The challenge of self publishing

The Long Road Out of Town is now in one of Amazon's massive warehouses.

The Long Road Out of Town is now in one of Amazon’s massive warehouses.


It’s only when you self-publish a book that you realise all the work that has to go into making it available to readers. All my other books were taken care of by publishers. With The Long Road Out of Town I’ve had to do everything from hiring a copy editor and illustrator to finding a printer and undertaking all the sales and marketing work.

Sales and marketing have been the toughest part. After all the time I’ve spent trying to understand the nuts and bolts of the Amazon Advantage programme I should be an expert. But I’m not. I still find Amazon’s different sales programmes (Advantage, Advantage Professional, Pro Merchant, FBA, Vendor Central, Seller Central) very confusing.

What has surprised me is how much time all of this takes. I’ve spent most of this week sending out press releases, flagging up the book on Twitter and Facebook, and packing and posting copies of the book. After not long returning from a jiffy bag run at one of the discount shops in the high street, I’m shortly heading to the post office.

And now the book is making its way into the world, like a small child, you wonder how many people will be interested in it and whether those who buy it will think it’s any good.

I’m delighted there’s interest in the Wirksworth and Matlock area of Derbyshire, where I grew up. This is a part of England that hardly ever makes it into the pages of a memoir. I hope I’ve managed to evoke what it was like growing up there in the 1970s, well at least what it was like for me.

So, despite all the hard work involved in self-publishing, would I do it again? Yes. I’m about to start work on a memoir about my career in journalism.

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