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Is Self-Publishing for You?




Are you considering self-publishing your novel? Not sure where to start; daunted by the amount of technological know-how, marketing, and networking you will have to do?


All on top of producing a polished and perfectly edited novel... and then another...


Over the past year, I have been tossing up between self-publishing and going for a traditional publishing deal. While I'm drawn to the idea of self-publishing, from this side of the fence, the journey can seem overwhelming at times.


Being something of a researcher, I decided to seek some insider know-how. I approached three of my favourite self-published Aussie romance authors, who were happy to share their tips. Like every new author, they started out with the dream to see their books published and, of course, selling. Their dream is a reality. Here are their pearls of wisdom.



Rania Battany


Multi-published and Amazon best-selling author of emotionally driven contemporary romance, Rania loves nothing more than creating flawed characters who have to fight their way to Happily Ever After. The latest in her acclaimed "Stolen Hearts" series, "Chasing Gabby" is out now. Find out more about Rania's books at https://raniabattany.com/




What prompted you to self-publish?

This wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I researched all options extensively and found that with platforms such as Amazon KDP, D2D, Ingram Spark and others, opportunities for self-publishing were ripe. I also wanted full control over my publishing schedule and creative aspects such as cover design, editing, etc.

What is the best part of being a self-published author?

As I mentioned above, managing my own schedule, and having full control over all creative aspects of publishing.

What is the most challenging aspect?

Marketing. This is exceptionally daunting at the beginning and it takes some time to find what works. In such an oversaturated and constantly changing industry, getting noticed can begin to feel like a full-time job.

One piece of advice you would give to a writer who is considering self-publishing?

Take the time to create and, more importantly, understand your branding before you begin self-publishing. This was said to me before my debut book released but I didn’t understand it at the time. Understanding all aspects of branding such as cover design to meet genre expectations, website, social media, logo, and so on, will give you a strong start and attract the right readers from the beginning. That and network, network, network! Yes, that is two pieces of advice, but they are as important at the other!



Joanne Tracey


Joanne Tracey is the author of 'Baby It's You" and "Happy Ever After," which was a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia, 2019 Ruby awards. Joanne's books blend travel, food, and Happy Endings. She's currently working on a new novel that combines all three. Joanne's even coined a new name for her genre "Foodie-Lit." And if that's not enough on her plate, Joanne is also president of Romance Writers of Australia. Find out more about Joanne's books at http://joannetracey.com/author/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14006557.Joanne_Tracey/blog


What prompted you to self-publish?

The quick answer is that I’m a control freak and I didn’t want to wait for anyone’s permission to write – nor did I want to have to ask permission to write what I wanted to write.

The longer answer is that my first book made it to the final stage with two publishers. The first said it had too much romance for them and the second said that there wasn’t enough romance. That process had taken over a year from when the first query went out. So, I figured that the book (Baby, It’s You) had legs, and channeled my (day job) project management experience to go it alone. I started by writing a list of editors that I wanted to work with, began sourcing a cover designer, and set about learning as much as I could about the business of self-publishing.

What is the best part of being a self-published author?

Again, the quick answer is control. Are you sensing a theme here? Seriously though, I love being able to write what I want to write and knowing that regardless of the outcome, it’s on me. I’m a complete pantser and usually start with a character, an occupation, and a what-if question. The rest comes as I write. My editor now knows to be surprised by whatever she gets. When I delivered my current novel for structural editing she said, ‘I thought this was going to be a Christmas book, Jo?’ Yeah, about that. (For the record it’s all tea and scones…and, of course, the feels.)

What is the most challenging aspect?

Marketing – I am absolutely hopeless at it and know I need to get better. Like many of us I work a busy day job and have time to work and time to write (and do the family thing, of course) but don’t have time to work, write, and market – at least that’s the story I tell myself. I am, however, going to have to get real and make the time.

One piece of advice you would give to a writer who is considering self-publishing?

Indie publishing is your business so treat it as such by creating, committing to, and sticking to deadlines. And I know that you only asked for one piece of advice, but I have another… before you hit that publish button make sure that the product, your book, is in the absolute best shape that it can be in at that point in time. And the next is in as good a shape as it can be at that point in time…and so on. Push yourself and challenge yourself to grow as a writer so each time you press publish your definition of “best shape at that point in time” will be different and reflective of your growth.


Jayne Kingsley


Jayne Kingsley writes contemporary romance filled with fashionable and fun heroines and hunky heroes. Her debut novel  "Loving Lucas" won the 2019 Australian Romance Readers' Award for a category romance. Since then she has published "The Stenish Royals" series. "Guarding His Runaway Princess" the third in the series, is due out in July 2020. To top it all off, Jayne is also a talented fashion illustrator. Find out more about Jayne's books at https://jaynekingsley.com/





What prompted you to self-publish?

Actually it was a bit of a spur of the moment decision! I put part of chapter 1 of Loving Lucas in my newsletter as I needed content (not recommended practice) and said it would be available later in the year. I received a lot of good feedback from that newsletter and thus pretty much locked myself into self-publishing. Deep down I'd been considering it for a while, my goal is to be hybrid but as I'm really only interested in one traditional publisher (and they haven't come banging my door down yet!) it was time to take this plunge. 

What is the best part of being a self-published author?

The flexibility to make every decision about your books when you want. Cover not working? change it. Price not fitting the market? change it. Keywords and blurbs not pushing your book up in rankings? change it. I design my own covers so I particularly love that I can control how they look. The full access to data also makes my inner data nerd get the warm and fuzzies. 

What is the most challenging aspect?

Being found in a saturated market is tough. Self-publishing is amazing but it can also turn into a money pit very quickly and the market has shifted to be very much a pay to play environment. The time investment is high - it's not just writing a fantastic book, it's also running a whole business: marketing, promotion, social media, sourcing an editor, book cover, formatting, distribution decisions, building a following etc. It's fun, but it takes work and a whole pile of patience. 

One piece of advice you would give to a writer who is considering self-publishing?

I'm not sure I feel qualified to offer advice, LOL, but I'd tell them to find an amazing editor. That is my number one must have - I wouldn't give up my editor for my weight in gold (which thanks to #isoeating is currently pretty high).




And what about me, gingerly dabbling my toes in the self-publishing pool? What have I learnt at this early stage of the journey? Don't rush the process. Allow yourself plenty of time to learn the technicalities, develop a social media presence and connect with your writing tribe. (You'll need social media platforms whichever publishing choice you make). Keep honing your writing skills. And above all, remember to enjoy the journey!




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