Poised to e-Publish - so what's stopping me? By Rosalie Warren

Cover Design by Rob Tysall
 Fear. Fear. A fanatical devotion to the.... no, fear again.

I'm not a complete e-publishing newbie. Last November, the Coventry Writers' group, to which I belong, ventured into e-publishing with our Coventry Tales. It was a rewarding and educational experience and the sales, while not amazing, have not been bad.

Nor am I a stranger to conventional publishing (or whatever it's OK to call it now... I can never remember). I've had two books for adults and one for YA published that way and I have another series commissioned, this time for younger readers. So I'm not a complete beginner, though I'm relatively inexperienced in comparison with many of  my esteemed co-contributors on this blog (I'm learning lots from them).

And I now have a book ready for e-release. Well, almost ready. It's been revised to within a jot and tittle of its life. It's been edited and proofed. I've hired a professional designer and photographer to create a cover for me and I absolutely love the result (thank you, Rob Tysall).

I've listened to several fellow authors on the subject of e-publishing. Their enthusiasm has inspired me. I've had several generous offers of help from colleagues and friends. I'm part of a knowledgable and supportive group (this one). So, er... what's stopping me?

As I confessed above, fear. Sheer terror. I've never felt like this with a book before. Have always been in a hurry, once something's been accepted by a publisher, to see my work in print. Have always felt as though it's other people holding up the process.

I suppose one difference is, this time, it's all down to me. Part of my fear is tech-related: will my book fall irretrievably into a mass of unfathomable computer code (I've done computer programming, so my fear is not entirely irrational, perhaps)? Am I afraid of not managing to get to grips with the techie stuff and having to admit defeat when, I tell myself, this is the kind of thing I should be able to do?

Yes, certainly. But mainly, of course, it's reluctance to put my baby, Charity's Child, out there. Because out there lies the possibility of failure. And failure is - what? Failing to achieve spectacular sales? Well, yes. But my expectations are modest, at least for this first attempt. Failure to achieve any sales at all? Perhaps! But, as we all know, one of the joys of e-publishing is that sales can start very slowly and then grow. I have other books to come. And there's no fear of going out of print, of being remaindered and used to support a motorway. 

Do other people feel like this before e-publishing or am I just being ridiculously cautious and protective of my precious 'child', which, let's face it, is just a bundle of words?

Get on with it, Rosalie!

Best wishes,
Rosalie Warren

Blog: Rosalie Reviews
Facebook author page
Twitter: @Ros_Warren


Susan Price said…
At the risk of seeming unkind - yes, get on with it? Grit your teeth and make that mouse-click.
CallyPhillips said…
To counter that helpful kick up the ass... you are right to be fearful, I certainly was before putting my first ebook out there, it's a steep learning curve and if you start reading terms and conditions you'll never do anything. Be pragmatic. It's an experiment. The worst that will happen is that no one will notice but equally, people may start buying. Take the plunge.. but I hope I've helped talk you into the pool rather than chuck you in the deep end SUSAN!!!! No, all advice is good - and we're all here to support you in the endeavour - conquer the fear, publish and be..... free.
It's an interesting observation, Rosalie, because I think we all feel that ... something, however we define it. I know I do, every time I put a book out there, and I've done it a few times now - and am about to do it again, with a biggie - but it's nothing so definite as fear, for me. It's a strange combination of apprehension, elation, excitement, dread. It's that feeling you get, I suppose, when you have nobody to blame but yourself. I quite like it, it's certainly addictive - and in my case it always feels better than conventional publishing, where I've hated the lack of control for years. When, years ago, I had some small success with TV drama, I still hated the process, and gave up on it because (unlike Theatre and Radio which are intensely collaborative) they just want you to write the script, revise it to exact specs and then go away. So the feeling of being in more control is both scary and exhilarating. Take a deep breath and go for it! Nothing is irrevocable - that's one of the joys of the process.
CallyPhillips said…
And... until you put it on Amazon I can't get it into the review schedule... come on Rosalie, you can do it! I am intrigued enough by the title/cover to want to know more.... and I can't be the only one.
Anonymous said…
I think one of the best things about e-publishing is that you can revise things very easily. All you have to do is upload a new version. Bingo! I'm far more nervous about my printed books now, because they're set in stone. Ebooks can be added to, changed, re-edited and deleted to your heart's content.
Jenny Alexander said…
Kindling my YA novel is on my to-do list this year, and I'm comfortable with it because it's been the rounds of publishers and come very close indeed to securing a contract, so I kind of know it's OK. I'd find it hard to have the confidence to do the diy thing without someone in the biz first telling me the book is good. Even after all these years and all these books, I'm eveidently not ready to completely go it alone. I follow this blog with huge interest and find it inspiring - well done on being so close to taking the plunge!
CallyPhillips said…
On the matter of flexibility of ebooks... while you are uploading to Amazon Direct Publishing I think that's the case, but if you are using ISBN numbers then I think you have to obey the usual rules that if you make substantial changes you have to change ISBN number. I'm sure this doesn't apply to most folk here, but thought I should bring it up.
Jenny, I think you should read this post from Kristine Kathryn Rusch: http://kriswrites.com/2012/03/21/the-business-rusch-quality/ - I know what you mean - it's a lack of confidence that afflicts us all at some point - but the huge and growing problem is that these days (and for some years now) that 'someone in the biz' knows considerably less than we do. As an academic said to me only the other day - why on earth should you trust a young media studies graduate on his or her first placement (possibly unpaid) to know more about your craft than you do. And yet that's routinely the kind of person who is making these judgements about what's good and bad. And having spent four years as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow assisting a great many media and 'creative industries' students with their academic writing, many of whom were planning to go into publishing, I know just how much some of them struggle with even basic essay writing. Good luck when you do decide to make the leap!
julia jones said…
I'm glad you put up that post Rosalie - because look at these helpful comments.
Best of luck - and if it's not quite as you'd hoped - well we're not exactly going to shun you in the street!
Pauline Fisk said…
Though I had my first book [of short stories] published in my early twenties, it took nearly another twenty years to bring out my first novel. Telling myself, 'I could have done this - I could have been a writer if I'd wanted,' was safer and more comfortable a position to be in than throwing myself in only to end up failing.

This came to a head on my fortieth birthday when it dawned on me that given this many years again I'd be past it and would have well and truly missed my chance. That's when I started writing Midnight Blue, and I've been writing novels ever since.

So go for it, girl! There's nothing you can fail at that you can't learn from, apart from a failure of nerve.
Susan Price said…
Rosalie - have you done it yet?
Rosalie Warren said…
Thank you, everyone, for that energising range of comments and encouragement. I have just got back from my dad's (which is why I didn't reply to any comments yesterday) - to discover that OH did some plumbing while I was away and the house is er... awash!

So now I have an excuse to delay by another few days (honest, I have - you should see the house!) - but I really will do it, very soon!

Thanks very much, all, your comments are really helpful.
Unknown said…
It's the things you don't do that you regret. Take a deep breath Good luck
Rosalie Warren said…
Thanks, Kate - and everyone. I'm hard at work on it!
Rosalie Warren said…
I did it. I've submitted it to KDP! Thanks for the encouragement, everyone... more soon...
chethran said…
I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.


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