The Gentle Art of Indie Publishing

Spurn Head

Spurn Head

Those of you who follow this blog will know that I’ve been struggling somewhat with getting my book “Close to the Edge – Tales from the Holderness Coast” published and available to my eagerly waiting fans (yes all two of you). I have news for you…it’s much harder than I thought! I’m not the most gifted person when it comes to technology and the good folk at Createspace have tried to help me as much as possible but it has still taken 10 uploads of the text to get it right. Mostly the problem has been with the images, photographs in the main, and the complete mental block I have when it comes to pixels, dots per inch and other esoteric measurements. The cover has changed at least five times and the back cover blurb about three times.

However, it’s done; the mss is having its final review at Createspace; cover completed, distribution channels selected, keywords and pricing are settled; it’s been a steep learning curve. I don’t want to raise hopes (!) but I think it’s going to be August before Close to the Edge sees the light of day.

So now I turn my mind (or what’s left of it) to marketing.I must have read half a dozen books and a zillion articles about “how to do it and what to do” and am left feeling that it’s a full-time job. So how does one market a non-fiction, local history book?

At first I thought only in terms of a local niche market – local residents and tourists. This has now expanded somewhat and my “audience” hit list includes ex-pats in Europe who were once connected with/have an interest in the area; emigrants to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. How do I reach them? The classic answer is through social media and apart from this blog and my Facebook pages I’ve started to explore Pinterest. I think I need to learn how to use Twitter effectively too. I’d be very happy to hear from anyone who has survived their first book marketing project and is willing to share their experiences and tips.

In the next few weeks – if you happen to be out and about in East Yorkshire (and why wouldn’t you be) you may well see some tasteful flyers for the book in indie bookshops, libraries, museums and hopefully in one or two visitor centres. I have yet to discover how to persuade these cash-strapped organisations to actually buy some copies for resale and what sort of a deal can be done between us but I’m working on it.

I’ve also approached some regional and local magazines, newspapers and, when I get to it, local radio stations to see whether they would do a review or give me a few column-inches/air time. So far a deafening silence but I live in hope.

All in all August looks like being pretty hectic but, who knows, it could also be a whole lot of fun.

PS Just got a “Yes happy to review” from the Editor at The Dalesman. Thank you Adrian.

7 thoughts on “The Gentle Art of Indie Publishing

  1. Congratulations and good luck. I suspect the answer to your publicity questions are that you develop a tough hide and keep pushing at all the doors you can think of. On the basis of your nicely written and entertaining blog posts, I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  2. Thank you Cathum. The tough hide is developing but shows up the wrinkles something rotten. I think in truth it’s patience I lack and I think I’m getting worse as I get older. Ah me! Enjoy the projected UK heatwave – over here we’re at 40 degrees – a mite too high for me.

  3. Sounds as if your progressing.. . Is that the right word?

    This bit about ‘getting yourself out there’ is a real pain in the arse. . . Is that the right word?

    Should my Op Mag ever reach the giddy heights of being print on paper with a proper cover I’m going to take the cowards way out – I’m going to pay Troubadour to market it and put it on shelves. I know that I’m going have to a lot of marketing also but I figure that their ‘machine’ can sell me enough copies to cover their fees. . . a big mistake? Maybe? I guess I can always mark another 400 exam scripts next summer to recoup my losses 🙂

    I think you’ve done amazingly well to get this far. Do let me know when you’ve jumped the final hurdle and I get get my grubby little mits on a copy.

  4. Absolutely the right word! However, I’ve got thro’ the final hurdle except I breached page numbering protocol which is easily remedied. I@m a bit skint at the moment but for the next mag. op. I will definitely take another route. However, self-marketing does mean I get to have a week visiting some of my favourite places on the East Coast and twisting a few arms into the bargain. Hope the exam scripts weren’t too tedious and I will sign and mail you a copy of C to the E as a thank you for being my most frequent and regular “follower”. Have a great summer.

  5. Just a thought about Twitter. When I was bloging I used ‘Hootsuite’. I used it to schedule tweets about my blog six times during the day I published it. It did bring traffic to my blog. The advantage was that it took me about two minutes to sort out rather than sending each tweet manually throughout the day.

    ‘Tedious.’ Yes, that’s the word.

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