To writers and my readers… I’m looking for your help please.

Okay, deep breath.

It’s not easy to write this without a glass of wine in me but I’m going to (and hope I then press publish).ย Over a year ago a blog buddy of mine, Duncan,from Madhatters, suggested I put some of my posts together and publish a small ebook for Christmas. He said he would buy it, so that’s one sold anyway. At the time I felt it was way out of my depth and I did nothing.

However a year or more has passed and I’m beginning to wonder if I could. My reasons for doing so are: 1. To learn about the process of self publishing, without putting a precious book I may write some day into the future at risk, and 2. The enjoyment of editing old posts and gathering them together under different titles; possibly parenting, humour, inspiration and stories.

My problem is… where do I start? Apart from googling ‘self publishing’ and trawling through a million posts I’ve no idea at all what to do. So I am asking my writing pals here have you any advice to allow me self publish as simply as possible?

To my readers I also have a question (or two)
1. What do you think of my idea?
2. What type of posts do you most enjoy reading on my blog, that you would wish to read in an ebook?

The reason I took a deep breath before writing or publishing this, is that it is not easy to ask for help. What if no one answers? What if I don’t go through with it and I’ve said I will?

However I really do want to further my writing and I believe this would be a really interesting first step. It would not be to make money, as the book will probably be only minimally priced, or even free. So please if you have any advice at all for me let me know,either here or via my contact me.

Thanks again each and everyone of you, who take the time so regularly to read my nonsense and to those of you who comment and share so openly.
I’m pleased I’ve had the nerve to write this post, now the only question is, will I ever publish it? Mmmm is it too early for wine?

Photo credit Maria Elena

75 thoughts on “To writers and my readers… I’m looking for your help please.

    1. Thank you Charlene. That worked and it didn’t look too scary. I’d really love to do it. Thanks again. How are you getting on? My beautiful picture you sent is pride of place in my computer room/office/ television room.

      1. I am just getting started on the publisher/agent route. My husband is helping me to develop/create my query letter. I have read where people flood the market with their manuscripts sending it out to multiple people at once. I have decided that I am not going to go that route and be very picky about the places that I send it to. I have been procrastinating out of a little bit of fear, I don’t want to receive that first rejection letter. However, if I don’t even attempt the process in the first place than all of the work will have been for naught.
        I am so glad you like your picture, I was wondering where you had put it. That sounds like a great room to be in.
        Please keep me informed on the status of your book. I know you will be more successful than you ever imagined. All of your posts, no matter the topic, draw people in and leave them looking for more.

        1. Thank you Charlene, The very best of luck with your project. I know it’s really hard to be rejected but you’ve got to believe.
          I’ll certainly keep you posted.

  1. First of all, there is no shame in asking for people’s opinions and ideas. The reader has a unique view, different than the writer, so I think it is a wise thing to do.
    With that said, as one of your readers, it is very hard to narrow down the posts that I would enjoy the most…because I like them all. You have a gift for creating a small story about every day things and making it interesting and fun to read. I think a mixture of serious and not so serious would be great….it’s just life as it happens.
    Great idea to self publish…I have often daydreamed about it myself. Good for you for considering taking the leap of faith.
    Personally, I think “you got this! ”


    1. Thank you. After sleeping on it overnight I am still excited at the project. Your encouragement is so welcome because as you know self doubt is a great friend of mine as regards my writing.
      Maybe I’ll inspire you?

  2. That is going to be a phenomenal ebook. Congrats. I totally think you should go for it! Scary though huh? I’m sure it will turn out fabulous!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Yes it’s daunting but it would be a nice project and I’d love to see some of what I’ve already written published.

  3. I also don’t know much about self-publishing (my books are all through a publisher). But I see a LOT of self-pub books sent to me for review. So from that side I can offer a few thoughts:

    1. What are your goals? Do you want to make money? Reach new audiences? Have the satisfaction of seeing a great product with your name on it? Do you need a physical print copy?

    2. Get it edited, professionally if possible, but at least by credible critique partners you are not related to. No matter how good you are, nobody can edit their own stuff. Same goes for the cover. Unless you’re a graphic designer and you also know which font to use (hint–title and author should be visible even in thumbnail), you should get professionally designed cover. That doesn’t need to cost a fortune though. There are some terrific premade covers that can be modified for a reasonable cost.

