The Respectable Face of Self-Publishing

I wrote a memoir. I’m not a celeb. Why would any commercial publisher be interested? I self-published.


It used to be the fact that the face of self-publishing had mud all over it. The more realistic description of the method of publishing your own book was Vanity Publishing, a term which is now extinct.

Like everything else the world of publishing has changed. Profit seems to dictate every aspect of commercial publishing; gone is that publishing chance open to lesser known writers ‘the mid-list’; publication of your novel is rare unless you are young with an inspired talent and a blossoming future; or the theme of the novel fits the current market demands ie women in jeopardy, women in later life facing dementia or books which are dystopic.

Writers who do not want to or who can’t fit into those narrow categories are using the growing chances of self-publishing.

The benefits? I commissioned the front cover from an illustrator I knew and admired. I decided on the print run; the level of distribution; the breadth of marketing; the selling on Amazon and the production of an Ebook. Finally I had the opportunity to sell directly to people I knew at the full price and to receive directly their reactions and comments. I enjoyed every minute of it and am still doing so.

The Chiswick -based authors who appeared at the Waterstones Local Authors Party at the 2019 Chiswick Book Festival.

Recently, I’ve been offered new opportunities to speak about and promote my memoir The Baby Box.

On Wednesday 18 March, the Department of Humanities at the University of Chichester are presenting a discussion panel on – guess what? – Self-Publishing and yours truly is on the panel with Janet Denny and David Hailwood, also former MA students. A chance to talk about our decision, our aims in self-publishing and to make some gentle suggestions on how to use the opportunity of being in charge of your own book. Plus the, not to be overlooked, chance to sell a few books.

In May, I am to run a two-Saturday-mornings workshop on writing from personal experience – ie memoir long or short. I asked about including self-publishing and was told that certainly I could include it in the programme; it was a good idea. The information on this workshop has not been made public yet but when it is, I’ll put details on this blog.

In the meantime here are 2 most respectable Self-Publishing Firms:

Matador at Troubador :     

York Publishing Services Ltd :






My advice : send for their guides to self-publishing; compare the terms and charges; ask to read their contracts and make 100% sure you will own full copyright.



4 thoughts on “The Respectable Face of Self-Publishing

  1. judehayland says:

    As someone who has self-published two novels I entirely endorse everything in this post! I had been a writer for decades – widely and extensively published in the UK and internationally with women’s magazines and with an agent. But when it came to submitting full length fiction – well, I knew there was no point in even trying. I even heard at a lecture (part of my M.A. in Creative Writing) that an agent/publisher require a reason for taking on a writer – regardless of the quality of their writing – and if they can’t ‘sell’ the writer, they won’t even bother looking at their writing. So, like Jane, I went the self-publishing route even after being conventionally published as a short story writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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