Announcing… SELF-PRINTED!

30 Mar

So what was up until now Super Top Secret Self-Publishing Project No.1 is:

Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing

It has a tentative release date of May 14th and will be available in both paperback and e-book, priced $15.95 and $2.99 respectively. You can have a look at the (very long!) table of contents here, if you are so inclined.

Not the actual cover, but a mock-up is all I have for today.

This is what happened:

A few weeks ago I thought it might be a good idea to take the self-printing category posts on this site and put them together into a handy e-book that I’d price at 99c. I knew that if I was about to self-publish, I’d want something that was in chronological order (i.e. told me what I needed to know in the order that I needed to know it) and could be printed out or at least referred to whenever I needed it. Hence, a little e-book. Putting in some new content and the pain of formatting it would justify, I felt, the price tag. But then I sat down to start compiling the posts, and found that really, on their own they just weren’t going to do the job. So I started from scratch, and over 100,000 words (!) later only about 5% of the book has ever appeared on this blog. I basically emptied my brain of everything I knew about self-publishing like I did, and got it down on the page.

And that’s how this How To book is different: it’s just about what I did, i.e. publish a paperback with CreateSpace and e-books with Smashwords and Amazon KDP and then use social media to promote and sell it. I think some self-publishing guides are so comprehensive that they confuse people; this is the easiest, cheapest way (in terms of investment) to self-publish your book, so it’s what I think you should do.

It’s also not about getting rich or selling millions of books, although it would be nice if that happened. It’s about what can be realistically achieved if you work hard, which is that you can start earning money as a writer, build a readership, establish an author platform and, maybe, if traditional publishing is what you’re ultimately after, improve your chances of that happening.

And there’s one thing it is absolutely NOT about: bashing traditional publishing. I’ve told you before about some of the books I had the misfortune of reading; one of them asked why, if publishers weren’t in trouble, why did they ask for unsolicited submissions to include return postage? (!!!!!??????!!!!!!) In this book there’s no sticking it to the man, talk of Big, Bad Publishing, agent-shaped voodoo dolls or acting like self-publishers do it better. Spare me. We can all peacefully co-exist. No, really. We can.

Finally, it’s written in the same way all of my self-printing posts are, so you can expect some mild amusement, talking purple unicorns and things that look like piles of poo. (Those are covers made by CreateSpace’s Cover Creator, if you were wondering.) So even if you don’t like anything I have to say, ignore all of my advice and disagree with me at least every other page, at least you’ll be moderately entertained for the few hours it takes you to read it.

Interested in road testing/reviewing a copy? I’m looking for some readers who can give me some feedback on it once I have copies in a few weeks’ time. Ideally these readers would be:

  • regular readers of this blog and so my “self-printing” blog posts
  • considering, about to or in the middle of self-publishing (by any method)
  • prepared to answer a questionnaire about the book by e-mail after they’ve read it. (You don’t have to write a review.)

If you are interested, please contact me through the Contact page. In a few sentences explain why you think you’d be a good person to road test the book. Your geographical location is irrelevant; this is open to all. If more people are interested than there are copies available, it’ll be a names in a hat scenario. Please note that you will only hear from me if you are getting a copy; please don’t think I’m rude for not responding otherwise, it’s just that I’m already waaaaay behind with e-mail as it is.

So that is my (no longer) Super Top Secret Self-Publishing Project No.1, which is about self-publishing. Tomorrow I’ll be telling you about the other one, which is a) another travel memoir and b) effectively the sequel to Mousetrapped. Who can guess what it’s called?
Don’t forget you can be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Mousetrapped‘s new paperback edition just by leaving a comment on Monday’s post.

12 Responses to “Announcing… SELF-PRINTED!”

  1. Rebecca Brown March 30, 2011 at 10:49 #

    Brilliant, I’ve been hoping you would do this since I discovered Mousetrapped last year. Fabulous.

    • catherineryanhoward March 30, 2011 at 11:20 #

      Aw, thank you!

      Let’s just hope you’re as excited AFTER you read it…! ;-)

  2. Graham Strong March 30, 2011 at 13:02 #

    Congrats Catherine!

    Just found your site the other day via Twitter, and I’m glad I did. Love to be able to road test your book, but I’m still slogging through Draft #2 right now, so won’t be even thinking about publishers (or self-publishing, if that’s the way I go) for quite a few months yet. But I know where I’ll be headed when I am.

    Congrats again — I hope it’s a huge success for you!

    ~Graham

    • catherineryanhoward March 30, 2011 at 13:25 #

      Thanks Graham – and how sensible of you! :-)

      Good luck with your book!

  3. Lindsay Edmunds March 30, 2011 at 13:32 #

    What a good idea!

  4. Tahir March 30, 2011 at 19:20 #

    I love the “self-printing” term – I think you are the first to think of it-wish I had! Having been through the whole process from cradle to not-in-the-bookstore-but-you-can-buy-it-anywhere-honest I would like to review your book and would even consider buying it (I’ve been buying self-printing books, as you would say, since the 80s…yeah ok, you’re a lot younger than me). Hey, we could all making a living selling books to ourselves! I’ll leave you a message in “contact” with the pitch.

  5. Tahir March 30, 2011 at 22:23 #

    Seriously, I think you have the right to claim your territory and put a little “TM” on “self-printing” – has anyone seen this used? Anyway, I made the previous comment before reading the table of contents for your new book and I must say it is very compelling. I don’t need to tell you it’s very hard to fill 300 pages with useful information on every page (and I haven’t even read the book). You’re right, there is a gap in the market for this and it’s very timely: most people really don’t want to know what the heck pdf/X1a:2001 means or what a bleed is when it’s at home!

  6. Jenn March 31, 2011 at 02:32 #

    If you need a US reader I’d love to take a look at it and would be happy to also leave review on Amazon after reading it. I actually found your blog several months ago as I was trying to figure out the whole self-publishing thing and found the information here incredibly helpful.

    • catherineryanhoward March 31, 2011 at 23:03 #

      Thanks Jenn – can you e-mail me through the Contact page (above) if you haven’t already? Just so I have your contact details along with everyone else’s. I’ll be in touch then re: whose name came out of the hat (as there’s more volunteers than books).

      Thanks
      Catherine

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