    3. Figure out (based on answers to #1) how much time and money you want to put into marketing it.

    4. As I understand it, the actual publishing process on Amazon is quick and easy. But you should give some thought to pricing and make sure it fits your target market. It’s a bit late to aim for Christmas sales but maybe you can try for a Mother’s Day release and market as gift book.

    5. Do it. You’re a terrific writer with stories to tell.

    1. Oh my goodness this is so helpful. Without knowing what I am doing I don’t know the questions I should be asking myself, so this is fantastic.
      I would love the satisfaction of a really well put together product with my name on it.
      I will not rush it. If Xmas is out of reach that is okay by me.
      The other questions I will have to think about and learn more.
      Thanks so much again. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help and it only makes me want to go for it even more.

  4. If it sounds like a worthwhile and evolutionary step with your writing to you, tric, then it is. The impulse to challenge and chase some growth needs a valve, and why not one that’s accessible? Pushing yourself into realms new to see how it fits and where it may lead. Why the hell not. The popularity of your blog posts speaks for itself, so a compendium of posts would be a souvenir to test the self-publishing water. Personally, I’d be interested to see where you’d end up if you keep roaming down the path of fiction. I’ve enjoyed the new direction. So as well as compiling what exists, you might think of adding more to it. G’luck.

    1. Thank you. I’ve begun to write a small bit of fiction in short stories and I’m really enjoying them. Thanks for that. Maybe this will aid me further down the line.
      When you are so close to your own writing you don’t see what others see.

  5. I love all your parenting posts where you look back on how you handled something. We all muddle through as parents so it’s nice to read posts from someone who come out of the baby phase and can look back with lots wisdom. You always have sound advice and seem like a fairly easy going parent but still had rules and your kids seem to be doing great so I would definitely read a book with your wisdom and funny stories on parenting! x

  6. Tric, as soon as I read this I thought of one man here on WP who has just published his eleventh book. Paul wrote up a really helpful guide a while back on self-publishing. The route he took has been well-tested by himself and he mentions in the article that the platform he used can be linked for e-publishing. This is the link to his write-up on how he went about it.
    Go for it and good luck!

    1. Thank you so much. I went straight over and read that link and it was fantastic. It will be a huge help especially reading about ‘Createspace’ which I’d never heard of.
      I’m now a lot further on than I was.

  7. Ah, Tric, yes, I would buy your book! I most enjoy two types of posts from you. 1) Those touching, lovely posts about young Daniel and his family truly touched my soul. 2) Any of your wonderful posts about “himself”. You manage to write with both humor and sorrow, in equal measure. I have no advice, as I’ve never dared to take this on myself. Perhaps you will inspire me!

    1. Maybe I will. I’m sure the bold Daniel will be with me what ever I do. Thank you for letting me know. As someone who just writes as I think it’s good to know what resonates with readers and reading the comments it would seem to be a number of different posts rather than just one type.

  8. Great idea. I love your parenting posts, especially. Great for gifts to new parents, for holidays and Mother’s Day too. Ebook publishing is actually quite easy. Definitely get professional proofing. I use Jutoh for formatting (reasonably priced and easy for a tech wreck like me), but there are other programs that are also great. Above all, have fun.

    1. Thank you. There’s another name I’ve never heard of, Jutoh. I am definitely going to go into this with a view to learning and enjoyment and see where it leads me.

  9. i would love it and welcome it. i am considering a self-published project/book as well,. and basically know nothing. not sure where to begin, so i’m sorry i’m of no help. maybe i can learn from you )

  10. I can’t help you with the publishing itself as I’m at the same place you are in the process – thinking about trying out a smaller project before I go for the biggie. Obviously, I think that’s a good idea!
    Best of luck with it, Tric! If you beat me to it, I’ll be looking to you for pointers. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    P.S. And yes, of course I’d buy it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. I have only used ” LULU.COM” for self publishing products. And they have been self published for personal use (family stuff). I’ve been happy with the limited things I’ve done.

    As far as the things I enjoy of yours….how to limit!!!! Okay, I love the stories. you tell about your nursing days. Your dad. Daniel. The stories of peoples lives are what grab my attention and stay in my memory the longest. It’s like meeting people.

    I think it’s a great idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks a thousand Colleen for the encouragement and letting me know what you enjoy. I’ll begin looking into it all and see where it leads me. It’s really exciting (now at least!)

