The business of self-publishing: Bookshop launches

Self-publishing is becoming a viable and accepted method for writers to either bring out a book that is hard for publishers to define, for traditionally published writers to relaunch old out of print titles electronically or through print on demand, for writers to supplement their traditional titles or fund their writing on the path to traditional publication, to write and publish creative, experimental and artistic work that may have a more niche following. To be commended and recommended, self-published work needs to be of high quality and the self-publisher needs to apply the principles of professionalism and good business.

In this weeks article on The Business of Self-Publishing, I talk about how to make self-publishing work, through strong products, marketing savvy, funding initatives and more. Take a look at the full article here.

I recently launched the paperback of Housewife with a Half-Life in a bookshop. There are pros and cons for the self-publisher in taking on a Bookshop launch but overall I feel that it’s benefits outweighed any drawbacks. I recently wrote an article exploring the merits of a bookshop launch.

To Launch or Not to Launch: A second opinion

When invited to hold a bookshop launch for my debut self-published book Housewife with a Half-Life in a local store, I thought about the pros and cons. I’m here to say why, on balance, that while there are many arguments against a bookshop launch for the self-publisher, I’m glad that I went ahead.

First, the facts in black and white:

Having a bookshop launch is exhausting.

These are some of the tasks that need to be done ahead of time:

Organise books: While CreateSpace, the POD company I used, have many distribution channels, the Irish ones are not included in this. So it was necessary to send off (and pay for) a consignment of books upfront and then organise to get them to the bookshop.

Arrange publicity: I created a press release and emailed as many of the local papers, radio stations etc as I could. I also sent a copy of the book out to selected media people. I invited people through text, email and social media. This was a big job. I also organised a speaker, some refreshments etc.

These activities were all done in tandem with an online launch and blog tour marketing and publicity were all encompassing.

This article is guest posted on Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog. For the rest of the article, click here.

I’d appreciate your thoughts and experiences on your self-publishing journey and if you’ve done a ‘real-life’ book launch whether or not you found it useful.

In the meantime I’m bringing out several mini-collections of my short stories, some of which were shortlisted in prizes such as the Bridport, Fish and Hennessy New Irish Writing XO awards. Here’s what I’ve released so far. I’ll let you know how this venture goes.

Short Story Delights – Bridport Prize and more

A quick post to say that the results of the Bridport Prize are now official and I’m absolutely delighted to say that one of my stories has been shortlisted in this popular and very well known competition. Being on the shortlist means that the story reached the last 100 out of 6000 entries. On hearing the news I must say I shed a little tear of happiness. In the last couple of years I have really had a love affair with the short story and hope to continue to develop my stories.

Big congratulations to the finalists who will be published and the top winners including Kirsty Logan, who I’ve met online, her story sounds sensational.

All the details including judge Zoe Heller’s fascinating report are here Scroll down to see my name!

At the moment I’m working on a novel but thinking about my short stories always thrills me. I have to admit I’m a bit of a short story evangelist. If you are too and are on twitter, check out the #shortstories hashtag and follow @taniahershman, @nikperring and @BristolPrize among others for great short story tweets and links.

In the spirit of this short story love affair I was tremendously taken with this post on Nicola Morgan’s fabulous writing blog. It’s a wonderful interview with short story writer Tom Vowler and it really echoed many of my  short story writing experiences. This post is great but also sign up to Nicola’s blog. It is the most comprehensively helpful blog for writers. Nicola was recently nominated for the Carnegie Award for her latest book ‘Wasted’.

I’ve just discovered this link via the BristolPrize and had to add it as it seems (hopefully) very apt. It’s about why the Irish are good at short stories! Anne Enright in the Guardian.

If you have been scribbling away and have well rouned stories ready for the off, here are some Submission Opportunities for Short Stories.

Fish Prize

BBC Radio 4

RTE Frances McManus Prize

Bristol Prize