Nikki Dudley read from her disturbing debut thriller Ellipsis at the very first Bookstock. She didn't think she would be self-publishing the sequel but here we are...
Nikki Dudley | 4 October 2012
The more I looked into it, the more feasible it sounded. The benefits: total control over design, content, distribution, and bigger royalties. The downsides: lack of marketing reach. What I’ve decided is that it’s certainly worth trying and if I believe in my novel, why shouldn’t I put myself behind it like this?
One aspect I have enjoyed is the fact that it can be done so quickly.
Once you get over the harrowing process of formatting your novel to the specifications for e-books in particular, you have a lovely file which could potentially be on the market in no time at all. As I hate errors that I spot later, I have checked and re-checked the file about a million times.
However, another benefit for people like me is that even after publication, I can upload a new file and any of those niggling errors I missed will be gone! With the paperback copy, this is less possible, so I have taken extra time to read over it, and to really ensure safety, I asked a friend who works in publishing to edit it.
That’s also another useful tip – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. For Semblance, I have managed to find someone with the right skills to edit my novel to a high standard and another person to design a cover (print and digital versions) – all for the grand fee of nothing! It’s amazing what you can uncover in your friends and those people who are willing to give you a favour for the price of a pint.
Have there been any problems?
Sure there have! If you are considering self-publishing via sites like Amazon or Smashwords, you will soon encounter a problem with something called an ITIN or EIN. What it means is that if you DON’T have it, your royalties will be taxed 30% by the US. If you do have it, you get to keep all your money.
The problem is, the process is lengthy and horrific. What saved me was a great blog I found giving me information on obtaining a tax number, an EIN rather than an ITIN, with one easy phonecall. The only catch is you have to declare your income to the IRS, which you should be doing anyway via self-assessement, especially if you’ve been published before. Either way, head over to my blog for the information on this. It saved me a lot of hassle!
I may not sell millions, or even thousands.
Most likely, it will struggle to reach a few hundred. What I will be pleased about is that the sequel to Ellipsis sees the light of day and hopefully, those who enjoyed the first novel will grab a copy of the sequel. Marketing will be the biggest problem but I will use social networking and my blog as much as I can. Also useful will be the contacts I made when securing reviews and attention for Ellipsis.
What’s important is being present on the web, whether it be as a reviewer, or a commenter, or via running something literary as I do with my magazine, streetcake. It can’t hurt in any way and fingers crossed, because you’re interested in other people, they will take notice of you when you need it.
To read more about Semblance or Nikki’s other literary endeavours, as well as random thoughts, visit her blog
Bookstock returns on Saturday 3 November 2012.
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