by Jane Buckley
“Hindsight is gained through experience….” Ellen Hopkins
How right you are Ellen! I never in my life imagined that in my mid-fifties, I would become a Self-Publishing Author (SPA) - never in a million years! Yet here I am, and what a journey it's been!
From the early days of working at 16, I'd trained as a secretary. My career evolved through PA Consulting Group to American Express and finally, the Bank of Ireland, in London where I led a National Sales Team.
Sales are in my blood. I've been to so many sales training courses I can't remember, and as such, I'm working tremendously hard at promoting and marketing the Stones Corner Tetralogy (Turmoil, Darkness, Hope and Light). What started as a book has unfolded as four - no pressure J
So here are my experiences and learnings as a SPA, so here goes:
- Always try to employ a professional editor, copywriter, proofreader and cover designer. If you don’t, your book will likely fail and badly.
- Don't cut corners. As SPA's, we must work much harder than traditionally published authors, so inevitably, plan your budget and spend well but pay and insist on quality.
- Manage your time; don't let writing take over your life. "Kettle black!" I hear myself saying! This is an interesting point and one I've failed to do time and time again. Writing, but especially marketing and promoting has taken over my life. I can't help it; I love it! I cannot nor will I, ever take my sales hat off, although I must try soon before my husband divorces me. Weekends are too much I’m told L
- Research and read. There is so much online information available on self-publishing tips for marketing, sales, and promotion. Find it and read it.
- Reviews. The artery to any book's success! You must entice, bribe (joke!), even plead to your readers to leave reviews and spread the word about your work—a must.
- Use your network of family, friends, and acquaintances. It's all about who you know and who they know and so on! Leverage it without upsetting anyone(I've done that!)
- Acknowledgeall your reviews - good or bad. I had a bad review of my own making but reached out to the reader, accepted the error, and apologised, and now we're friends. So much so, she's reviewing Darkness!
- No room for errors: Separate to your book, make sure any correspondence, no matter how trivial, is double-checked for boo-boos and is always clear and concise to read.
- Listen. Anything I write in Microsoft Word; I review it by using ‘Read Aloud.’ I have slight dyslexia so this helps me double check everything as I can’t always see clearly what’s on the page.
- Thank you.Always say thank you to anyone for their support.
(That's the Mammy in me!).
The above isn't rocket science but I believe essential from my own experiences. I'm still in awe of the reviews I'm receiving for Turmoil, and having been through the process of getting it into the marketplace and selling it, I hope with hindsight, Darkness will take a slightly easier course!
J.B. Ps. Never give up even when you're at your lowest!