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Physical Book Publishing > finished writing where to go now

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message 1: by Eliza.D (new)

Eliza.D Eliza.D | 6 comments Hi, I've just finished writing my first novel and I a not sure where to go now. I wish to publish but not sure who to contact as I'm from the U.K, would overseas publishers take me on? I need a cover for my book, I know what I want it to look like, but is this something I need to look in to myself if I go the indie route, which so far seems scary to me or will a publisher sort that out. any advice is greatly received x


message 2: by Junkomi (new)

Junkomi Eno | 28 comments I have no idea who you would contact as I am not from the U.K. I know you could self-publish with CreateSpace (of course you would need a book cover) I cannot really say what would be best for you honestly. Best thing I can say is to just research what would be a good route for you to take.

From what I have researched using CreateSpace can be a good first start for publishing as it is generally free (there is no start up fee and generally if you know people [i.e. artist, editor, etc.] you can generally publish your book for free) and they print physical copies of your book.

You could always try the traditional route but from what I have heard you don't have as much control over your book (such as the book cover) again though I would look into all of this yourself and learn and then see what route lines up with what you want.

Sorry I cannot be much help ^-^; I wish you luck though.


message 3: by Eliza.D (new)

Eliza.D Eliza.D | 6 comments Wolfy wrote: "I have no idea who you would contact as I am not from the U.K. I know you could self-publish with CreateSpace (of course you would need a book cover) I cannot really say what would be best for you ..." tnx for your help i will look in to this and see where to go x


message 4: by Kaylee (new)

Kaylee Dolat | 91 comments Research the pros and cons between independent and traditional publishing. Decide which one is right for you. Maybe plug into a local writer's group and ask them questions and what works for them.


message 5: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Rebecca Shaw | 12 comments If you are hoping for a publisher to take you on and do all of the set up and marketing for you, you can read on here how unlikely it is to happen. Look at the self publishing groups and tools on here so you can decide if that is for you. Kindle Direct Publishing with all of its other faults can be an excellent way to get started and then you can see how much interest there may be in your book before you spend too much money on it. You can get free photos from Pexels.com for your cover if you want and KDP can lead you through creating it. You can PM me if you want some more information and I will see what I can do to help you.


message 6: by M.L. (last edited Aug 16, 2018 06:11PM) (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments Read all the posts here at SIA, and especially SIA investigates. There are lots of scammers/opportunists just waiting to take advantage of a new author.
One thing to consider re traditional publishing vs indie, is patience. It takes time to see your work go from a completed novel to a traditionally published one.
Research agents. Don't go with any that want to charge you for their services.
Good luck!


message 7: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments Dont pay anyone to publish your book. If you decide to go traditional make sure you know the difference between trad publishing and vanity publishing. If you go indie be willing to put time and effort into learning about book editing, marketing etc because it is absolutely vital.


message 8: by Noor (new)

Noor Al-Shanti | 148 comments Congrats on finishing your first book!

As others have said the topics in this group are very helpful for helping you learn from other authors at various stages of their publishing and writing careers. I have found this group very helpful to me personally. So browse the topics, keep digging around and decide what you want to do.

There are also quite a few authors who are all too willing to share their thoughts and advice on their own websites or blogs. Some authors whose sites I have found relatively useful over the past couple of years have been Joanna Penn, Hugh Howey, Dean Wesley Smith, K.A. Konrath, and others. As you will see if you check out their sites they don't all say the same things, or agree about even the most basic topics, but reading different experiences and opinions will help you make your own choices as to how you want to go about publishing.

But, research aside, if this is really the first book you've written I would recommend just leaving it be for a while and starting on your next novel. The more you write the better you get and even if you don't end up publishing every word you've written you will gain experience and skill from it.

Personally, I like to leave things I write for a couple of months at least so I can re-read them later with a tiny bit more objectivity and see if I really like them and if I'm sure I want to publish them. Also, it can be extremely difficult waiting for people to find and read your books and it's helpful to have others that you're working on so you don't go crazy waiting for the marketing to magically work...

