Mountains, Seas and A Chance to Win SELF-PRINTED 2.0

I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that Self-Printed 2.0 is not yet available.

Trust me, I know this. I’m well aware. And yes, I’m also aware that once upon a time I might have said something about August, and it’s now September. I might have even said something about the beginning of August. Oh how I laugh at Past Catherine and her naive ways! Updating 110,000 words about something that’s changing all the time? Adding another 16,000? Arranging covers and proofreads? Going through the PDF with a fine-tooth comb and then again when you realised you had to change the footer’s margin at fraction of a fraction of an inch, but somehow that still meant that every typed word shifted and moved? Oh, sure. The beginning of August, yeah, no problem.

(That was sarcasm, by the way.)

And that’s not even mentioning That We Do Not Speak Of, i.e. formatting. (Oops.) I should’ve just said it’d make a good Christmas present.

Okay, things aren’t that bad. Here’s what the schedule is looking like right now, all going to plan:

  • E-book editions in all major formats available directly and exclusively from me at a discounted price from this very site, circa this Friday (with a bonus for you paperback fans!)
  • Paperback available from CreateSpace by next Monday
  • Paperback and e-books on general release (read: Amazon) by September 23rd.

And, in an attempt to purge your memory of this shameful delay, FREE STUFF! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win a paperback copy of Self-Printed 2.0, hot off the P.O.D presses. Three runners up will also receive FREE e-book editions, if they want them. Open to all places on Earth. One entry per e-mail/WP account. Closing date: Friday 14th September 2012.

L-R: Vanessa O’Loughlin, moi, Adrian White, Arlene Hunt. Credit: Emily Green/ We all look so forlorn, I can only imagine this is the bit where we were discussing e-book formatting…

Part of the reason why the book isn’t finished yet is that I’m sooooooooooooooooo busy at the moment. Busier than I’ve ever been. (Which, let me just say no, is not boding well for an early November release of Travelled…) I spent Saturday in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, at the Mountains to Sea Festival, speaking at an independent publishing seminar, sitting in the sun drinking flat whites from Insomnia (my new obsession) with writerly types and sporting the GREATEST EVER ADDITION to my wardrobe, a Mountains to Sea-branded lanyard that says “Artist”. Yep. Little me, allowed to wear an “Artist” lanyard. I practically ran away from the tent before they realised their mistake…

I shall be wearing this around the house from now on.

And yes, two hours talking self-publishing and three or four hours coffee-drinking and talking writing counts as busy, okay?

As for the ongoing Sock Puppet Show, I am writing a post. But since that probably won’t be finished until July of next year when “Puppetgate” is but a distant memory, the gist of it is this: (a) if you are stupid enough to do something like create an online persona just to bestow shiny stars on your own work in sets of five and trash the works of others, I am in doubt about your ability to write a book I’ll like, (b) just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it’s right or just and (c) I think people think Amazon reviews are more important to book-selling than they actually are. They’re pretty important for self-publishers, yes, but it wasn’t a self-publisher who was caught most recently with his hand up an old sock with a wool mustache and two mis-matched buttons sewn onto it. And Amazon could fix this with the tinest of changes. Right now, anyone who has ever bought anything can write a review. For anything. So I go on there and buy a desk lamp, and now I can write a review of any product at all I like for the rest of time. But if you could only write reviews for products in your purchase history, bye-bye to all this crap. Yes, people could still trash books they hadn’t read, but at least they’d have to go to the trouble of buying them first. I’m sure Amazon could find a way to override it when need be (like with Amazon Vine reviewers who are given books to review) and I’m sure there’d be people who buy and return just to take down their competitors, but just like the plastic bag levy here in Ireland, I’m pretty sure it’d almost obliterate the problem, and that’d be good enough for me.

More in the (eventual) post. I’m off to work on that and the other 653 things on my To Do list.

Leave your comment below if you’d like to be in with a chance to win a copy of Self-Printed.

Posted in: Uncategorized

53 thoughts on “Mountains, Seas and A Chance to Win SELF-PRINTED 2.0

  1. Sheena Lambert says:

    Catherine, you were really entertaining and informative yesterday – it was a great seminar. I am a little disappointed that I can see my roots need doing badly in that photo though…… Thanks again for all the great advice, Sheena x

  2. Kirk Hanley says:


    I appreciate your knowledge, your humor (American spelling), and above all your honesty. Also, I love to win free stuff! Free or not, can’t wait for the new Self-Printed 2.0.

