10 Easy Steps to Becoming a Published Writer

If you like this, please tell your friends.  Thanks.  :)

Jurguens  – (6 March 2010 at 22:07)  

I've been writing for years, and I've also been making films. This is very well put together, with a lot of truth.

I'm curious, I'm a newbie following your blog and twitter, I know your going to self publish, have you decided how? I mean are you doing it with Lulu, or some other company? It would be interesting to know.

Guinevere  – (7 March 2010 at 01:46)  

This is too funny! Love it.

Rebecca Woodhead  – (7 March 2010 at 12:03)  

Jurguens: Thanks for the comment. Much appreciated.

My approach will be digital focused. I toyed with the idea of publishing only in digital format but too many of my followers also love tree-books so I plan to release physical copies as well as digital.

Digital-wise, I want to provide well formatted, non-DRM access for all devices. This is trickier than it sounds. I'm trying to get my head around lots of open-source software and the various 'if you sell through us, you have to sell at x% discount/you can't sell elsewhere etc' nature of the current battlefield that is the book industry. I'm sure it will all make sense any second!

Physical book-wise, I started using Lulu as I trialled it a few years back for a private project, and I wanted to see if it was still as reliable. The quality is way better! I plan to set myself up as a publisher rather than use their free ISBN service - due to the rights issues that arise down the line. I don't think I can avoid the ISBN price-doubling madness though as a number of book stores have approached me wanting to stock the book.

Pricing is one of the big worries I have. Independently published physical books always come out a little more expensive but, I hear, Lulu provides generous discounts to Amazon and book shops so it might make sense for people to wait a bit to pick up the physical copy.

All plans are subject to change, but I hope to launch both the physical copy and ebook at the same time (ebook less expensive). I don't care if that means I make less money. I don't care if providing my work DRM-free means it's more likely to be pirated. I care about my readers, and all the stuff I'm working on at the moment is about giving them the best possible experience of my work. I hope they like reading it as much as I loved writing it. :)

Guinevere: Thanks so much for commenting. Glad you like it. Bless all writers that keep going in spite of the odds. Like I said though, they're still better odds than winning the lottery. A friend of mine got a publishing deal the other day. It was the oddest feeling. I was happy for him, but also relieved it wasn't me. Don't want publishing done to me. So excited to be an indie author. :)

Jurguens  – (8 March 2010 at 09:29)  

Thanks Rebecca. I haven't looked into publishing that much as I've been more focused in making films. You're choosing a hard path (to do it all yourself, and be independent), but I'm sure it is the right choice and the rewards will be greater.

Thanks again, and looking forward to more posts

Christine Coleman  – (28 March 2010 at 21:44)  

Hi Rebecca
I liked your comment: "Don't want publishing done to me. So excited to be an indie author. :)
". That's how I felt after the publishers of my first novel went under. It was sad for them of course, but it left me high and dry with my next one ready to go, and no-one to take it on.
Do feel free to get back to me, if you'd like more info on how I set up www.novelpress.co.uk
Christine Coleman

Victoria  – (4 July 2010 at 10:57)  

Good luck to you Rebecca. I'm considering the same publishing route: an ebook release w/o DRM (Smashwords) plus a 3D-book (perhaps CreateSpace as they are associated with Amazon, where the readers are). I enjoyed your video. It sums up what I've been learning. My price will be 4.99, I think. I have the same noncares as you do. I believe in my book but am out of patience with publishers. I'd rather write another book, get this finished book moving in some way than wait for the publishing to be "done to me"--your brilliant words--which might lead to nothing, even nothing after attending to lengthy recommended revisions. I can't wait. I'm ready. Vicki Gundrum

J  – (4 July 2010 at 11:34)  

I retweeted this with the tag laugh-cry, and then got thinking about things I've done that maybe 999 out of a thousand people haven't. Some of these were not suitable to repeated in a blog comment.
I'll be following your self-publising exploration. Have just started working on my novel, and when it gets finished, it's getting published hell or high water, etc.

Rebecca Woodhead  – (26 July 2010 at 23:48)  

Thanks for all the comments. Just realised I haven't replied here. Think you all caught up with me on Twitter, but I can't get all preachy at people for not leaving comments on blogs any more, and then fail to leave comments on my own blog. #Epicfail as they say on Twitter. This, however, is not twitter. Arrange the following words in a sentence: Bad my.


Anonymous –   – (27 July 2010 at 02:18)  

LOL. Now you see why I chose to be an indie author. Despite the difficulties and challenges of self-publishing, at least I maintain control of my work and how it is produced. I don't have to rely on "luck" and the capricious nature of the publishing gods to decide my book is "marketable".

Rebecca Woodhead  – (27 July 2010 at 12:10)  

Hi Zoe,

Absolutely. A friend of mine recently told me they'd been taken on by a traditional publisher, and were a little confused when I said:

'Oh. Never mind.'

I think they're beginning to get it now though. LOL! The whole industry is falling to bits. The people I feel worst for are first time authors being taken on by trad publishing houses and dropped after the first book fails to become a best seller. It's crazy. They're then thrown back into the field as a slightly-used writer without the benefit of the entrepreneurialism of those of us who see what's actually going on in publishing right now. That's got to be tough.

Personally, I have no expectation my first book will be a best seller. It rocks. Obviously. But I don't NEED it to be a best seller. I've given myself a 4-book deal. I need to see a decent profit by book four, and I need to be on a best seller's list somewhere by book five. That's it.

Traditional publishing: advance = creativity loan that you pay back over years; you hand over crazy percentages of your earnings to a distribution network that's unnecessary with the advent of ebooks.

Indie publishing: I'm crowd-sourcing the funds. The first book I sell, I'll be in profit. Community effort, long term strategy... buckets of creative fun. :)

Rebecca Condron  – (21 September 2010 at 11:12)  

Thank you, I was feeling a bit fed up and taking solace in my tea and chocolate (isn't that necessary for the whole journey?) but now I'm smiling. Look >> :0)

Rebecca Woodhead  – (12 November 2010 at 12:38)  

Rebecca, hi. I missed your comment somehow. Thanks for commenting, and I'm glad it helped. Tea and chocolate is vital for the journey! :)

On a more general note, my Dad discovered he had an aneurysm in the early summer, so my whole business plan went awry over the last few months. Hospital trips, looking after Mum etc put things back. Still. These things happen and, after 6 operations, Dad is starting to recover. Yay!

Life has a way of messing with deadlines doesn't it? Never mind. Onwards and upwards. The book is back on the stage, and it's almost time for the curtain to go up! If you want to see it, check out my Facebook page: Facebook

In other news... I'm IN two books this month!! I wrote the foreword to a book that is being published by a UK publisher in the next couple of weeks, and I've just been quoted in a book on how to become a twitter expert! Click here to follow me on Twitter

PLUS... I just got an awesome writerly gig. I'm writing a huge piece for my fave magazine. It's the biggest writing magazine in the UK, and it will be out at the start of the new year.

Keep writing!

Rebecca xxx

P.S. If you want some writerly treats, I just set this up: bit.ly/gifts4writersUK bit.ly/gifts4writersUS

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