11 January 2014

World Domination or Dribs and Drabs?

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware that I have written a novel. It is called Returning.

I plan to self-publish Returning. Soon. I have pretty much chosen who I will use to facilitate the publishing process, I've obtained quotes and I'm almost ready to sign on the dotted line.

The thing is, there are so many things I could do and include in the package I buy. But should I? How much am I really comfortable spending? These questions are swirling around in my mind and, to be honest, it's kind of stressing me out - when I'm on holidays from work too, which is completely unhelpful!

So, in order to turn chaos into order and pull my wandering thoughts into line, I am currently trying to work out my goals for Returning.

No matter what, as a self-publisher, it's up to me to promote Returning. This does not change no matter how many you beaut distribution channels I have set up, how many e-reader conversion types are done, how much dosh I splash out on printing books. It's my responsibility to sell the book. I plan to set up a webpage, do some social media stuff, maybe even have a book launch. It's all very exciting. But first things first.

If I pay for distribution and e-book conversion, it's over twice the cost of just publishing and printing 50 copies of the book. There's also an annual listing fee for the distribution channel. Whether I make my money on the listing fee alone depends on selling quite a few books. But if I get all the bells and whistles, the books are available worldwide - people could search for Returning through Amazon or another online bookseller and buy it, with no extra expense or effort for me.

But finding Returning without actually searching for it specifically would be a needle-in-a-haystack situation. I don't expect people to stumble on it and buy it. To search for it specifically, people need to know it exists. So it comes back to my promotion of it.  No matter how much I spend on a self-publishing package, I will still be doing the same things to promote it. So, the people most likely to buy Returning will be people I know, either personally or online, people who have heard about it through people I know, or people who stumble on it through an online search engine (another needle-in-a-haystack scenario though). So is it worth paying for Amazon and other listings and print on demand? ...

If I just plain publish it, without paying for print on demand or other distribution channels, my upfront expenditure is reduced, but it is also up to me alone to distribute it. This means taking orders myself and posting books to people who have bought them. So while I pay less upfront in this scenario, it arguably involves more effort on my part, as well as paying for postage to people.

Do I pay a mozza for distribution channels and ebook conversion to "put it out there" so it's more accessible for people to buy, or do I just plain publish it and save my pennies for our building loan?

Those of you who have some experience in this area, do you have any advice? Have I missed anything? Am I over-thinking??


  1. I don't have any experience in self-publishing, but working for a book importer and distributor for a number of international publishers, I can say that even with all the bells and whistles there is still no guarantee of people finding your book so it's maybe best to go small to start with. You can always look at publishing and distributing in different ways down the track.

    For the record, I would be more than happy to read and review and promote on my social media channels as well, I get quite a few re-pins from my Books Worth Reading board on Pinterest too. Do you have an uncorrected proof you'd be happy for me to read? If not I'm happy to buy a copy and review once you've got them.

    Good luck, I'm very excited for you!

    1. Thanks so much for your offer Kylie. I have already had a few people read my pre-final edit versions so I'm ready to get the ball rolling with publishing. Once I've got the published version in my hot little hands, I'll be sure to let you know :-) I would jump for joy if you think it worthy of promoting on your social media channels too! Thanks for your comment :-)

  2. I have NO clue but Leanne over at Deep Fried Fruit has had a few books published, she might have some tips!
    I can't wait to read it - so maybe sure one copy has my name on it!

    1. Thanks Em, you're lovely :-)

  3. I can't help Francesca, I have really no idea. But, I'm really interested to know all the details about your publishing journey. I also want to wish you the best of luck in your project! It's so exciting and I'm really happy for you that you took the plunge! All the best!

  4. Oh how exciting hun. I have no idea about publishing but we are just starting on the journey with my son's book so i will be keen to hear of any tips you pick up. AND I am keen to check out your book as soon as it is published! :) Thanks for linking up lovely xx

    1. Wow, Sonia, how exciting for your son (and you!). Thanks, I hope you enjoy my book when it's finally done!


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