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Self-publishing - one of the miracles of modern tech

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog - In this one I want to go a bit off-piste from the subject of health and wellbeing and talk about how I actually published my books - via the amazon kindle (kdp) desktop publishing software. Not the technical 'how to' but the reason I decided to self-publish as opposed to finding a publishing company to help me.

It's the subject matter; my first book The Scar that won't Heal' has done well but the subject, it turns out, is a potential problem. I had several rejections from publishers who said the area of trauma was not one they could take on (even though it's not about the usual sort of trauma but attachment wounding and how that plays out in chronic illness). My subtitle 'Emotions, Stress and Trauma in Chronic Disease' was more descriptive but even then doesn't really cover the mind and body connection in full detail. Trauma is one of the words that amazon doesn't like. It's too specialist and is not recommended to get into unless you are a psychiatrist (to be brutally honest I think I know more about how trauma shows up than most psychiatrists). But that's not how the establishment views it. Trauma is for professional medicine only. A popular book with that in the title? You have to be joking.

Getting a book title that sells is quite important as you would imagine. Now if I can publish myself (which is easy now thanks to kdp) and I can even create an audiobook version (on Audible), why would I go for a traditional publisher? Well it's the marketing/promotion of course and that's where most self-published authors fall down. They fail to market just expecting people to buy it because it's there. I'll be talking more about that in my next blog. With this new technology you can simply write the book, format it in both paperback and digital versions (there are platforms for that too), design the cover (ditto - is the most brilliant free graphic design package I've ever come across), and hey presto. I'm making it sound way too easy. Actually you can outsource most of these activities but it's recommended by my book publishing training, to do it all yourself at least once..

But of course people have to find your book amongst the millions on offer. That's where Kdspy comes in. This software built by Brit Wesley Atkins comes in. It's a tool for analysing your competitors and sales so you can model best practice and choose a title and genre that will sell. I include the link below.

But that's only a tiny part of the marketing that a self-published author must do. And it's only the beginning of my publishing journey so I'm still learning the ropes so to speak.

But first step is to choose a genre that sells... of course that's not how I did it at all. I chose a genre that I passionately believed in and assumed people would buy because, they too thought it interesting and worthy. I wasn't completely wrong. It has sold. It sells a few copies a month. But, for reasons I'll go into in the next blog, that's not enough. I did it the wrong way round!!

So, with kdspy, you choose a topic area and explore other authors' books and how much they sell before narrowing down your own. So, I've chosen a couple of book topics that have 'proof of concept' and am now ready to put together a book outline (which is actually a detailed document which references other works as well as papers, and other sources). I never did that. I just made a few diagrams of chapters and started writing. My book is a nice flow I think, but probably it would have been better with an outline.

So, in the next blog I'll tell you more about what topics I've chosen and how I'm putting together a marketing and publishing plan. Stay tuned...



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