self-publishing tips by a dj turned comms pro

In the olden days you had to type a manuscript and send it round. Not any longer. You can self-publish. But how hard is it? Pretty straight forward as this comms professional shows.

by Andy Holmes

Let’s talk well-trodden paths.

Actor turned singer?

Player turned manager?

How about journalist turned PR turned author?

If I’m the only one, I’m a Dutchman, but perhaps my story will inspire those who have always wanted to write a book?

I was 28, I’d moved to Cornwall and it was raining.

Two weeks later the first draft of what became ‘Always the DJ’ was done.

The story of my previous life spinning platters that matter.

How much is fact? How much fiction?

You’ll have to buy it to work it out! 

Months of polishing followed, then rejection letters from agents who get hundreds of manuscripts.

Your chances of getting noticed are slim.

Then a friend persuaded me that a book stuffed in a draw will never be read, but a self-published one might be.

I went down the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing route, other platforms are available, but although I lose some royalties, it’s a trusted brand.

For an e-book you fill in a few forms and upload the book as if it’s an attachment, remembering to add the all important front cover.

Of course there’s a catch and that’s publicity.

An agent will sort that for you, with self-publishing you’re on your own.

I was glad I’d gone down that well-trodden path, using my journalist contacts and PR skills to badger as many people as I could to get interest. 

I got in most local papers, on the local radio station, and trade magazines as well as chairing a self-publishing seminar at UK Games Expo.

Eighteen months later a follow up, ‘Everything But the DJ’ emerged and I discovered Createspace to offer the choice of a paperback copy.

How many have I sold?

Not enough to give up the day job, but it’s been a great experience and one I’d recommend.

All it takes is one lucky break, 50 Shades of Gray was self-published.

There’s so much more I could say, so if you have any more questions I’m @andyholmesmedia On Twitter.

And knowing how much Comms2Point0 likes links, here’s two for the books J

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Always-DJ-A-Holmes/dp/1494989352

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-But-DJ-Andy-Holmes/dp/1496043294

Andy Holmes is Communications and Projects Officer Responsible for Video and Social Media Content at Buckinghamshire County Council.

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Picture credit.