The Offworld Guide to Self-Publishing - Part 2 - The Learning Curve

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

Welcome to Part 2 of The Offworld Author's Guide to Self Publishing.

We will be tackling all the things you'll need to take care of in your Self-Publishing journey including Ghostwriting, Editing, Proofreading, Book Funding, Book Design, Book Production, Book Rights, Book Reviews, Book Publishing, Book Publicity, Book Promotion and Social Media, Literary Agent Pitch, Promo Videos, Audiobooks, Translation, Author Websites, Search Engine Optimisation, Screenplay Adaptation, Film Makers, Film Producers and Original Music.

All of these elements are key to giving you everything you need to make your book a success.

Don't want to wait for the next thrilling instalment?

You can get your FREE Author's Guide here.

Have a look at our video as well....

The Learning Curve

People write books for all sorts of reasons.

To put a flag in the sand. You can say “I did that”

Record something of yourself for posterity, so your descendants can say, "Great Grandad did that."

Maybe you need to Market a Business or get folks to come to your Seminars. Maybe you want to Educate. Or maybe you just want to be famous or make money.

Whatever your reason, you’ve written one! Front to back, inside out.

It’s taken you ages and it’s been rewritten and rewritten again and checked and read and re-read and re-written again.

It’s done. It’s the story you wanted to tell. And you really enjoyed reading it yourself. It made you laugh and made you sad.

And that ending.

They’ll never see that coming and holy smoke, you can write. You’ve read lots of other books and it turns out, you can write too.

Your mind turns to shiny hardbacks on the shelves of the big book store on the corner, next to the jewellery shop.

You need to get this published. You look at a few of the books you’ve bought from that store. What would it be like to have your book on one of those shelves? What do you need to publish a book?

Well, a publisher of course.

So you call a few, email a few more.

Ah, right so they don’t accept manuscripts from little old you. They only accept manuscripts from agents.

Right, fine, so get an agent. And there they all are. And they’ve mostly all got that SUBMIT button. That’s where you go.

And you go through a big form and then attach your manuscript, oh hang on, no, just the first chapter and a synopsis. Fine. And then the next one needs the first 3 chapters And the next one, just the first 5 chapters.

You get the picture.

So slowly and surely you develop your collateral and slowly and surely you wade through the websites and emails.

And many many hours later, it’s been a pretty full working day.

But it’s worth it, right?

Then a few weeks go by And a couple more. Then finally you get a reply. You don’t look at it right away. You’re nervous. For the first time, professionals are going to tell you what they think of your book.

Reading that email might mean you’re going to get published!

A little later, in a quiet part of the house, you take a glass of some- thing in with you and shut the door. It’s a brief email.

“Thanks so much for sending it to me. I’m afraid it doesn’t quite suit my list…”

“What List?” you ask it.

“Please know that my assessment was entirely subjective. I’m sure it will suit another agent’s list. I wish you the very best for the future”

What a nice lady. Thanks.

OK, you’re realistic. Whatever a list is, not every story is going to suit it.

And you did contact 20 or 30 more agents It’ll be fine.

And then a few more replies come in.

And each one carries with it the same expectation. One of them will have the luscious list that suits your fabulous story.

But each one says pretty much the same as the first one

"It’s a little too genre for my list"

"... My list is full”

You begin to wonder how you find an agent with one of these cursed lists. And you also wonder if anyone’s ever going to tell you what they thought of your book.

No-one has thus far and you’re most of the way through your own list.

You’re dying to know what people think of it. And by the way, hang on a minute.

What’s going on?

In the movies, people just go out and GET an agent, don’t they? You know, the agent is always bothering them to write more pages, stop drinking, philander less.

Agents were simply engaged like plumbers, surely. What’s all this qualification nonsense? If you cant even get an agent, how in the name of all that’s holy will you ever get your book published?

You finally confide in friends and family and tell them what you’ve created. You also tell them about the agents’ replies.

Someone suggests “they don’t even read it.”

Well, at least four of the agents only asked for the synopsis so you know at least they didn’t. Did any of them? Another friend, who knows a thing or two about marketing things, tells you the industry has changed. It’s way tougher than it used to be.

These agentish folk haven’t got time for newbies like you. It’s a lot easier to get authors who are already published to publish more. I mean, people already know them. It’s a head start for them. Why bother with unknowns?

