Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot: Self-Publishing


That is the best way to start a guest post, right? Or maybe,

Hello, my name is Jack. I'm an author who is training to be a mad scientist and I would like to thank Lauren for letting me guest post on her wonderful blog.

Thank you, Lauren!

Lauren has asked me to do a post on self-publishing, Which I feel very honored to do.

When I first set out to publish I determined never to self-publish (this is why I now shout, “I WILL NEVER USE WALLACE'S SWORD IN A FIGHT!”) Things changed over the years I wrote and after a lot of research I began to realize self-publishing was the way I wished to go. But there is a lot about self-publishing people don't really understand yet – and a lot of it I got a crash course lesson in the closer I came to publishing.

Self-publishing is no longer just for the authors whose books aren't good enough for a publisher or for those who are just writing a family history. A lot of people are going with self, and are doing well at it. (Not that there is anything wrong with finding an agent and a publisher. That is what an author should first decide – because now you have the freedom too. Which publishing option would best suit you?)

Whichever you choose you must keep in mind that marketing is mostly in your hands now. Before you even finish your book you should have people interested in it. One of the best ways to do this is to set up a blog or website. Writing blog posts gives people a chance to get to know you and your work. But you must keep up on this. And you must read other blogs and comment. (Lots of work, but worth it.)

Keep things on your site professional, while still being yourself. I've been told this is a tricky feat, but so long as you look at writing as a serious - albeit it very fun - endeavor you should be able to succeed. Meet other authors as well. Twitter is a good place for this. And don't just follow and talk to other authors just starting out, meet those who are well known. I follow a few on twitter and have gotten a lot of help from them.

Keep up on the internet world. What is going on there? Is Facebook still popular enough that a page there would help you, or just get in your way? What big writers have blogs? (And be sure to find blogs which are kept by your target audience.)

Some things I also found one needs while self-publishing is an editor - find one. Hunt high and low and in the jungle but find one. And someone to help with the cover. Or, if you plan to do the cover on your own, set aside at least a month for it. (Trust me, even a month might not be enough time.) Also, for the cover, look up books in your genre. See what is popular and study their covers. If you are a reader you know, books are judged on covers and yours will need to look professional.

And remember, self-publishing is hard work. But if you stick at it it is worth it. Still, you might want to hire a support group and some cheerleaders to lift your spirits on bad days. And have chocolate always on hand.

I am still slightly new in the publishing world, but I would be glad to give hints, advice, or warn you about the next step if you need. (Also, I've a chocolate supply - I had a cookie supply but my pet hedgehog ate them all.) Feel free to contact me about any questions you might have. My email can be found on my blog, which is probably very handy. I also have a list of authors you can follow and contact - ones who helped me - and can give you a point in the right direction.

Thanks a lot for this guest post, Jack! I appreciate how encouraging you are to other writers, especially those considering self-publishing.

Miss Jack's self-published book, Haphazardly Implausible, is currently available as a paperback on Lulu or on Amazon for Kindle. The best way to help an author is to buy their work, you know!

Okay, everyone. What do you think about Jack's tips on self-publishing? Which path will you (or did you) choose for your book? There's a lot of discussion about this topic in the blogosphere. What's your take on it all?

Would you like to write a guest post for this blog? Click here.


  1. Great advice! I love how you emphasized that you should choose which path is best for you, when it comes to traditional vs. self-publishing, since too often people insist that only one is the One True Way...

    1. Aye, that always bugged me. Some insist you aren't published unless you go with traditional when the truth is both are hard in their own ways and each author must pick the one which fits them. Neither is going to be easy, but writing isn't easy in the first place.

  2. Great to have this advice out there - self-publishing seems an easier route to go. :)

    1. Sometimes it seems it, until you're in the middle of it. Then it throws all kinds of complications out. *SMirk*

  3. Self-publishing has its ups and downs just like traditional publishing does - they just happen to be different ups and downs. If you're trying to "get rich quick," writing is probably not the thing for you, regardless of whether it's self published or not. Otherwise, I think both still work - it just depends on what you want to get out of it and how you want to meet your goals.

    Great guest post!

    Visions of Other Worlds

  4. I love that self-publishing has changed so much over the last little while. It's the absolute perfect choice for so many people!

  5. Oh Jack how very nice to see you on here!!! ALl your advice is spot on! Lots of work to connect with potential readers but so worth it, isn't it?



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