The Indie Author Fringe Event

Learning by India Edu courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

The Indie Author Fringe Event at the London Book Fair takes place online across this Saturday March 18th starting at 10.00 a.m. London time and continuing for 24 hours.

Here is a link to the speakers and topics being covered during the event:-

If you are interested in registering (registration is free) or want to find out more about the event itself here’s the link:-

I have signed up for previous fringe events and have always found them helpful and informative. So why not give it a go?

This is what ALLi have to say about the event on their website:-

“Indie Author Fringe is a three-times a year, online conference for self-publishing authors, brought to you by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), fringe to the major global publishing fairs. 

 ALLi brings together the most up-to-date self-publishing education and information available and broadcasts it to authors everywhere. 

Running 24 sessions over 24 continuous hours allows our members, and other authors round the globe, to attend some live sessions, no matter where they’re located. (But don’t worry, we don’t expect you to stay up all night! You can always catch up later.)

Over the course of the year, we take authors across all stages of the author-publishing journey: writing, editorial, design, production, distribution, sales, marketing, rights licensing, money matters and living the indie author life.  And thanks to the generosity of our speakers and sponsors, it’s free.”


The Decision to Self-Publish

Ten years ago I dreamed of being published the traditional way, vanity publishing aside, it was the only option available. With the ink still wet on my contract with a London literary agent, I was full of optimism.

Pen and Ink by Heather s
Pen and Ink by Heather courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

The Flower Seller came close to securing a deal with a couple of publishers but ultimately I lost the slot to other more established authors with proven track records or the money men shook their heads. Other near misses with future novels followed and then the world started to change.

What Now.s
What now? By Kiran Foster courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

Last Christmas I read “Self-Printed The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing” by Catherine Ryan Howard and decided to leap into the unknown. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly. Burning bridges is never pleasant but in my heart of hearts I knew it was the right decision for me. How much longer did I wait for a trad deal? What if it never came? Better to regret the things that I have done than to regret the things I never had the courage to try. And so I began my journey through the dark forest of self-publishing. It was an unfamiliar and scary place full of traps for the unwary.

Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams
Close your Eyes and Surrender to your Darkest Dreams by MartinaK15 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

I was plunged into a whirlwind of new activity. There were so many new terms to learn, so many new skills to acquire, so much knowledge to soak up and try to retain.

Spinning toy
Spinning Toy by Cinnamon_girl courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

Anyone familiar with Grand Designs on TV will know the format where the people building their houses set out their timescale and proposed cost of the project. I am probably not alone in smirking and thinking “Yeah it’ll take twice as long and cost twice as much…”   And yet I made the same mistake with my own project.

What have I discovered on the way? That the self-publishing community is a friendly and encouraging group of people. I have found the Alliance of Independent Authors   phenomenally supportive and informative. The blogs and articles so generously written by Alli’s contributors have been invaluable to a newbie like me. As has the sage advice given by amongst others:

Catherine Ryan Howard

David Gaughran

Joel Friedlander

Kristen Lamb

and Joanna Penn

They have all provided candles to light my journey and I am grateful for their generosity of spirit in sharing their knowledge. I hope in some small way the advice I give below will in turn help someone new who is at the start of their own journey. Paying it forward as the saying goes.

So what advice would I pass on to the next person taking the leap?

  1. Make your book the best version of the book it can be and don’t give in to the temptation to rush to publication too early. Hire an editor and a proof reader.
  2. Take time and trouble over your cover. Never underestimate the power of that thumbnail sized jpeg on the Kindle screen.
  3. Make a note of useful information in an orderly fashion. I became swamped by so much valid advice that it became too hard to take in. Learn from my mistakes – have a system.
Filing pile
Filing Pile by Cas courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

4. You don’t have to learn everything at once and the world won’t end if you make a mistake.

5. Plan, plan and plan some more. Countries have been invaded with less planning than this project will take! Give yourself plenty of time. Everything always takes longer than you think. The book is the lynchpin but there are so many other facets of self-publishing, any publishing really, that need your attention, not least the building of a social media platform.

6. There is never enough time. I recall reading that Joanna Penn gave up watching television – I understand why!

Pocket watches
Pocket Watches by Peter Dracht courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

7. Have patience with yourself. It’s better to do one thing well than ten badly but don’t be so hidebound by perfection that you never complete anything.

8. Believe in yourself and your ability to see the project through to completion. There have been many times when I have likened the business of self-publishing to fighting the Hydra. As soon as I cut off one head two more spring up in its place. It sometimes feels like a battle I cannot win and yet here I am one year on still going, still fighting.

Fighting the Hydra
Fighting the Hydra by Ayustety courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

9. There is never enough time. Did I mention that?!

10. Try to enjoy and celebrate the successes you will have along the way. The first time you see your completed cover is such a thrill. The first time someone tells you your book is on pre-order in Sweden as happened to me this week! You need the little pick-me-ups to keep you going.

My journey through the dark forest of self-publishing continues. My novel, The Flower Seller, will be published in June 2016. It’s gestation period has been long and often arduous. Today’s blog is the first in my Flower Seller Thursday collection leading up to publication on Thursday 2nd June #FlowerSellerThursday

The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes

It would be nice to say that in June I will arrive at my destination but does a writer ever do that? There is always the next project and the next. Write, publish, repeat is a mantra I have become familiar with on my first year’s adventures in self-publishing. Here’s to the second year and many more to come.

If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out on the journey to self-publication, what would it be?