Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Self-Publishing: The Truth Behind The Gloss

I wrote a children's book.  You can buy it here.

I just typed "self-publishing success stories" into Google.  There were over four and a half million results.

Every now and then, we hear about a writer who was rejected time and again by traditional publishers, only to self-publish and become a phenomenal success.  Even bad writers have made squillions out of self-publishing (I'm mentioning no names here, but we all know who I mean, right?  Right.).

The saying goes that everyone has a book in them.  Hopefully not literally, as that sounds frankly uncomfortable...  But if we're all aspiring writers, then how can we hope to be that one, shining example of someone who's made a fortune out of self-publishing, when we're merely one author in a sea of billions?

My new ebook received its first star-rating on Amazon, very recently.  It got five out of five.  I was so thrilled, I did a victory dance.  It was every bit as epic as you imagine it to be.

The dream is to be doing well enough with my writing that I can give up the day job and spend days, tapping away at my keyboard until the tips of my fingers are worn.  That might sound hellish to some, but to me, it sounds divine.

The truth of the situation is that my sales figures aren't going to have Michael Morpurgo crying into his coffee any time soon.  Even with three traditionally-published children's books under my belt, I'm an unknown.  I'm dipping my toes into self-publishing, completely aware that the next big success story may never be me.  

But that's not going to stop me from trying.  The sheer number of book-reviewers I've had tell me they "don't do self-published books" today isn't going to stop me trying.  The number of media outlets I've contacted, begging for an interview or a short promotional piece, who've completely and utterly ignored me, isn't going to stop me trying.

That's the thing about doing it yourself.  The clue is in the word "yourself."

Once I receive a print-on-demand copy of my book, I'll see if any local schools want me to do a reading, or even a writing workshop.  I'll keep badgering reviewers, to see if anyone wants a PDF of my book, so they can read and review it.  I'll keep shamelessly self-promoting Seven Days With The Cherry Tree Gang over on Twitter and Facebook.

But most importantly of all, I'll keep writing.  Because the more titles you have, the more of a recognised author you become.  The more ebooks are up on Amazon, the more likelihood you have of earning royalties from sales.

My book hasn't surged into the bestsellers lists.  It hasn't already sold thousands of copies.  It's not made me a household name.  But it's out there, because I put it there and I'll put more out there until there's literally just tiny stubs where my fingers used to be.  Then I'll dictate books to some poor soul, so I can still put more stuff out there.

I'm a dreamer of improbable dreams, sure.  But sometimes, dreams come true.


  1. Good for you, Em. Go get 'em! Where can such a book be found/bought?

  2. oops, Em, I just found it on Amazon. You have a really nice page there!


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