My Journey to Publication

After publishing my book Dependence with Kindle Direct Publishing last March, I decided I wanted it to be a 'real' book, and after much research and deliberating, I chose to self-publish with Matador. It's a bit more expensive than some of the other self-publishers I looked at, but I decided that both I, and my book, were worth the extra money, professionalism and care that Matador provide so I took a deep breath and went for it, and I haven't been disappointed.
I firstly went online to the Matador site -   - for the free Guide to Self-Publishing with Matador which describes the whole process of self-publishing. There's also a page devoted to photos of staff - I don't know whether it's just me, but I like being able to picture the person  I am communicating with - and FAQ section, and details if you decide to contact Matador for a quotation. Which is what I did, and that's where it all began.....
2nd Emailed Matador requesting a copy of Guide to Self-Publishing.
4th Email from Matador letting me know they'll be sending a copy of the Guide. Also some info about self-publishing with them. I sent email back, explaining that I'd e-published Dependence with Amazon KDP and that I'm now considering publishing it as a paperback - maybe a short run of 50 or 100. I also sent link to my site on Amazon
9th Email from Jeremy Thompson (MD at Matador) to say that my email had been sent to him to answer. He wanted to how many words in book so that he could let me have an accurate costing.
11th Email from JT with initial quotation for self-publication of Dependence with Matador, based on 40,000 words and a standard B-format paperback book. He also mentioned that if I had a front cover already designed, it would possibly reduce the Pre-Press cost. I emailed back saying I'd like to use the cover I used for the Kindle book, and asking if he'd like me to email the image to him.  He emailed back saying Yes.  Then another email, later, re the cover, saying he thought that "elements are there but it needs a designer's eye".
22nd Email to JT telling him I'd like to go ahead and self-publish with Matador.  JT emailed back, attaching Publishing Contract, Marketing Contract, Author's Questionnaire, Initial Quotation and Order Checklist for me to print out and sign.
23rd I signed contracts, completed Questionnaire and Quotation and Checklist
24th Posted contracts, Questionnaire etc to JT. Emailed two photos of me to Marketing Dept at Troubador.  Sent  downpayment via PayPal to Troubador, and emailed JT to let him know I've done all this, plus have emailed photos
26th Email from Marketing acknowledging return of Publicity and Marketing contracts, and explaining who will be coordinating my production. Also informed me they will shortly be putting Dependence on Matador's website
30th Email from coordinator of editorial services at Troubador, explaining about copy edit and asking me to confirm that the ms I've emailed is the Final Copy and the one I want to submit for copy-editing

4th Emailed Matador confirming that the ms I've emailed is the final version. Also asked if they need a hard copy of the ms. Didn't receive a reply so am guessing not.
13th Email from RG explaining that Matador gives each of its authors a free Author Web Page associated with their book. Also info that they link books to the Google Booksearch facility, allowing potential buyers to browse an online sample of my book via Matador's website before they buy. Also, an email from RG explaining that Matador has now set up an initial  entry for my book on their website on their website and asking me to check entry and let them have any amendments or additions asap. Also explaining that a member of their marketing dept will be in touch shortly to finalise the entry and introduce themselves and clarify the marketing services I've selected.
14th Went onto my author Web Page at Troubador and filled in my biography, copied and pasted reviews from Amazon + link to my Author Page at Amazon, and uploaded a couple of photos. This took nearly all day to do, what with interruptions etc, and by 4pm heartily sick of it all and so uploaded the old photo of me in turquoise top, and one of me sitting in Rockies eating an apple and they'll have to do! Email from TC, head of production at Troubador to explain the process of my book production, and that his colleague, JL, will be handling the production of my book.
20th Email from LL in answer to my question (4th May) about whether I need send a hard copy - I don't need to, as they'll print the manuscript. She's been on a/l, hence delay.

1st Letter from JL re Cover Image, wanting to know whether I still have the image, or know the address of website where I obtained it
4th Received ms from Copy Editor, who has edited it. Not too much to be changed, I'm pleased to say! All thoughts have to be in italics - I didn't know this + a few commas here and there; alright to be changed to all right; and when there are stops - ellipses - at the end of a phrase or sentence, there should only be three - something else I didn't know. Altogether, fewer than ten actual grammatical!
5th Email from TC on behalf of JL to confirm they've received image for cover. It's a good resolution for print and has been passed on to one of Matador's designers.  I returned my corrected ms via email.
11th Email from JR at Troubador, re marketing of book advising of the various options - what Troubador do, what I can do etc. And another email from JR attaching a draft of the Advance Information Sheet (which is sent to booksellers etc prior to publication) and asking me to make any changes in the text if required.
12th Sent email to JR with a couple of corrections to text of AI Sheet
14th Email from JR with corrected AI Sheet
17th Email to JR with a couple more corrections (in the first draft I changed if to whether, and the corrected sheet was sent with both words included!).
18th Email from JR attaching corrected second draft of AI Sheet.  I replied to confirm that this second draft is ok.
20th Received invoice from Matador for £360 (Copy Edit £300 + £60 VAT).
22nd Made bank transfer for £360 for payment of Copy Edit

