Last Saturday I went the Self-Publishing Conference at the University of Leicester.
I took two key messages away from the conference (as well as a bag of leaflets and promos!):
- Self-publishing is no longer an inferior, second best alternative to traditional publishing. Well-written self-published books that are put through similar editorial and design processes to their traditional counterparts are indistinguishable from ‘normal’ books. Readers choosing a book online, in a bookshop or in the library seldom check the publisher before deciding whether or not to have the book.
- Quality is key when self-publishing. We all know that some get-rich-quick merchants push anything out on Kindle and, unfortunately, give the rest of us a bad name. However the rules are being tightened with Amazon cracking down on books containing errors. The successful self-publisher always puts his book through quality control procedures such as copy-editing and/or proofreading.
Throughout the day I absorbed other information such as:
- How to get e-books into the digital catalogues of libraries through Overdrive (loans of self-published material are growing). There is no PLR but it is a sale which may get you known more widely.
- It’s free to generate a QR Code which can be added to bookmarks and other promotional materials. The code will take readers direct to your website via a smartphone.
- Bookshops and libraries will not readily order/stock Createspace books. If it’s important to you to have copies of your books available in this way then consider a different method of self-publishing, such as through a provider like Matador.
- How ISBNs and metadata work. This was complex and generated a lot of questions! ISBNs can now be bought singly as well as in blocks of ten.
If you’re serious about your self-publishing activities and ambitions, this is a conference well worth attending. I’ll be looking out for the announcement of next year’s date.
P.S. There was also a very good lunch plus chocolate brownies in the afternoon!