How to Write a book and Self Publish in 3 months
I know it’s quite a statement but I am not exaggerating I co-authored a book with Emma Bradley, we edited and self-published in 3 months.
Here is how we did it
The SHOMO Awards Sept 2016
Back in September 2016 I attended the annual UK Money Blogger Awards, exciting times as I was nominated for a few awards. I met fellow blogger Emma Bradley there and we got on like a house on fire in the social bits. Part of the day was a big discussion on blogger rates of pay, Emma was on the expert panel and I was a rather vocal member of the audience. Quite a discussion transpired with many a differing view in the audience and the words were uttered ‘someone should write a book about this’. The idea was sparked. The very following day Emma messaged me and asked ‘did I want to write a book?’. It took me about 30 seconds to respond back with a big fat YES.
The planning stage
We met soon afterwards for a ‘bashing heads, go-no go’ planning session. In the meantime, we did our research. I spoke to Tom Church of the website Latestdeals and to Di Coke of SuperLuckyme who had both written books, to ascertain the commercials and process. They were most helpful with time and information and helped to make the go, no go decision.
We came up with 18 chapters and picked the ones we were most comfortable with writing, taking 9 each. I worked on a time plan and the commercials. At this point it was late Sept and we wanted to have the book out by 1st Dec for the Christmas sales period. It was going to be tough and mucho work but we knew we could do it.
The first job was to brain dump the chapters, and we reviewed each other’s brain dumps adding ideas to each other’s work. We then got to it and started writing. We stuck to the time plan regimentally with weekly google hangout meetings and chatting all the time on messenger. The best thing about co-authoring a book is that you get into competition with each other. Emma would message me telling me she had written a whole chapter and 3000 words..so the next day I would do the same. We had originally planned to take the October half term holiday as a week off but we ended up using it to finish the writing stage. The 18 chapters were done by the end of October.
Firstly, we proof read the book, let me tell you how dull this task becomes and brain numbing as we ended up with about 14 different versions of proofs! The first proof was the hardest as we picked up all the inconsistencies between our writing styles. We had set rules at the beginning things like writing in the first person but there were things we had missed. For example, Emma used a double space after a full stop when I used just the one!!
We then passed the book to a good attention to detail friend Emma Wright who proof read the book for consistency, spelling, does it make sense’ kind of thing. We made these changes then passed it onto 8 different people for more proof reading, thank you to Faith Archer of Much More with Less in particular who spent so much time giving us advice and revisions.
After all changes were made, we did a final read through, made plenty more changes and we had a final draft.
We had decided after advice to go with the self-publication route. Mainly due to time as we wanted to write the book and get it out there. Here are the pros and cons in my view.
Pros of Self-Publishing
- You have more control
- You take a bigger cut of sale proceeds
- The rights to your book are yours
- Speed to market is super quick
- Self-publishing is mega easy with create space
Cons of Self-Publishing
- You pay for all costs yourself, promotional costs, book stock, design costs, website costs, proof costs
- All PR and sales is your responsibility and this is the hard bit
- You do a lot of proofing yourself. Publisher would do that for you
Pros of Publishing
- You might get an advance payment, normally split 3 ways, on agreement of book, submission of first draft, final draft agreed.
- If your book is highlighted by your publishers as a star you will get good PR by experts
- Prestige of being a published author
Cons of Publishing
- Much smaller cut of the sale prices comes your way and not until the advance had been recouped.
- Loss of control
- Ownership of book is the publishers
- We set up a website to sell the book from as well as selling through Amazon. There are paperback and eBook versions.
- We have bought some stock of the book to process the website orders. Packaging and postage.
- A designer to design the front cover of book (how good does this book look!!)
- Photography costs for the front cover
- Proofing costs
- PR costs, much can fall into here, competitions, travel to events.
As you can see from these costs they can be as big or as little as you want, we pulled in a lot of favours so we didn’t spend much. Except the purchase of stock, we did invest a fair amount there. But you don’t have to do this, you could just publish via create space which is print on demand.
Promotion and sale of the book
I’ll leave you hanging on that one and will save it for another post…as let me tell you..it’s hard. It’s incredibly difficult to get someone to part with their hard-earned cash and buy a book!
There you have it how to write a book and self-publish in less than 3 months. We met on 10th Sept and the book was available on Amazon on 21st Nov!!
The book is available here, go on you know you want to buy a copy. Do you dream of writing a book? Can you do it?