22nd Email from TC to let me know AS will be handling me instead of JL
30th Email to AS to let her know I now have a blogsite
31st Received style proof - the first 20 pages of my book with type style and text design applied so that I can see how the book will look  on the page when typeset. This is the time when I   can change anything - if I wanted to alter anything after it's been typeset it would be complicated and costly (for me!)
I emailed TC to say I'm happy with font, font-size, position of page numbers etc. The only thing I'd like changed is position of chapter headings (to centre rather than left-aligned) and to have chapter headings in a slightly smaller font size. Also, not to have spaces between the letters of the word 'Chapter'

6th  Email from AS with revised Style Proof - fine. Emailed A to ask whether possible to make a few corrections.  A emailed back to say changes have been made
8th  Received typeset proofs today. Now I need to go through them and make any final
corrections or changes. Could have paid for this - £250 - but as I paid for a copy edit, decided to do this myself. A also attached explanatory note re proofreading, and list of correction marks used. Also received Final Quotation. Later today, received draught image of the book cover. They've decided to keep the image I used for the ebook, as it's a 'strong' image, and just changed the position and size of title and my name. Looks good, although title and name are set to the right, and I'd prefer them to be centered.
11th  Began correcting proofs today. Quite a few changes. Have been reading aloud - amazing how much difference it makes, how many more corrections I'm picking up
12th  Email to A to ask if I could see cover image with text centered so I can compare. Also for
 advice as to where to place Constantin's name (photographer of cover image), as I want to acknowledge him.
16th  Email from A to say my comments on cover have been passed on to designer.  Also
suggestions as to where to insert Constantin's name
19th Finished checking proofs  lots of red marks and scribbles on lots of pages!
20th  Email from A attaching revised cover image with text centered. Looks much better.
21st  Posted pages of typeset proofs to be corrected to A.
22nd  Email from A to say she's received proofs. Also asking me to confirm that I approve cover
image. Emailed to say I did, and A emailed back to say she'll be uploading the image to my page on Matador site by end of today. She did, and it looks good!
29th  Received revised type-proofs, with all corrections and added matter inserted perfectly. Just six more minor corrections on four pages. Also “Pass for Press” form which I need to print out, sign and date: this confirms that I’ve read and checked the proofs, and by signing I am “accepting responsibility for any errors that remain in the book.” Scary business! Tempting to read ms all over again, and then again, but I spent a long and careful, painstaking time checking it the first time, and I am going to allow myself to trust that all errors have been discovered…
30th  Posted back the four pages needing corrections.
31st  Having a browse around, and noticed that my book details are now on Foyles website, Blackwell’s website.

20th  Received email attaching final few revisions of proofs, and Pass for Press form.
21st  No more corrections or amendments needed – if I looked, of course, I could find hundreds of things to change because I’m always thinking I could have written something in a better way, or used another adjective or verb than the one I’ve chosen. But I’m happy with it, so today posted back the signed Pass for Press form. Eeek!
25th  Started to design a ‘New Book From Local Author’ A4 poster, with image of book cover, brief info about book and, in a text box, publication date, price and where it can be ordered and reviews. Also my blogsite address and email. All brief and succinct. Will take posters to bookshops, galleries, libraries – anywhere that’s interested who will put it in their window! Also designed some A5 leaflets with ‘New Book From Local Author’ header, cover image + publication date, price + ordering info/where to read reviews + small image of me with brief info, blogsite and contact info. A friend will laser print them for me for fair sum, although he will refuse payment and will have to be made to accept!!
A4 ‘Local Author’ posters are available from Matador (£38 for 50 or £52 for 100 or £64 for 200). Also A5 leaflets (£32 for 100 or £48 for 250 or £75 for 500 – all prices Sept 2013), but I liked the idea of designing my own, plus considerably cheaper!