    Consider yourself commented!


  3. Jessica Burde says:

    LOL! I just started telling folks I’m hoping to have my first book out in January. Crossing my fingers the whole time against delays and the Demon Murphy.

    And I’d love to get a copy of Self Published 2.0 – The more I learn the less I’ll screw up!

  4. Cameron Lawton (@CameronLawton) says:

    Interesting and amusing as ever. I was furious with Amazon when I couldn’t reply to comments on my OWN book because I hadn’t bought anything from them in that name. Even the fact that my name is on the book’s cover doesn’t count apparently!

  5. bridgetwhelan says:

    I’m posting a comment because I have a natural affinity with free stuff (but not, alas, with winning raffles so I’m not holding my breath) and I would promise to use a copy of self publishing for the good of all (well, slight exaggeration but I bet I would use it in my creative writing classes from Brighton to London & back again)

  6. Deb says:

    Cameron, unless someone threatened you with physical harm, please don’t reply to the review. There is nothing that turns off the entire community of *real* reviewers on Amazon when an author jumps in with a reply. If the review is crazy enough that you wanted to reply, it’s probably crazy enough that everyone reading it knows to disregard it.

    I couldn’t have reviewed half of the things I did at Amazon if they made it something that was dependent on purchases. That would make reviews something only those with a lot of spending money could fully participate in.

    • Kevin Berry says:

      Catherine, well done for finding time to write a blog at such a crazy, busy time. I know how you feel. I’m behind on my writing and edits because of commitments to do reviews and a hundred other things.

      I haven’t read Self-Printed 1.0, but I’m interested. Is Self-Printed 2.0 a revision, or a follow-up book? What I mean is, would I need to buy both, or will Self-Printed 2.0 cover everything?

      You are so right about the Amazon review cases. But there should also be permission for reviewers who aren’t on the Vine to write reviews of books they are sent. Perhaps Amazon need some kind of vetting of reviewers to sort out the real ones from the fake.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      But the thing is that Amazon customer reviews are only for Amazon customers, to help them decide what to buy (or not). It shouldn’t be something that anyone aspires to participate in. There’s plenty of outlets for that, Goodreads being the best example. If you think of Amazon reviews for other products, a lawn mower perhaps, it makes sense that only the people who have bought and used the mower should be encouraged to review it, to let other people know what it’s like. I think the same should apply to books on Amazon too. I think we’ve lost track of why Amazon allows product reviews in the first place.

      • manfredwinnerholt says:

        I completely agree with Deb. I often times read reviews before buying a book and there’s something I find really off-putting about seeing an author reply to every review with his/her gratitude to the reviewer. It just seems somewhat “common” and even desperate.
        Finally Catherine – someone who has a somewhat decent opinion of Amazon reviews. While I think it may be unwise for Amazon to introduce a system in which only people who purchased the products may review them, there is something to be said about needing a way of determining the legitimacy of reviews. Amazon must have agreed with me when they implemented Amazon Verified Purchase which, since I discovered it, I always look for when reading reviews. It’s a great first step but more needs to be done to inform buyers. Amazon will never disallow non-verified purchase reviews – it would be a bad business decision. Maybe all Amazon reviews that are eligible to be an AVP should be automatically updated as opposed to the current opt-in strategy. Of course this is all just conjecture. Happy writing!

  7. joycescrimesheet says:

    I agree with you about Amazon reviews but at least it’s not like Goodreads, where anybody can give you a one or two star review after perhaps never even have read the book and then never tell you why.

    I’m dismayed with both places and sadly, they are both important. I guess my biggest problem is that the reviewer can question your qualifications as a writer and that is taken into account when people consider purchasing but no questioning whatsoever goes into the qualifications of the reviewer. I’m just sayin’

  8. michaelmardel says:

    An e-book of Self-printed 2 would be a great asset. I loved Mousetrapped – just finished it on Kindle. You are always so busy and have such great tips for writers, like the EIN. I rarely leave reviews after reading Kindle stories as it’s too hard to back track. I guess I’m hung up on hard copies.