  12. If I were you, I would definitely check out Amazon. I think that’s the route I’m going. I keep saying I will put all of my Christmas stories in an ebook and I haven’t done it. If I understand correctly, Amazon has pre-made book covers that you can modify for your project. And as far as it being too late for Christmas, not on Amazon. You can get it done as quickly as you can type the work into the computer. So it’s up to you. If you want to take the bull by the horns, you can do it for Christmas. You would have to decide which posts you want to include and send them to your beta readers. Then you have to type it into the amazon publishing interface. When you upload it, you will have a short wait time as your project is reviewed before it is available for download and purchase. During that time, you can make the rounds as a guest blogger and push your book project. You can come on my blog. I do it the first Monday of every month. There are some newsletters that you can promote your project on, too. So it’s up to you. How much time do you want to put into it?

    1. Corina that was really helpful. Thank you. It’s now up to me to get moving and see where this leads me.
      I will definitely take you up on guest posting on your blog when I’m all sorted. Thanks so much for everything.

  13. I am considering doing the same thing. I already talked to someone who suggested it to me to do a ebook so I am putting past blogs together for a trial run and see how it goes. Suggestion to you is to google how to do a ebook. I did and most of the steps are fairly simple. I think you should do it for self fulfillment no one will get more out of it than you will. Keep me posted as to how you do with it. I will be working towards doing the same thing with my blog.

    1. Thank you. Best of luck with your venture too.
      It looks as if there is a lot of helpful information online and happily I’ve got a few links too to show me the way.
      Keep me posted as to how you are doing.

  14. As a reader, I can say I’d be interested in the ebook. As to giving you any practical advice, though, I’m afraid I’m a bit of a dead loss. But look! Here I am by the sidelines wildly cheering you on. (I sorry about the vuvuzela, but I really didn’t fancy the other option of a miniskirt and pom poms.)

    1. You just cheer away there in the background, preferably behind someone tall!
      Thanks BunKaryudo, with you fab posts I’m pretty sure you’ll be published too, probably before me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Go for it! The process is relatively easy on Amazon. Getting it available on the kindle store can be done very quickly. A physical version is a bit more time consuming (using CreateSpace). As for where to start – a Microsoft Word document with the stories you want to include. This is used to generate the book.

    If you sign up with KDP then you can get a template document to start you off with. Creating a cover is pretty easy too.

    I’ve published a couple of simple books via KDP and Createspace for my toddler – mostly just to go through the process and see what was involved. There’s definitely a learning curve, but it’s not that bad.

    Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you. I’m sure once I get going it wont seem such a huge deal. Your advice here is great and yes I’d also love a physical copy (I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to reading a book) so I’ll definitely look into Createspace.
      Thanks again.

  16. I love the variety of your posts, and they would make a great book to dip in and out of – I also have three friends who have self published this year with different degrees of support, so it’s eminently doable. Good luck!

    1. Thanks. After reading the comments I’m really up for it and feel it can be done it just takes work.
      I’m delighted you enjoy reading my posts, as you know well I’m a real fan of yours.

  17. Amazon Kindle will guide you through the process. You should consider putting your book up as a pre-order and get as many people as you can to order. On the day of release all those downloads will count as sales for one day and push your book further up the ranks, making it easier to be found by readers. Choose your categories well, I think you can pick four, and use your 7 keywords (which can be phrases, too) to enhance your exposure in a search of Amazon’s site. I do hope you go ahead with the ebook and also have a look at doing a printed version on Createspace. Well worth the effort.

    1. Thank you. I will look into all that and in particular the pre-order as again I’d never known about that until I read comments here. Equally I’d not heard about choosing categories and key words so I will look into all that also. Thank you for taking the time to help me.

  18. Tric, I’m pleased that you asked for help, and so proud of you for entering this project of yours. As I have no published works, I cannot give advice in that respect. However, as a reader, I have enjoyed your lovely posts, especially the ones to make you smile, and the ones about family life – growing up, moving, and so on. The posts under freshly pressed were great, and your posts about nature are beautiful. I don’t think you can go wrong with any. Best wishes, and big hugs.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It’s interesting to know what posts you enjoy. I’m not sure how I’ll decide what to leave in or out.but I do think I’ll enjoy revisiting some of them.
      Thanks again and for all your twitter encouragement.