2nd  Received Invoice for marketing - £250 + £50 VAT + 22.43 postage costs = £322.43
5th  Printer friend has done posters and leaflets and they look terrific!  So glad I decided to do them myself and hugely pleased with result.  Now have 50 posters and 200 leaflets to get rid of!
9th  Put new page on my blog with info about Dependence, a bit of background, reviews and the first four pages.   Have given out approximately 30 leaflets so far - that equals 30 possiblilities of people being interested enough to check out the book on one or other of the website links, and/or taking a look at my blogsite and discovering more about the book - and me, of course.  Realistically, it probably equals about 5 possibilities as I have to accept that a good many leaflets will be screwed up and thrown in bin, remain in bottom of handbags with other assorted gunk until a clear-out takes place, used to write lists on, turned into paper darts or origami birds with nodding heads or shredded with all other bits of paper that accumulate in surprisingly short space of time!
11th  Left 25 leaflets at a tearooms in Lenham
12th  Distributed a total of 50 leaflets and 4 posters in Canterbury. Also an Advance Information sheet to library and another at Waterstones. The manager said that they would normally only be interested if the book was set in the Canterbury area (which it isn't), but as I'm a local author she said she'd take the AI Sheet and "plug it at head office".
16th  Distributed 1 poster and 50 leaflets to various places in Maidstone. Also an AI Sheet to Waterstones.
19th  Distributed 50 leaflets and 3 posters in Whitstable, and another 50 leaflets and 1 poster to Macnades in Faversham
21st   Received Final Proof for cover (front and back) today. Looks good, but not happy with blurb on back - not compelling enough.  I've written another one, with some emotive words and ending with the question "In this intense and poignant struggle between the strength of love, and the power of addiction, which will ultimately triumph?"  Emailed this to Matador - hope it's not too late for it to be changed
22nd  Email from Amy at Matador. No prob to change back cover blurb.  Started writing my Press Release today. This is probably even worse than writing synopses or blurbs! Have done a lot of research re what it should contain, how to set it out, etc. My head is thick with words…..
23rd  Finished writing PR. Two pages. Printed out a few and tomorrow will find addresses of local newspapers, mags and anywhere that could be interested – also the name of the editors and appropriate people, and when I’ve done all that will send them my precious PR and hope they like it…
I've also registered online with and uploaded my Press Release. This is a site where you can register for a free membership and then submit press releases and other promotional info which can be included on their website and made available through their databases. It's a way to publicise your work.
24th Received corrected back cover – reads much better. Signed Pass for Press form and will post later. And then my book will go to print.  This week I've just started feeling really excited about it.  Writing a book and having it published has been a dream for years. Now it is coming true, and the reality and wonder of it is starting to hit me!
Also today, I emailed letter and attached Press Release to ‘WOW’ a local, free, arts community mag. (Couldn’t post it, as no address available).
25th  Posted 10 Press Releases, each accompanied by explanatory letter, to editors (found out names of all but one!) of various local papers within a 30 mile radius.
Handed an AI Form to library in Sittingbourne, after explaining I was a local author with book coming out next week. Registered with FreePress Release and uploaded my Press Release. This is what they say: "Submit your press release telling everyone all about your organization: new product launches, current services updates, company announcements and so on. We distribute your news to the most popular search engines and the FPR online network to reach the most journalists and target audience. Thus, the service helps improve your business image and gain excellent publicity." There's a choice of a free package (which I chose), or two or three other options at different prices.
26th A big blow – just opened email  from Matador, to say that they don’t feel the book will be ready for publication on 1st November, and so they’ve made the decision to move it forward to 1st December. Feel upset and annoyed, as have focussed all my marketing – leaflets, press release etc – on the original 1st November date.
Emailed Matador, asking whether they can reconsider their decision, taking into account the fact that all the leaflets and posters I’ve had printed (and just had 150 more leaflets done) + press release sent posted to 9 newspapers and uploaded to two distribution sites, are all geared to my book being out on 1st November. I feel really let down.
28th  Email from Amy, reassuring me that it’s not unusual for publication dates to be delayed, and the change of date wouldn’t affect marketing and promotion. Have accepted the delay now, nothing happens for no reason…
Left a thank-you comment on stock.xchng, thanking Constantin Jurcut (Costi) for his wonderful photo which I’ve used as the cover for Dependence – with his permission, of course. I mentioned the book, and my blog site.
29th  Email from Bess Browning at the Faversham News, regarding the PR I sent, and asking for JPG images of the book cover and me… Emailed her back, attaching images.
30th  Ordered way to many posters, and Chris printed more than I asked for because he’s kind! So I cut out the image of book cover from some of them, typed out some text – brief blurb, details where book can be ordered/bought, details of my blogsite, where I’ve put the first 4 pages of book and reviews – and stuck on back. They look good. Will put some in Christmas cards, and keep rest in my bag to hand out should the occasion arise!
31st Sent emails + PR to Sarah Shaffi, editor, London24 (online mag) at ; Jonathan Lloyd, publisher (name of online mag) at and email + AI Sheet + PR to Harriet (owner) and Andrew (manager) at (Nomad Books, 781 Fulham Rd, London SW6 5HA).  All three either are, or are focussed in Fulham area of London, where my book is set.

