Self-publishing can be a daunting prospect. Follow along with me as I discover mistakes and hopefully find some successes!
For over six years I have been working on my novel. I have enjoyed the historical research and spent many hours ensuring that I had the background correct to the best of my ability. I have spent hours in archives and trawling the internet for the most minute details to fill in the background of my characters. But the Covid-19 lockdown finally gave me the kick I needed to complete my work. Now the scary part begins!
What had started as a hobby is now becoming a reality. Do I take the daunting step of releasing and sharing this work with the public? Perhaps I am lacking in confidence. For so long I have wanted to get this story out of my head and ‘out there’. I have decided to self-publish, as I don’t think I could cope with the rejection of agents and publishers. My work is a bit ‘niche’ as well, and may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m ok with that, but a traditional publisher probably would not want to take the risk.
I had a good chance to see the workings of the real publishing world through the challenges experienced by an author friend of mine – Anne Doughty. She struggled to get mainstream publishers interested in her Northern Ireland based historical fiction. When she did, it was small publishers. She had untold hours of rewrites, edits and nonstop toil to alter her work to the specifications of her editor. And all for a rather paltry recompense (I remember once she got an advance of £200 after months of grafting). For me, the process of writing was difficult enough. I’m getting older and I don’t have the time to go through the traditional publishing grief.
But quality control is important. I’ve enlisted my own ‘Beta-Readers’ and have taken note of what needs to be reworked and fine tuned. It seems like I have been editing nonstop – and I still manage to find mistakes! And now, I think it is ready. I am feeling very nervous about putting this out – but I do hope people like it as I have at least 4 sequels ready to go swirling inside my brain. I will update this regularly and hopefully all who are interested can learn alongside me – mishaps and (hopefully) successes included!