  19. p.s. one of your early posts that really made me laugh was when you decided to play detective to see where, with whom, and what your daughter was up to when she went out of an evening – and embarrassed both her and yourself when she caught you spying on her ๐Ÿ˜†

    1. I remember it well Duncan. One of my many, perhaps alternative, guides to parenting a young teenager. I think she remembers it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. GO FOR IT! You CAN do this (my cuppa message for today… how profound!) I self published my first book this past year for a similar reason I wanted to see if I could do it! I have been speaking and working in the field for decades and everyone kept telling me I should write a book… so I did and I have no regrets! I used Createspace through Amazon and then Kindle publishing for the ebook. It is all free if you do the work/cover yourself! I encourage you to do a hard copy if even for yourself… there is something to holding a book with your name on it that you will never forget! Great luck and please let me know if I can help… you will learn a ton!

  21. Definitely self publish that ebook! Don’t think twice. I have not done an ebook yet but intend to when I finish my mystery book. I’ve been told that Smashwords is a good place to start. I’ll have to look up more info on that myself/ Best of luck and just do it, seriously!

    1. Thanks so much. So many have offered advice and encouragement I’m delighted. Take a look back over them too if you wish. What are you thinking of publishing?

      1. I self published a book of 10 children stories called A Berkshire Tale. The stories are part of a series that I will continue (The ZuZu Series) with a tabby kitten named ZuZu as the main character.I published my first book at age 66, so you can do this. Feel free to ask me anything you need to know as you go through this process.

  22. You can’t beat Amazon KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing for ebooks and Createspace for your paperback book. They have great programs for setting up your books and marketing as well. They also have the majority of the market in sales so in my opinion you can’t go wrong with them. They have so many options available for setting up your book in audio format, different languages, support and help…. and continue to improve and add more all the time.

    1. Thank you. So many are in agreement with you it would appear that this is the way to go. Thank you I hope they have an extensive ‘help’ page. I’m actually really looking forward to the challenge and the learning curve.

  23. o.k. putting my serious hat on, for a while, tric – have you thought about a title for this self-published book ?

    I ask – because a title will help shape the form the book is to take

    is it to be a random potpourri of your favourite (or most liked) blog posts ?

    or is it going to have some sort of disciplined organisation – blog posts presented in distinct categories, e.g.,childhood experiences, abuse, nursing tales, married life, parenting, etc which allow the reader to follow your development from child to adulthood?

    I think the book would benefit from being not just a reposting of some of your blog posts but by including additional commentary from yourself, e.g., introducing each blog post, explaining why it has been chosen for inclusion in the book . . .

    did it mark a significant change in your development ?

    what message do you want to impart to your reader through this particular choice of posts?

    are there common themes running through some of your blog posts that you wish to draw the reader’s attention to ?

    you have a wealth of well-written, great blog posts to draw on for inclusion in this proposed ebook – the difficult part, I think, is deciding which to choose, and that depends on you first having a clear overall picture in your mind of the structure/organisation/themes of the proposed book, and then choosing appropriate blog posts to illustrate/fill these categories

    needless to say, you can count on me to buy multiple copies (as long as they are not too expensive) of your new book to gift to my multitude of scroungers hangers-on relatives at xmas !

    1. Duncan I’ve no clue what I’ll call it. I was a little (well a lot) taken aback by the support and advice I’ve received here today. I’ve wandered through the day wondering the title and the content.
      I’d thought I’d gather the posts together and add some new content, but I must say I love the idea of introducing the posts and/or putting them in order of my life. Great ideas. It makes me think that to do this justice I need to put time into planning it. Yes a lot of the work is done, as in it’s written but there is so much more to this than the writing.
      On the positive (and I’ve a glass of wine in me) I think it will be a great project and what a thrill to one day hold a physical ‘my thoughts on a page’.
      Thanks again for all the support you personally have given me over the past two and a half years, and for the advice here. Much appreciated.
      Now my glass is empty so time to text himself in the kitchen. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I love your writing, your parenting posts are insightful and often very witty, your tales of marriage are hilarious at times and yet beautifully sentimental. When you write about Daniel, your emotion is there within the words. I don’t know how you will choose from such a wonderful catalogue of posts, but you will and I wish you the very best of luck with this venture x

    1. Thanks so much. I’ve no idea what I’ll choose and but I’m really excited at the idea. What I’m really delighted about is the feedback from readers like you on what they have enjoyed here. I write as I feel, never planning in advance so it’s so refreshing to know that others have got something from them. Thanks again I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

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