Self-publishing Success Story

self-publishing-successA couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Julie Flygare’s book, Wide Awake and Dreaming.

What I didn’t know then, and have found out today, is that Julie self-published this book. I would never have guessed. I have read it and it was perfectly proofread, the story flowed as well as I would expect from any memoir, and it has an attention-grabbing title and cover.

For such a long time, self-publishing has been considered the poor relation of ‘traditional’ publishing by large publishing houses. Granted, some self-published books I read in the past would have benefitted from some editorial input and proofreading, but the content was great, and I have been happy to overlook a few spelling and grammatical errors for the pleasure of reading such a good story. The early feedback generated to those authors and the self-publishing world has led to self-published authors upping their game and now many are giving the big publishing-houses a run for their money.

So how do literary agents feel about the rise of self-publishing? Well Kathryn Beaumont is a literary agent who has also featured Julie’s book in her blog which you can read here.

Kathryn followed up that article with a really useful guide to choosing whether to self-publish or not.

I asked Julie if she approached, or considered approaching, a conventional publisher with her book at all before making her decision to self-publish, and I am thankful to Julie for her rapid reply, “Yes I spent a year and a half dealing with a literary agent who approaches the publishers. I came very close to a publishing deal at a few publishing houses. All said how well written the book was, but ultimately that no one cares about narcolepsy. Which was obviously the stereotype I was trying to fight in writing the book. So ultimately, after getting very close many times and dedicating so much time to the traditional publishing process, I had to self-publish.”

What Julie has also shown is that self-publishing is a valid and convenient option for somebody who self-manages a health challenge too, particularly when the subject-matter is something a publisher will probably have no experience of, and considers it such a small niche market. Obviously, a lot of people care.

wide-awake-and-dreaming-narcolepsy-memoir-julie-flygare-book-release-1024x1024Julie’s successful efforts have led to her becoming the ‘voice’ of people with narcolepsy. It has propelled her into tireless (perhaps an ironic choice of words for a person with narcolepsy) campaigning for narcolepsy awareness.

You can purchase Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

5 Easy Steps to Start Writing for Fun and Profit

writing-blogging-clipart1Every writer dreams of the day when they can profit from their writing. While income opportunities abound for writers, each method has drawbacks.

Newspaper and magazine reporters can make a good living but their subject matter is often closely regulated and directed. Corporate writing can be even more lucrative but even more tightly controlled. Freelance writing offers more freedom but is also more uncertain. Publishing books is even more uncertain. So what is a writer to do?

Forget all those old-school writing methods and focus on the internet. Don’t write for anyone but yourself. You really can profit from writing only about what interests you. Don’t worry about the market or the editors. Write for yourself. Not only will it be more fun and rewarding for your soul but for your checking account as well.

I am going to share an easy (and cheap) 5-step formula that can help you start your own writing business today, but first I want to share one important fact.

This is not a get-rich quick scheme. It will take some time to earn, perhaps as long as several months to begin turning a profit, but if you keep working at it you should see your income grow exponentially each month and you should be able to count on that income and know what you have to do to increase it. You will have total control over your income and that is very powerful. Most of all, if you are doing what you love, that is a reward in itself, and often financial reward comes off the back of that.

1. Create a blog account at one of the free blogging sites available online (I use WordPress but there are many other good options). This will serve as your internet base. It really is the cheapest and easiest way to get online today. Yes, you could create a free website at one of the many available, but blogs are more attractive to the search engines. Plus they offer you the ability to personalise it but most of your energy will be spent on content which is the king of the internet and the real reason you want an internet presence.

2. Now sign up for a free ClickBank affiliate account which will give you immediate access to something to sell.

3. Sign up for a contextual or pay-per-click advertiser such as Google, Yahoo, Revenue Pilot, or SearchFeed and you’ll start earning from visitors as well as customers.

4. Develop your blog. Make 10 your immediate goal then work your way up to 25, 50 and 100 and so on. Your entries can be your opinions, thoughts, or ramblings; poems or short stories; or articles.

5. Promote your blog through article marketing, link development and submitting your blog feed. I would suggest you primarily focus on article marketing as it offers the ability to not only develop links but also delivers traffic, plus as a writer it is easy for you to create articles or use a selection of the material you’ve already created for your blog. Also, a great method of promotion is by connecting with other bloggers, through Facebook groups and other forms of social networking, and also by commenting on other blogs.

Yes, it really is that simple and while you can later grow by buying your own domain name (or names) and publishing your blog on your own site, you do not need (and likely should avoid) investing money in expensive tools

Getting started on the web can be free (as you see above) or inexpensive if you concentrate on what you really need. The simple truth is that you don’t need a lot of fancy, expensive tools and programs. In the long run a domain name is a good investment. A domain name will cost you between £5/$5 and £10/$10 a year depending on whether you go .com or .info (or one of the many other options available). You don’t need to find a web host or create a site. Simply use web-forwarding to point the domain at your blog for now and continue with the development and promotion of your blog. The advantage of owning your own domain name is simply that later when you have the money, time, and knowledge to develop your web site that domain name will already exist and have filtered through the search engines. It also offers some marketing advantages that a free blog cannot.