  9. Lissa Shuck says:

    Humor me again thou artist ….that was not sarcasm. I am begging for a copy. Love the writing style giggled my way through BACKPACKING. Haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a month..

  10. Monica Lee says:

    I hope you address, either here or in your book, how you know with any certainty the dates your book will be available. I have found it’s a bit of a crapshoot; CreateSpace, for example, says “5 to 7 days” and then it shows up in 36 hours (better to overdeliver than overpromise I guess) but I struggled a bit with a “launch date” under this system. I’m interested in your book no matter what but a free one sounds delightful!

  11. JF Brown says:

    Ooh, ooh. Choose me, Miss Howard, choose MEEEE! (Arm waving wildly in air like a third-grader who knows the answer to the teacher’s question.)

    Seriously, Catherine, I’ve been waiting to order the v.2.0 book and anticipating its release to the world. Looks like I’ll have to wait a bit more. But that’s OK, I’m sure it will be worth the unexpected delay.

    I’ve already purchased the Kindle editions of the Mousetrapped/Backpacked Twofer and The Best of Catherine, Caffeinated, and I’ll be getting Self-Printed 2.0 whether I win or not.

    But still, choose MEEE! (FWIW, I’d prefer the Kindle edition over POD, since I would get it faster and, besides, I live in LA and shipping a POD over the Pond to California would be both costly and slow.)

    Hope all goes well — and fast — with your final edits and formatting.

    Best regards,

    James F. Brown

  12. Frankie Valente says:

    I am delighted you have managed to squeeze in time to update the book. I have told lots of my fellow writers about it and I know at least four of them have bought it for kindle and one bought the paperback. And when I start tutoring a novel writing course in November it will be on the reading list for my students.

    When the next novel out?

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Thanks so much Frankie! Much appreciated. I’m working on a novel (still…) that I intend to submit (still chasing traditional publication!) and have a new self-published book of travel tales scheduled (take that word in the lightest sense) for November/December of this year.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      If I did a lite version it would have to be called something like “Self-Printed: The Not Very Comprehensive Guide to Self-Publishing.” 126,000 words is what it takes — and that’s with me leaving stuff out!

  13. Carolyn Brooke says:

    Well I’m not very good at waving my arm in the air and trying to attract attention, but all I can say is I love your work, (and I mean that, I am NOT being sycophantic!), enjoy your blogs and newslettery things, and think you are an all round nice girl. Plus you are Irish to boot, and Dublin is my daughter’s favourite place of all time, so that gets you a big gold star in my book (which won’t be out for AGES – I am only up to 8k words!!).

    Lots of hugs from Carolyn with the lovely earrings (not that you are going to remember that 18 months down the line!)

      • Carolyn Brooke says:

        OMG! Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to write in teenage textspeak there! But thank you for remembering me, that means a lot. Yep, Mousemeets – the most fun you can have in a weekend when you are not at a Disney park, in my humble opinion! We talked about Mousetrapped, and how we have very similar personalities – e.g. Christmas Eve being our favourite day of the year, how we both launch into an adventure without really thinking about the reality of it, etc etc! Anyway, thank you for remembering me and keep up the good work, you’re ace!

  14. Russell Phillips says:

    There have been reports of Amazon removing reviews, which may indicate that they’re removing some examples of sock-puppetry, but I’m not sure how accurate the reports are. The trouble is, people complain loudly that Amazon removed reviews of their book, without any actual evidence that the review was removed by Amazon, and not by the review’s author.

    Personally, I used to write reviews, but I’ve stopped, largely because although I tried to give objective reviews, I didn’t want people thinking that I was unfairly slating my competitors.

  15. Sal says:

    I’ve loved Mousetrapped, Backpacked, Results Not Typical, More Mousetrapped and the first version of Self-Printed! I can’t imagine what extra bits and pieces you’ve added (it was already sooo useful!) but thank you for creating such a comprehensive and valuable resource for those of us going the self-printing route. 🙂

  16. Misha herwin says:

    Totally agree about all this reviewing business. Review what you have bought and leave it at that. I no longer trust book reviews on Amazon as everyone, but everyone seems to have 5 * reviews. In the real world none of us are perfect, not are our books. It would be good to have honest assessments, then when you find a 4 or 5 * review you know you are in for something special.

