Saturday, 8 March 2014

Guest Post: Self Publishing


Sydnee Blake was born in New York, lived in France but spent most of her working life in London.  She has been an actor, theatre director and teacher.  Her stories appeared in Worldwide Writers and Brittle Star.  They have also been placed in awards, including The Ian St James, The New Writer and Fish.  She has two sons and four grandchildren.


It’s published! 

I have my book Finding Words in Whitechapel and other stories. It looks beautiful BUT the cost.

The journey…

The adventure began a year ago with a small publisher, who will remain nameless. For £680.00 my master-piece received Publishing Services: Title set-up and administration, an ISBN allocation, legal deposit, bar code which resulted in a 250 gsm printed full colour outside only paperback book. Print on demand = £3.46 for each copy. Less for large orders, of course.


Okay. I had friends do the cover, friends edited my book and that saved me a lot but what happens after the book is printed highlights the problems.






The publisher holds your IBSN number, so if you sign up with Amazon another number is needed, more money.

Distribution. Because of it being a small publisher, the Distributors of my book took weeks to fill the orders placed at my launch. Orders to print a book and deliver will take much longer than going through Amazon and this seriously affects the small bookshop.

Sales. I pay for each book published but my publisher takes 15% of each one sold, the bookstore takes a large percentage and usually it’s sale or return. Keeping track of sales both with the publisher and the small bookshops is Mighty Difficult. Amazon asked me to sign up with the IRS and that ensures good book keeping. But Amazon takes perhaps as much as 60% for the privilege of selling each book.

Networking. It’s all go with writing to book reviewers, and receiving no reply, trotting around to local bookshops and having as many launches as possible. This goes on…

Advice. Have Contacts, Courage and Cash.

P.S. I will always have my beautiful book.


Sydnee's book is available on Amazon, at The Whitechapel Gallery and Waterstones, Angel-Islington.

A reading from her collection will also take place in May at Pages of Hackney.

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