Anyway, good luck!


message 9: by Eliza.D (new)

Eliza.D Eliza.D | 6 comments thank you everyone for all your help and advice it has been greatly received. I will continue to research and intend to work my way through this site to get me where I want to be. x


message 10: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Harju (pamelaharju) | 81 comments If you finished your first draft, you will need re-writes before attempting publishing, whether it's traditionally or self-publishing. In the UK, you will need an agent first, who will then approach publishers on your behalf. If you go indie, you are in charge of the whole process, including your cover.
Best of luck!


message 11: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Chapman | 150 comments Hi Eliza,
You might find it useful to buy a copy of The Writer's and Artists Yearbook which has advice about publishing, plus lists of contacts that you might be interested in approaching in the publishing industry. I bought a copy after finishing my first novel and it's useful particularly if you want advice about traditional publishing. I tried that route to begin with (mainly because at that stage I didn't really know anything about self-publishing). I contacted a few agents, and then once I found out more about self-publishing I went that route instead. Deciding to self-publish doesn't rule you out from potentially having books traditionally published in the future. I have had some interest from traditional publishers who have come across my self-published books.

My ebooks are published via KDP, and I chose to go exclusively with Amazon (I believe there are discussions in this group about pros and cons of publishing exclusively with Amazon via KDP select). My paperbacks are published through Createspace. I am in the UK, and the only downside is the shipping costs - if you want to have a personal stock of books that you buy at cost price to sell directly or send out review copies to bloggers the books are printed in the US, which means paying to get them shipped here. It doesn't cause me a huge problem really, but it is worth mentioning. There are other ways to publish paperbacks, again I believe there is a topic in this group about that.

If you are self-publishing your book you need to sort the cover out yourself, either by making it yourself or paying a cover designer. I have gone both routes. I managed to make a reasonable cover (I'm assuming it's a reasonable cover as the book as sold well!) by buying a stock image for a fairly small sum and creating the cover by taking inspiration from other covers in my genre. I strongly recommend looking at successful books in your genre and using them as a starting point for your cover, as well as seeing what their blurbs are like. Once I started making money from my second self-published novel I could invest in a cover designer and copy-editor for my next novel. I spent hundreds of pounds on these services, but you can do things yourself if you are willing to put in the time and effort.

Once your book is published you will need to market it yourself. There is lots of advice around about how to do this - it's pretty overwhelming to start with! I'm still learning everyday, I read pretty much every marketing post in this group, plus BookBub has some useful marketing advice in their blog, there are other useful sites like Kindlepreneur, Mark Dawson's Self-Publishing Formula, and I'm sure many, many others too. You will almost certainly need to spend a bit of money on marketing, but you can start quite small. I primarily use AMS ads for the US and facebook ads in the UK - you would ideally need to do a bit of reading about how to use these effectively before diving in, and it helps if your book has a few reviews.

Hope that helps a bit! It's overwhelming at the start, but there are lots of resources out there that can help. Be wary of paying for self-publishing or "vanity publishing" services, but if you have a budget for things like editing or cover design that can be helpful, but not necessarily essential.


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 269 comments Eliza wrote: "Hi, I've just finished writing my first novel and I a not sure where to go now. I wish to publish but not sure who to contact as I'm from the U.K, would overseas publishers take me on? I need a cov..."

I'm taking the question at face value, so please forgive me if you've already gone through this stage, but if you have just finished writing then I assume no-one else has looked at it yet?

In which case, I suggest it's very likely nowhere near ready for publication yet. As Pamela mentioned, rewrites/revisions and editing first. And chances are some independent second pairs of eyes on it will help with that process, whether a paid editor or a critique group of some kind. Please feel free to message me for pointers to a couple of good critique sites - I can't post links to this forum.


message 13: by Felix (new)

Felix Schrodinger | 138 comments Hi Eliza
I'm in the UK as well and finished my first book (of short stories) in autumn 2017. I thought it unlikely that anyone would part with good money in order to read it and so researched 'vanity publishing' as I was prepared to pay something to see it in print and give it away to F&F. Vanity publishing used to be expensive so I had some misgivings but then discovered 'indie'. First question - do you want hard copy (even with a soft cover) or just go down the digital route?

Having decided that - are you intending to make money or do you want to publish just for your own satisfaction?

Having made some inquiries on-line, I was approached by Authorhouse and have now published three books with them with a fourth in the pipeline. There are others in a similar vein based mostly in the US and it's a very competitive business. Including 100 free copies, each book has cost me about £1500 and, so far, I have no idea whether I have any royalties to show for it!

PM me if you want more detail.


message 14: by Eliza.D (new)

Eliza.D Eliza.D | 6 comments thnx again for everyone's help and advice. The book is finished and has been rewritten many times, but as yet, no one has seen it. I know I need to great some beta readers to see It from their poa and there is a lot of details I need to process before I publish it. I don't think vanity is the way for me, mainly from the cost point of view. so it looks like the indie pub is the way. I think I have much more research to go through before I get anywhere.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Eliza, My recommendation is to get it edited first. Check around for a good editor. An editor is worth their weight in gold. They will point out flaws and flow. I would not submit my book to anyone unless my book has been edited. Especially when self publishing.


