It has been a whole year today since I first sent my little book out into the world. When I published, Thrive, I did it for myself, with very few expectations in the way of sales, reviews or reach. It is a small book with a small readership written with the simple hope that it might find just one soul who would find comfort or joy in its pages. Even though it won’t be hitting any bestseller lists anytime soon, the response I have received to my debut work is beyond what I could have imagined.
Thrive has made its way into the hands of readers all around the world – Australia, India, Seoul, France, USA and up and down my home country. I have had beautiful reviews left by strangers and heartfelt messages from friends and family, all of which have brought me to tears on occasion.
At the beginning of the year, I had a small and mostly secret hope that I might sell 100 copies in 2020 – a goal that I hit back in May and went on to exceed. And the truth is, I really haven’t given the time or energy to promoting Thrive that I wanted or intended to. Which somehow makes those sale all the more special. This little book that was the fulfilment of a dream has made its slow and steady way out to readers anyway.
I am eternally grateful for all the love and support I have received throughout this journey, and especially to those readers who have taken the time to share the book with others, leave a review or just reach out to let me know their thoughts. I appreciate you all more than you know.
By happy coincidence, today I had the pleasure and privilege to be involved in an online writing festival, hosted by the Greater Manchester branch of the Women’s Equality Party, and I ran a 30 minute workshop on self-publishing. This morning, imposter syndrome raised its ugly head and had me feeling like a fraud for daring to run such a workshop when I’ve only published one book and haven’t exactly given it my all as I had hoped. But I managed to quiet my brain and convince myself that there is value in sharing experience and whilst I might not have done self publishing perfectly (is there such a thing?!) I have done it. And I learned a LOT along the way.
So I shared my experiences and what little advice I have to give with the lovely folk who joined us for the festival and, by way of marking the one year milestone in my indie author journey, I’m going to share it with you too. I produced a short guide to the basics of self publishing to accompany the workshop and have made it freely available here for anyone who is interested. I’m not an expert by any means but I hope the little knowledge I have and the lessons I’ve learned will be of some help. And if you have any questions, I’m happy to help if I can – leave a comment or reach out on Twitter or Instagram.
There’s a lot to be said for this self-publishing malarkey and I’m hoping to put more time and energy to it in 2021 (fingers crossed for a slightly less crazy year…). If it’s a route your thinking of pursuing, go for it and find what works for you. As someone called Henry once said “ Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” You can do it.
Thank you again to everyone who has been part of my indie author journey so far.
Go gently (and confidently), friends.