It's always lovely to catch up with my writing friends, so today it's my great pleasure to be chatting to Jo Lambert and finding out what she's been doing since we were last in touch.
Although she has been commercially published in the past, Jo is self-publishing her latest novel, and she's sent me some thoughts on the process.
"Every writer dreams about getting a book deal don’t they? To many, it’s the holy grail of writing; the ultimate destination for an author. Having my book accepted by an agent or publisher was foremost in my mind when I wrote my very first novel. But it soon became clear turning ambition into reality was going not going to be easy.
"There was another way of getting into print of course: self-publishing. When I first began to think about this as an option, indie publishing was a bit of a minefield. To be honest there were a lot of badly-written books out there, which had given rise to the idea that self-published somehow meant second rate. And in some cases it did. A few writers decided, probably to economise on publishing costs, that they could do it all themselves. This resulted in amateurish-looking books full of spelling and typing errors.
"If you are going to give your book the best chance in a very competitive market, it is essential to build a team of professionals around you to help make your work the best it can be. An editor is a must; a cover designer too, and a proof reader. The cover of my latest novel was designed by the talented Jane Dixon Smith.
"Beta readers are also useful. They check your written work from a reader’s perspective and give feedback. And finally, if you’re not able to load it all onto publishing platforms yourself, a formatter is another must-have.
"So, if you are thinking of joining the ranks of those who self-publish (and some are very successful at it), please don’t cut corners or costs. Invest in a good quality back up team; they really are worth their weight in gold. During my time as a self-published author this very important support group has proved absolutely indispensable."
Thank you for some excellent advice, Jo, and good luck with your latest novel, Shadows on the Water, which looks wonderful.
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