Andrew James Whalan

Poet Blogger Writer

Shoals and Reefs : Self Publishing with Euan Mitchell

Typewriter

Self Publishing

Literally I clicked the email link and found what I was looking for. A presentation by Euan Mitchell on self- publishing.

But it seemed too late in the afternoon to make it.

So I clicked again to book a place. Booked it.

I arrive at St Michael’s Annexe in Melbourne just after 6 o’clock.

Writers funnily enough seem to be a quiet crowd. Everyone is waiting and expectant. Euan Mitchell appears and lightens the room with a cartoon: every one in the room has a book in them (or needs it surgically removed). Finally someone understands me.

His presentation is about his self-publishing journey. Despite being in the publishing industry himself, he found it no advantage to publishing his own manuscript. That starts to confirm my worst-held fears.

He outlines the shoals and reefs that he had to navigate through and in doing so makes a map for all of us. He passes on quite a few tips and sage advice (see also Q&A with Euan Mitchell and this document) about publishers, editors, printers, agents and advertisers.

He mentions that many manuscripts aren’t published, many books don’t sell and many authors aren’t rich. For some reason I’m less pessimistic. Besides some stories just need to be told.

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The Story Begins

The best option but the most difficult option appears to be self-publishing. One of his recommendations is to use people around you who know books. Suddenly two names pop into my head. This is getting better.

He suggests starting slowly and creating a network using social and existing media. And write. Better get to that.

He also has a book (self published) which summarises his ideas available from his web site.

There are questions at the end. I ask mine and get an encouraging answer. And after that all I want to do is write.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Andrew

    I really liked your comment “Finally someone understands me.” Yes, it often just helps to know someone has empathy with what you are trying to do with your writing. The wonderful Leunig cartoon about the person wanting his book surgically removed still resonates with me from when I was writing my first novel in the mid to late ’90s.

    The 25 rejections of that novel from publishers and literary agents left me no choice but to self-publish. It’s ironic that in recent years many published authors, including myself, are now choosing to self-publish because of all the new options that have opened up.

    If you believe in your writing, it can see the light of day, regardless of the traditional gatekeepers.

    Best regards
    Euan

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