Friday, 20 January 2012

New Beginnings – Nicola May on self-publishing

This time last year, I wasn’t Nicola May, author of chick lit novels. I was just Nicola - friend, sister, aunt, and daughter. My friends and family of course knew I had written books, but the wider world had not even heard of me.

I was at home recovering from major surgery and in the midst of a split from my long term partner when I decided to go through the pile of rejection letters I had built up from agents and publishers over the years. Yes, I know how to make myself feel better!

Coming across my ‘favourite’ rejection letter from a large publisher, saying they hoped it wasn’t a big mistake turning Working it Out down I thought sod it. I have nothing to lose by publishing myself. And there, my own story began!

I researched how to go about publishing your own novel and then that was it - I was on a mission to get my writing out to the masses. My friend Steve offered to design the cover and my website for free and another friend recommended a printing company where I could get just a few copies printed initially to test the water.

Without a budget for advertising, selling my work was up to me. I got in touch with the local papers and local radio station and arranged a live interview. I also organised an official launch in a local bar and used social media sites to create a fan base. I had such a positive response that I soon sold out of my first 100 copies and have since gone on to sell 1400 more.

I would love a major publisher to recognise my talent this year. Self-publishing is hard work, promotion takes up a lot of time and I would rather put all my energies in to the writing itself.
However, I do not regret for one minute setting out on this path and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Nicola May, author of Working it Out, Star Fish (out in print on Feb 1st) and Better Together.


To win one of three copies of Working it Out, please join my reading challenge 2012 and submit a book review by the end of February. For more details, please click here.

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