The Book that Started All This

I promised last week that I’d tell you about the book that revived my writing fu and actually got me so excited I set up the blog in the first place.  It’s called (drumroll, please!):

Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing, by Catherine Ryan Howard. (You might also look at her blog, linked in my blog roll.)

What’s so spectacular about it? Well, first of all, Catherine shares exactly what she did to get an impressive number of sales from PoD paperbacks and more important, from ebooks. She’s using Amazon, CreateSpace and Smashwords, and teaches her readers how to use all of them with max professionality.

And she teaches authors how to use a blog and Facebook and Twitter to make friends online. Who may or may not shell out money for the books, but who will help to tell people about your books. It’s a form of social marketing without pushing your books into people’s faces. And that’s why I’m sharing this with you. (Full Disclosure, right?)

I read this book on my Kindle, and got really, really excited. You see, I have this series of fantasy novels that my agent couldn’t sell. Fantasy wasn’t really their main genre, and we eventually dissolved the contract in mutual agreement. And now my first novel in the series is basically unsubmittable to all big German publishers who do fantasy. I know my novel series is nothing spectacular, and certainly not the next Harry Potter. And I know that even if all my friends like and enjoy it, it still needs work. I already know an editor I want to hire. I may have an idea or two how to get the cover, and who to ask for creating one. Yet I believe my tales are entertaining and a nice read and might be worth investing a few bucks in. That’s all I need.

Thanks to Catherine, I now also have much more than a mere belief to work with: A guide on how to go about selling the series. And by someone who has done it successfully. Will her advice make me rich? Most likely not. Famous? Again, most likely not. But if she helps me to sell a couple of thousand copies (and I can do it in two languages, so there!), I’d count myself as successful.

So, if you are thinking about self-publishing, now is the time to go for it. And with Catherine’s guide, you can do it and be professional about it.  So what do you think? Is self-publishing the way to go?

About Hannah Steenbock

Hannah Steenbock is an author, dreamer, and coach. She has published several short stories in English and German, as well as one novel in German. In 2013 she started self-publishing her work. In 2014, she has won two awards for her short story "Sequoia".
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2 Responses to The Book that Started All This

  1. With the way things are moving with the internet and all the news stories I keep hearing about the death of bookstores, “paper” books and the such, self publishing really may just be the answer for authors. Even if it’s self-published as a paperback, it still fits in with the new “do-it-yourself” kind of internet thing.

    Very exciting! Looking forward to your progress!

  2. Marissa, yes, I think it’s very exciting. Self publishing opens a lot of doors. On the other hand, it’s a challenge for any author to take on what publishers generally do: editing, proofreading, cover creating and marketing. I can understand why an author doesn’t want to tackle this and just keep writing. But at least for me, and especially for that fantasy series, it’s probably the best way to go.

    If all goes well, I’ll have a novel out fairly soon that’s published traditionally, albeit with small press. So I’m not against publishers at all. I just like options.

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