On the back of growing success, Chichester independent writers group CHINDI are determined to show others the way.
They are launching a series of four workshops, one a month from the end of April, to offer people the chance to make their way in self-publishing.
Group member Julian Kirkman-Page promised the workshops would cover a range of aspects including the fact that, sadly, people really do judge a book by its cover.
“So many people ask ‘How do you go about self-publishing and what are the things to consider?’ But the fact is that we have all taken different routes as writers within CHINDI. Some people spend hundreds of pounds on their cover; some people spend virtually nothing. But it is such an important thing to get right,” Julian stressed. “For the workshops we will be covering things such as cover design.”
Another topic to be covered will be the vital importance of proofing and proper copy-editing. As Julian admits, poor spelling and bad grammar are areas where self-published authors can really let themselves down, quickly creating a poor impression on the reader. You need that third pair of eyes, and increasingly CHINDI authors are helping each other out in that respect, Julian said.
The workshops will also cover the question of how you then go about turning your finished book into a success.
Overall, the workshops will stress that what was once dismissed as vanity publishing has now become perfectly respectable: “I think it is Amazon that has changed that. People don’t necessarily buy at Waterstones. They might browse there, but they will buy online.”
And as Julian says, Amazon doesn’t make a distinction between self-published and more conventionally-published books. Amazon also allows you to ‘look inside’ before buying, to allow you to get a flavour of the book. Reviews will also help ‘once you have got past the first two or three that will always be written by friends of the author!’
Obviously, you have to be realistic, though, Julian stressed: “You always hope that a publisher will come along and say ‘Here is half a million pounds; go travel the world and never worry about money again.’ But that’s probably not going to happen! The workshops are a fabulous opportunity to save what could otherwise be months of research and heartache.”
To book, contact the Novium on 01243 775888 or www.chindi-authors.co.uk
The four sessions begin at the Novium in Chichester on April 25, starting at 9.30am and lasting a couple of hours. Sessions two and three are May 30 and June 27, with the date of the fourth to be confirmed. For more information, get in touch with CHINDI via the website www.chindi-authors.co.uk.
If the series goes well, Julian says the hope would be to run it again.