Self-published authors

Credit: Rey Seven on Unsplash

The Bronte sisters – apart from being legends and dying of TB – were pioneers of self-publishing. There’s a list of famous self-publishing authors that includes them and:

  • Jane Austen
  • Margaret Atwood
  • JK Rowling
  • William Blake
  • Mark Twain and
  • Leo Tolstoy.

It’s great to find this list – very encouraging!

Though I suspect the list of self-published authors who’ve not quite made a go of it is longer.

Still short of information about self-publishing, about a week ago I spent more time looking around the net for clues about where to start.

I found a really good blog on mashable profiling three self-published authors who are making a living at it. This was great but, unlike the featured authors, I don’t write thrillers or commercial books. And, even if I were to write full time, I couldn’t write a novel every couple of months.

Reading down the blog I discovered the third writer, Adam Nevill, has been very successful publishing short stories and preview collections. I like the fact he offered give-aways as part of his markeing, so I’m thinking hard about what I could give my dear readers.

Should it be a story that gives people a taster of what will be in the collection? Or a supplementary one in addition to the collection they might buy? If you’re reading this and have any ideas, please let me know through the contact form or message me on Twitter.

Self-publishing a short story collection

After a couple of hours I began to think googling “self-publishing a short story collection” is a bit like googling a list of symptoms. You’re not going to get the answers you really want, and you’ll probably feel worse after you’ve done it.

The first blog I read (which I won’t link to because it’s so dispiriting) starts by saying it’s unlikely you’ll ever find a traditional publisher who wants your short stories.

But we all knew that, right?

It cites Stephen King as an exception, enumerating his years of prolific writing – including publishing Carrie – before anyone wanted to publish a collection of his short stories. Then it reminds you that you’re not Stephen King and goes on to describe self-publishing as pretty much a fool’s errand.

I can’t believe anyone took the time to write such a mean, dispiriting blog so I went back to the list of greats to get some inspiration. And guess who was there?

Yes, Stephen King! He’s on the list of self-published authors, along with DH Lawrence, Thomas Hardy and Beatrix Potter. Ha!

That kept me going and then I found this self-published poet called Derek Haines through his blog on self-publishing short stories. The site looks great – rammed with useful resources and things to think about. He understands web content! And to top it all, he says his favourite book’s The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What’s not to like! I’ll definitely be exploring this site in more depth.