Monday, 12 January 2015

The Complete Article Writer

Welcome to my New Year plug! I have just finished going through the self-publishing process, which involved creating a substantial print and eBook version of the text for the first time. And it’s been an interesting journey, which isn’t over yet, judging by some of the problems I was having on Friday. But the books are out there, so it’s time to start telling the world! (You lucky people, you!)

The Complete Article Writer began life as a series of eight workshops for the Writers Holiday event in Fishguard last year. The course went well, the delegates enjoyed it, and I realised that the structure of the course would make a good book (I hope!). So, I came home from the course at the end of July, spent most of August and September writing it, and October editing it. November was taken up with getting a proofreader friend to edit it and December was sorting out the finer details, such as making a final decision about the cover, before arranging for a proof physical copy to be printed and sent to me. After that, I then set to work creating the eBook version.

The print version is now available through Amazon, as is the eBook version, which is currently being distributed via Smashwords and will also be available through Apple’s iBooks/iTunes and various other eBook channels such as Kobo and Barnes and Noble.

I had pitched this idea to a traditional publisher, but when I examined the contract I was being offered I felt that I could probably do better by self-publishing. Self-publishing isn’t right for every project, but it can be the best option for some.

So, what can you expect to learn from The Complete Article Writer? Well, in the book I explore:

- how to generate article ideas and then mine them for their maximum potential,
- how to analyse a magazine to learn which bits of your idea a magazine’s specific readership will be interested in,
- how to choose the right structure for your article (and how a different structure can give you a different article),
- how to add creativity and sparkle to your articles - non-fiction isn’t just about repeating facts, but how you repeat those facts,
- how to pitch your idea to an editor first, and get them to commission you to write the article,
- what it means when a publication asks for certain rights in your article and what affect this has on what else you can do with it.

There’s another reason why I wanted to self-publish this book: I have more control over its price. I’ve set the price of the print book to £7.99, which I think is good value for a 60,000-word book that weighs in at over 200 pages. The eBook version is £2.99, which I hope will be seen as good value for what it offers.

I hope readers find it useful, practical and informative, and even better if they leave some lovely reviews too.

Would I go through this self-publishing process again, after this? Yes. For the right project. But one thing that I do think is important is that if you’re going to self-publish don’t just go down the eBook route: produce a print version too. Recent figures suggest that there is still a huge demand for print books, and eBook sales have waned recently. Don’t get me wrong: the eBook isn’t dead, but then neither is the print book.

I wish everyone a creatively prosperous 2015. And perhaps buying a copy of The Complete Article Writer will help you with that creative prosperity  

Good luck!

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