Maybe my RNA colleagues were being polite at the annual conference this last weekend, but I didn’t get one remotely pointed remark about my self-published debut novel, INCEPTIO. That sounds defensive, I know, but what a change from even 12 months, let alone 24 months ago.
Are we all now ‘published’ rather than self/independent/mainstream/traditional? Have we reached that Nirvana? Probably not, but we’ve travelled a lot further along the path in the last six months than in the whole five years before.
Freda Lightfoot pounced on me at the conference to contribute to her talk on independent/self publishing and asked me to give the audience my experience of assisted publishing in both print and ebook. I spoke a few words about how I wanted to have a shiny physical book to show and sell to people as well as have the ebook available online to the world. I wanted mine to be the best of novels.
It’s been extremely successful – the glorious purple and gold eagle design for INCEPTIO has been much admired by readers, fellow writers, bestselling writers, agents and media folk. And there’s nothing like the pleasure of putting an attractive, well-produced book into a reader’s hands.
Freda’s session was very well attended, so much so that the plenary room was used. But so many people approached me for information afterwards or took me aside for a few minutes in one of the coffee or meal breaks that I lost count. Oh, and I signed a lot of books that Blackwells kindly sold for me!
I saw for myself the self-publishing buzz at the London Book Fair in April where Amazon were showcasing only their self-publishing arms – KDP and CreatSpace. They would, of course, but you could almost touch the excitement flowing round that section of the fair.
When I returned home after the Sheffield conference and caught up on the message and email mountain, I saw that the Romance Writers of America were opening therir famous RITA awards to self-published work “ensuring the RITA contest remains viable in light of industry evolution“. The guidelines will be strict and no cheap or sloppy work will stand a chance in this fiercely competitive contest. But the playing field is levelling out…