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 269 comments Felix wrote: "Hi Eliza
I'm in the UK as well and finished my first book (of short stories) in autumn 2017. I thought it unlikely that anyone would part with good money in order to read it and so researched 'vani..."


Before you put any more money towards Authorhouse, I strongly recommend you research them (see what authors worldwide are saying- they do not have a good reputation) and also research self-publishing rather than vanity publishing.

It should not have cost you a dime to achieve your objectives of having a print book in your hands to give to family and friends.

Typical hallmarks of services that are dodgy at best, and outright scams at worst are:
(a) They charge money for publishing your book. Yes, editing and covers may cost you money but for the publishing itself money should always flow the other way. If it doesn't, beware.
(b) They approach you offering to publish or represent your work. Reputable agents and publishers are so overwhelmed with good marketable work they have no need to seek you out - unless you are already famous.

If your goal is simply to have a print book for personal circulation, and if your quality requirements are such that you are happy editing and producing your own cover, then the cost to you should be zero, other than the cost of the physical copies you order (which can be as many or as few as you want). For a POD publisher like CreateSpace that should only be a few $$ per copy.


message 17: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
I apologize if such a mention is against the rules (delete it if yes) but I found that David Gaughran has several helpful posts on his blog that touch self-publishing and dodgy services. If you want a short summary of self-publishing, his 'Let's get Digital' book is a good one and does not cost that much - I believe it's around 4$ - the typical price of a self-published book.


message 18: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Tomas wrote: "I apologize if such a mention is against the rules (delete it if yes)..."

Nope. You're good. Personally, I do get a little edgy if a member is constantly trying to push the same "gurus", blogs, or books on most every post. An occasional mention is fine.


message 19: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Skilton | 17 comments Hi Eliza, there's a lot of good advice in all these comments. I designed my own cover using Canva. It's free. Both KDP and Create Space also have cover design tools. I also recommend looking for Karen Prince online. She's made some very helpful videos.


message 20: by Eliza.D (new)

Eliza.D Eliza.D | 6 comments tnx again all helpful advice. im going to research it all and see what happens. ive been told that I can ask for beta readers, but not sure now to go about this, ive heard some charge to do this, is that true? I arc and love it but I know that is totally different


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 269 comments Eliza wrote: "tnx again all helpful advice. im going to research it all and see what happens. ive been told that I can ask for beta readers, but not sure now to go about this, ive heard some charge to do this, i..."

You can pay for reading and editing services. I'm not best placed to offer advice here, others may be able to offer tips.

Other paths to consider are:

(1) Develop connections with other writers - especially those in your genre - and see if anyone is prepared to swap reads. Note - not the same as review swaps, which violate terms of service! This is about reading and offering private feedback to the author. It helps if you have already made connections with writers on forums like Goodreads, or through blogging, or other social media. I'm sure I've seen forums in GR groups where authors can connect with other authors for the purposes of beta reading. Beta reading is a big investment in time, so people usually expect some sort of reciprocal arrangement.

(2) Join a decent critique site and get in-depth critiques on your work. This is my preferred route. Again, the expectation is that you critique others and earn your way in the group, but that in itself is a great learning experience.


message 22: by Ann (new)

Ann Shannon | 24 comments Eliza wrote: "Hi, I've just finished writing my first novel and I a not sure where to go now. I wish to publish but not sure who to contact as I'm from the U.K, would overseas publishers take me on? I need a cov..."

Hi Eliza, you need to decide whether you will self-publish or seek an agent to market your book to publishers. I am self-publishing my memoir and am finding myself bogged down in the technicalities, and chicken vs egg sequence of the necessary steps. There are some videos available on youtube on self-publishing. Kindlepreneur, Kristen Martin, for example They often give pretty basic information that has very useful information embedded in them. I almost always take away some new, fairly important tidbit. I wish I had paid for more in-depth tools up front, it would have saved me a whole year of angst and overwhelm. I think I am finally finding my way through the morass...but I still have some major questions to ferret out.

I agree with Eliza: Writing isn't enough. We have to Edit, Edit, Edit, getting readers and honest feedback about where they lose interest, what worked and didn't work for them as a reader (as hard as that is and is to go back and address if a rewrite is called for) etc. is an important next step if you have not already done that.

Good luck!


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