Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Donna Hosie on 'Just how easy is it to independently publish?'

The super-talented and successful indie author, Donna Hosie is back for a second Speculative Fiction Writer guest post.

Previously she discussed the number one question most writers get asked, Where do you get your ideas from? Today she's asking a very different question. Over to you, Donna. 

Just how easy is it to independently publish?

Although I have an agent based in New York, I have enjoyed the fruits – and the labours – of independent publishing for nearly a year now. It isn’t a career path I ever intend to give up either. 

Self-publishing is hard work, make no mistake. You cannot afford to make mistakes with the actual book, the formatting, the cover art, or the promotion. If you do, your potential audience will be ruthless. After all, with the amount of books for sale now, why should a reader part with their money for an author who was prepared to put out sub-standard work?

However, if you take your time and are patient, the rewards for independent publishing are enormous. You will keep 100% control over your own work, and that’s very empowering. You will also procure some excellent royalty rates: 70% on Kindle Direct Publishing if you price your work at $2.99 or above. 

The first thing you have to do, of course, is write a book. The majority of people will never be able to do this, so take a moment to congratulate yourself when you do. Never underestimate the importance of critique partners and then a line editor. They will ask the questions that you either didn’t think of, or didn’t want to hear. A good editor will also pick up on those silly little typos that you missed, even though you will have read your ms at least 20 times and will see the words in your sleep!

GET A PROFESSIONAL COVER DONE. Unless you’re a graphic artist, then seriously, leave this to the professionals. I despair when I see Kindle novel covers that look like badly drawn cartoons. You will make your money back because more people will buy your book. Be prepared to make an initial outlay. You don’t have to pay thousands whatsoever, and I certainly don’t advocate paying for formatting because I truly believe that this is something that can be done by the author with some time and patience. There are several free guides available - I have one on my blog - for those who want to learn. It really is easy, and if you’re planning on publishing several books, then think of the money you will save by doing this yourself in the long term. 

Self-publishing isn’t the easy option, and anyone who thinks this is a fool! But it is a fantastic, viable option for writers who know they are good enough to grab an audience.

GO FOR IT! What have you got to lose? 

Donna Hosie is the author of THE RETURN TO CAMELOT trilogy, and the trilogy concludes with the release of THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE on May 31st. Find out more about Donna and her books here and here.

Thank you, Donna. Congratulations on the release of THE SPIRIT OF NIMUE. As some who recently entered the world of independent publishing, I want to echo every word of your post. It is hard work. You do need critique partners, an editor, professional formatting (until you learn) and a top-notch cover designer. Make a mistake with any of these and you risk losing a reader forever. Get it write, and you won't look back.

I'll be back on Monday with a post about. . .I'm not sure! Something for me to think about over the next few days. Until then, happy writing.


  1. Congratulations to Donna. Thanks for sharing this useful information with us. If I ever decide to self publish I'm going to need all this kind of info!

  2. Hi Ellie .. yes good luck to Donna with her trilogy .. and to her for letting us into some aspects of independently publishing .. as it is all down to you - then it makes sense to make sure it is right.

    So true .. cheers Hilary

  3. One app that I really found helpful in publishing digital magazine is This app made the daunting task of independent publish so much easier and fruitful for me. Dona congratulations for your book and wish you great success for it.

  4. Hey Donna!
    I've seen some sad covers online, so agree with you there.

  5. Donna totally rocks. And she lives her advice. She's been such a great example to me on how to do this, and do it well.

  6. Congrats, Donna! Good advice for any writer!

  7. It's not as easy as people think. That's for certain. Great advice, Donna!

  8. That's encouraging! Although I still find the idea of formatting intimidating, and may end up paying someone else to do it properly.

  9. Congratulations, Donna! You've accomplished quite a lot. You should be proud of yourself, lady. Thanks for sharing your insights with the rest of us.

  10. Great advice, and I agree, a good cover definitely helps. Sometimes it's your only shot at an advertisement!


I love comments. They make my day!