  17. PaulFitzSimons says:

    A informative and frank (as always) seminar on Saturday Catherine, well done. Great that you’re busy (and hopefully all this time-spent is translating into foldin’-money). Waiting with bated breath for SP2.0. Writing, seminar-ing, coffee-ing and being Henry VIII’s fifth wife – where do you find the time.

  18. michaelrwilson says:

    I particularly remember the ‘formatting zombie eyes’ burning from staring at the screen for days on end. And I promised myself that this time…this time will be different. I will be more organized for Book Two…leave myself PLENTY of time so I won’t have to scramble so…Yeah…Right…

  19. Julee says:

    I think it’s great that you decided to update Self-Printed. The world of self-publishing is changing all the time and it’s good to be informed of the new stuff. 🙂

  20. Cube Queen says:

    I read both Moustrapped and BackPacked! LOVED them! I’m dying to read SelfPrinted 2.0! I’ve self published (printed) three books and its opened up a whole world for me!

  21. Debra Eve says:

    Catherine, I’d scheduled to publish my second book in August and now it’s looking like Halloween (I love the idea of a Halloween book launch, but we’ll see). Self-Printed inspired and helped me to publish my first book, however, and I would love to win the updated edition. I hope I don’t ruin my chances by saying I’ll buy it anyway 🙂

  22. avwalters says:

    Haven’t we all fallen victim to the deadline that seems to be glued to the horizon, pulling farther away just as we feel the damn thing is within our grasp? I can say this with complete conviction because today the proof copy of “The Gift of Guylaine Claire” (which suffered its own issues in formatting) should arrive. That’ll mean an Amazon listing by the end of the week. Finally I can relax and really get into the next one.

    And hey, why are you picking on sock puppets?

  23. Z D Sleipnir says:

    One night this summer, very late, I turned on the radio, something that I never do. What an inspired action it proved to be! That radio moment was a broadcast interview of you, Catherine, talking about self-publishing. Amazing timing! Immediately I Googled you, found this outstanding blog, and I have been following you since. I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Self-Printed 2.0, and I can’t wait to get it, and study it, and learn from it.

    I am a professional, and internationally published writer, for over 20 years, under my real name, but I am only now working on a number of books, including fiction under this pseudonym. These are ones I have always wanted to do, but, in what is an apparently closed-shop subject field, thought impossible until I discovered the world of self-publishing. My only printed book, to date, is a college textbook, which was released by a UK publishing house.

    Some day I will have enough money, and courage, to attend writer’s conferences. Until then I will continue working on my own, learning what I can from internet sources, blogs, and important books such as Self-Printed 2.0.

  24. missycahill says:

    Gah! I just bought Self Printed the book, Amazon told me it won’t be here until Oct 18th 😦 Don’t know how I’ll survive! Maybe an ebook of 2.0 might do the job! {Wink wink nudge nudge}. Either way can’t wait to get my grubby hands on it and read it!

    Really enjoyed the talk on Saturday. It was fantastic and super duper informative.

  25. JR Van says:

    Writers on the moon will be so sad that they can’t win. 😦

    And from what I heard a number of the review mills paid people to buy the book on Amazon so their reviews were verified.

  26. Sharon says:

    Yea! Congratulations! Loved Self-Printed and can’t wait to see what’s in the new version. I have a yoga teacher friend who has this amazing and unique approach to strengthening the back – she has 50 to 70 senior citizens attending her classes, packing the gym to capacity, and this in a tiny Texas town – and it’s all because her unique method makes them feel so good. She’s been toying with the idea of a book, and I’m hoping that the nice shiny new POD copy that I’m going to buy for her the instant that it’s out…will help her as much as the original has helped me. Thank you so much, Catherine.

  27. Paula Casill says:

    Free stuff? How Bright! How SHINY!!!!
    I’m sorry … you were saying something about problems or delays or something … can you repeat that? I kind of lost focus there for a minute.

  28. martinturnbull says:

    Considering what’s in the offering with this post, this is going to sound vomitously suck-up-ery, but S-P 1.0 was my absolute bible during the production of my first novel. I really don’t know where I’d be without it. I am EAGERLY awaiting the release of 2.0 as it coincides with the production of my 2nd novel. See? We’re totally in synch! Surely that counts for something…

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