At some point you may decide you want more flexibility and control than a free blog can offer and that is when you will want to run your own site. You can find a good web host for as little as £5/$5 a month and shouldn’t pay more than £20/$20 a month for a reputable host that offers all the tools and utilities you might need for your current site – including blog software. Maybe down the line you’ll need to upgrade but by then you’ll know your income and your needs.

Really the only other regular expense that you might consider to make your internet business complete would be a mailing list tool. You can do this for just $20 a month and it will be worth every penny for sales, customer service, and promotion. But this is not necessary to start out and you may decide that it isn’t important to your efforts so you can skip it entirely.

Once you have your blog set up and monetized (by offering ClickBank products, advertising, and/or selling text links) then you are in a position to begin profiting from your writing. The way to profit is to increase your traffic so you need to get serious about your article marketing efforts because each article you distribute will generate immediate traffic and create back links for search engine optimization. Also you need to continue to grow your blog by adding fresh content regularly. This will create repeat visitors as well as bring the search engines back again and again. Simply publishing new articles and new blog entries each week will increase your traffic. The more articles and entries you create — the more traffic you will generate.

Once you have found your rhythm with your existing blog you may well decide to branch out and create a second blog on a different or related topic. Now you should be able to work even faster because you are more experienced but likely more motivated as well because you can see just how rewarding it can be to write for fun and profit.

Self-published my first book!

coverA few weeks ago, I wrote ‘Ever considered writing and self-publishing?’. It was a very popular post, which tells me of the tremendous desire many of you have to write and self-publish.

I have a few writing projects of my own in process at the moment.

In the meantime, I came across a beautiful old book that is out of copyright. Therefore, it is legal to republish it. It is such a wonderful book about travelling around Ireland.

Katharine Tynan was an Irish-born writer, who moved to England after she married. She wrote Peeps at Many Lands: Ireland on a visit back to her country of birth. She travelled around several counties and paints a wonderful picture of the colourful Irish characters, which vary considerably in different parts of Ireland. She further compares and contrasts her countryfolk to the English people she had come to know.

Beautifully illustrated, this delightful book just called for me to reincarnate it.

My own personal reason for being drawn to this book was because it described the coastal regions of Donegal, where my great-great-grandfather was the lighthouse-keeper at Moville for some years. Although he and the lighthouse are not mentioned, I did like to fantasise that he was probably around at the time this book was written.

Isn’t it wonderful where books can take us in our minds?

Peeps at Many Lands: Ireland is available to purchase from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

This was good further practice for me. Although I had created Kindle books for another author who has moved into self-publishing, I had not created one which included pictures. I also had not yet actually self-published through the Kindle Direct Publishing program myself.

Remember, you do not need to own a Kindle to read Kindle books. By clicking on the Kindle logo to the right of this page, you can download a FREE Kindle app to read Kindle books on any platform.

Happy reading 😀

Ever considered writing and self-publishing?

the_writing_processSo many people know they have a book inside them wanting to burst out into the world. I know I have many.

However, do you know how easy it has become to write and publish your own book?

I was a staunch fan of paper books, and still am. However, I have found ebooks so much easier and more convenient to read. I can, and do, carry a whole library with me everywhere I go, and I mean everywhere, the park, the carwash, bed!

With the creation of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, it has never been easier to publish your own book. I have been developing my skills in this area for some time now, and have helped an established author who had a traditional paper book published some years ago, to prepare that book and a couple of new ones, and publish them using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

No more waiting for months for rejection letters from traditional publishers, just because you do not fit into their ‘box’ or they cannot see the potential of how many people really want to read your story, and with the Internet your market is global.

If you want to be further inspired as to what is possible, check out these videos:


Ebook does not have to be your only option. Print-on-demand is also becoming a popular option as you don’t have to commit to having a lot of paper books published at once, and complements your ebook publishing too:


Louise Hay, one of my absolute favourite authors, began with her ‘little book’ and went on to create Hay House, one of the biggest and best publishing houses in the world:

Buy Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life from Amazon.com

Buy Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life from Amazon.co.uk
My grandmother has wanted to write her life story for some 30 years, but never ‘got around to it’. Elderly and infirm now, it is her one biggest regret in life. As I love to hear her talk about her remarkable life, I have decided to take a dictation machine with me when I visit her, and capture some of her glorious history to become my next book, and hopefully make her dream come true through the power of self-publishing.

My dad gave me some great advice several years ago, when he said to me “At the end of your life, do you want to say ‘I wish I’d done that’ or ‘I’m glad I tried that’.” When I have taken that advice, and tried something new, I have never regretted it 😀

If you are already writing and self-publishing, whether books or blogs or if you have any other type of home-based business I can show you How To Generate FREE Leads On Auto Pilot!