The same answer time and time again and no feedback on your story does kinda underline that.

“Not fair” you say.

“How long have you reckoned life was fair,” says your marketing buddy. “Of course it’s not fair but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your story out there.”

He then tells you something that will change your life


He tells you about Self Publishing.

Self-publishing is the act of independently publishing your book on a platform like Amazon without the need of a traditional publishing house.

You go home and look into self publishing.

Wow, there’s a fair bit about it. And yes, you can do it yourself for not that much

The same tingles that awaited agents’ replies creeps back into you. You sit up in your chair. You learn how traditional publishers follow a meticulous path to make your book creatively perfect, technically perfect and just about the best it can be.

The cover is a genre-specific design and the fonts, typesetting and all the rest create a product they know will make them money.

Make THEM money ! Note it well.

Traditional publishers certainly don’t give you big advances to head up to the mountain cabin and create any more. And try announcing that idea to the wife anyway.

Nope, you need to keep the day job and the wife and write as well.

So how about it?

Self Publish? Why not?

You look at the numbers How much will it cost? How many of these steps?

Not that much money but quite a few steps. Gosh, it’s like learning a whole new profession.

But you know how publishers do it. And now you know how you can do it yourself

Its the same process but you have to glue the pieces together. And the numbers make sense. They make really good sense. Publishers take on all the donkey work but boy do they take their cut. It’s no surprise publishers make all the money.

If you did it yourself, you’d make a lot more from book sales than you’d spend on getting the book to publish-ready stage and advertise it a bit. You’d only need to sell a few thousand books and you’re even. Then it’s all profit. Maybe that bestseller list. Hey, another list.

With a traditional publisher you’d need to sell tens of thousands and then they own all the rights and basically they own the book, just throw a bit of commission your way from time to time.

Sure, there’s not the risk of spending on various things in the first place. But you believe in what you’ve written Its really good. Even if the agents didn’t bother with a critique. And you know why that was now. And right there, the decision is made.

You will self publish. Speculate to accumulate, right? That’s the world today. No-one’s going to GIVE you anything Not any more.

If a thing’s worth doing and all…

Your glass is refilled and you get stuck into the whole idea.

The idea is split into 4 basic camps:

The Story

You have to make sure your story makes sense. Not to you, that’s easy. You wrote it. To readers. People who’ve never heard of Sandra Snider, the Junior High Ninja Detective. They don’t know why she gets up in the morning and eats a mango in the garden shed. And your Manuscript has to be air tight on grammar, punctuation and spelling.

The Product

Your book. You must have a professional finished product that not only looks fantastic but appeals to the genre you’re targeting.

The Donkey Work

Registrations, typesetting, rights and so much more. Gosh there’s an awful lot. It’s not rocket surgery but who’s got the time?


Well, there’s an area that could go on forever.

Publicity, Social Media, Price Promotions, Google Ads, Amazon Ads…

Do you really have the time to do all of this?

The tingles ebb away as you find yourself faced with learning a new industry overnight.

And then you realise you’d need to take quite a few sick days and a small holiday to do it all yourself.

Surely there’s someone to manage it all, do what publishers do.

That’s when you find people like us lot at Offworld, people who have some of the best professionals in the business, ready and waiting to pull it all together for you.

People who can coordinate the entire process from beginning to end. Hell, they can even write the thing for you in the first place!

Learning who to navigate the self-publishing world with will save you countless wasted hours.

Whether you want to do it yourself or work with one of the many self-publishing companies out there, you're doing it.

You decide to keep your job and keep your wife and keep your sanity (such as it is).

Next up, we'll cover all the nitty gritty bits you'll need to get done during your journey. Some you've probably already done or don't need. Others are vital to every book's journey.

Next, we'll reveal key guides to Ghostwriting, Editing, Proofreading, Book Funding, Book Design, Book Production, Book Rights, Book Reviews, Book Publishing, Book Publicity, Book Promotion and Social Media, Literary Agent Pitch, Promo Videos, Audiobooks, Translation, Author Websites, Search Engine Optimisation, Screenplay Adaptation, Film Makers, Film Producers and Original Music.

And that's it for Part 2 of our series.

Get stuck into Part 3 and read about "The Nitty Gritty"

Take care, big hugs and adios.

Episode 3

The Nitty Gritty



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