to answer, so I talked to seasoned self-publishing author Elaine Spires, who has gone through the process fifteen times and has no plans to do it any other way.

That’s right - not only has Elaine written eleven novels, two novellas, and two books of short-stories (a huge feat in itself), she's learnt how to utilise and leverage the world’s biggest online retailer to publish and sell them.

So for this week’s blog, who better than Elaine to share her advice on self-publishing? Check out her guest post below.

The Joy Of Self-Publishing

Never has publishing a book been easier.

For many years self-publishing was looked upon as the poor-relation. There were vanity publishers, who would produce your book for a considerable sum of money but offered no promotion or publicity so books sank into oblivion.

Then, in the 2000s, thanks to technology, along came ebooks. Almost overnight anyone could get their books out there and authors like E L James (the poster girl for self-publishing) became multi-million sellers.

Publishing changed forever. and today, the latest figures from Kindle show sixteen of their top hundred are self-published books.

Self-publishing is also lucrative. KDP pay 70% per ebook priced over $2.99, which is far more than any publisher would offer. I’ve self-published eleven novels, two novellas and two books of short-stories and I wouldn’t want to work any other way.

I am my own agent, editor, and publisher which is a huge benefit. It means I have control over every aspect of my book. There’s no pressure to take the storyline in a direction I don’t want or to cut characters or scenes. The book I’m writing, the story I’m telling is completely mine.

Now, just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.

It's sometimes worth investing in a development editor (you don’t have to take all their advice on board) and certainly hire proof-reader. Typos are nasty little devils that manage to evade the sharpest of eyes. But if you do find any, it’s easy to download your book, make the correction, and upload it again - another benefit of self-publishing!

I would also stress that your grammar needs to be sound. If you’re unsure - ask! As a reader, I bristle at grammatical errors. This is your work; it represents YOU, so be proud of it and publish the best version possible.

Once you’re happy your book is ready to be released, KDP or Ingram Spark will do all the work for you. I personally like to get the formatting done before uploading and I use Paul Salvette whose work is fast, accurate, and affordable.

Uploading is an easy process, and you choose the colour and size of paper - white and 9x6 is my choice. ISBN numbers can be provided and so can a gloss or matt cover, although it’s easy to find an excellent cover designer.

Marketing is the hardest part for me, I won’t lie. Sometimes, I wish I had a publishing house behind me but then I see well-known, traditionally-published authors who tirelessly push their books on social media themselves so it's something every author, regardless of route to publication, needs to do.

Learn more about Elaine Spires here.



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I'm Karen, a best-selling novelist who left her corporate life to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Since then, I've written everything from travel articles to web copy before winning a novel writing competition which led to a 3-book deal. 


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