1st  Put more leaflets in Horsebridge Centre Whitstable. Spoke to manager of the bookshop Harbour Books in Harbour Street, Whitstable. She said she’s considering not taking so many local authors’ books, reason being that there are far more local writers than people who buy their books. She says the is thinking of how else to provide a venue for local authors’ books, and possibly will feature one local author at a time, but not sure yet. However, she took an AI Sheet, and one of my leaflets and says she’ll be in touch.
2nd  Sent emails to the newspapers I posted my PR on the 24th, to let them know that publication date is now 1st December (not 1st Nov as stated in PR).
3rd Changed my blurb on Amazon KDP.  Signed up for Kindle Matchbook, so that every time a paperback copy of Dependence is sold on Amazon, the Kindle version will be offered for free.
4th Sent email to London Fictions, an online magazine "celebrating the novels which capture the essence of London". I sent a brief blurb of the book, mentioned it was available as an ebook and that it would be coming out in paperback on 1st Dec. Also included my blogsite address.
Had phone call this afternoon from a reporter at the Sittingbourne Extra (one of the papers I sent a Press Release). He's going to write a piece about my book, and me. Asked a few questions over the phone - very disconcerting imagining what I'm saying translating into print and being read in a newspaper! Can't really remember what I did say. I had to email him images of book cover, and me, asap as he said he's working on a deadline to get the article into this week's paper. Decided I don't like telephone interviews, but do like idea of book being in paper so will have to put up with it!
6th The article about my book appeared in the paper today - wow! What a curious feeling to see myself staring back at me. Quite a long piece, 4 x half-columns including picture of me and of book cover. Also put my book - image and description - up on my page on Goodreads.
7th Vicky (friend) put the article up on Facebook before I'd even read it! Friends are liking it and sending lovely comments. This is worth all the hard, tedious, frustrating, head-buzzing work I put into the blinking Press Release!
Had an email today from Goodreads to say they have upgraded my profile to an official author account. So there it is - I am an official author. And in my heart, I'm a true writer.
12th Uploaded first 3 chapters of Dependence ebook onto Goodreads, so that people can either read it online, or download it.
Registered with the Book Giveaway option on Goodreads. Authors upload details of their book and decide on the number of books they'd like to be given away, and choose the dates during which people can register their names to 'win' a book. I'm giving away five, and running the Giveaway from today until 31st December. At the end of that period, Goodreads randomly select the five who will receive my book, send their addresses to me, and I send a copy of the book to each of them.
I uploaded my article, Mastering the Art of the Blurb onto Biblioscribe.
All this is part of my marketing campaign - something which is turning out to be taking a huge whack of time and effort. It's becoming increasingly clear that promoting one's book is an ongoing and crucial part of the whole process. You've just got to let people know that you're there, and that you've written a book and that it's available to them. But I did read somewhere that the best promotion for your book is to write another book - oh, I yearn to get back to my next book (halfway through) and spend whole, uninterrupted, consecutive days and weeks working at it. For the past two or three months it's hardly had any attention at all, and all the notes for it are lying in the drawer... Never mind, I'll get back to it soon.
Discovered that the Press Release I uploaded to FreePressRelease on 25th Oct is now on their site ( under the title New Book Depicts the Poignant Struggle Between Love and Addiction.
13th Put a link on my blog site to my Goodreads Giveaway page
20th Uploaded a Book Excerpt - first chapter of book - onto Book Goodies. Also put link to Book Goodies on my blog site.
At 12.10 today my books arrived. I've ordered twenty to be sent to me, and the rest to Matador. They look wonderful. I love the cover. It's so different reading my words from an actual book, rather than from a manuscript, or a screen. There really is nothing like a book, and there never will be, and now I have one of my own and it's wonderful!
21st Email from Jeremy Thompson (MD at Matador) to say they've had delivery of my book from the printers + general info about marketing and tracking sales of the book: Matador will send a detailed quarterly sales statement every three months, in Jan, April, July and Oct, accompanied by payment.
Just been onto Goodreads - 236 people have entered by Book Giveaway, and 100 people have added my book to their "Want to read" list. Not sure that this means anything much, as I've noticed that some people have thousands of different books on their To Read list, with no hope of ever reading them all. But I'm happy to think that all these people have looked at the cover image of Dependence, and read the blurb and thought "Yes, I'd like to read that".
Went into the pART project, a shop/gallery run by the Swale Arts Forum where artists of all genres in the area can showcase their work. Sioux & Colin, who run it, suggested I have a book signing there. Have been thinking about doing a signing, although haven't done anything about it - probably because I don't fancy the idea of being on show, etc. But I actually do like the thought of doint it at the pART project - it's a friendly and relaxed place and I feel comfortable in there.
22nd Did some googling about book-signings + looked in my book about marketing (A Seriously Useful Author’s Guide to Marketing and Publicising Books by Mary Cavanagh). Ordered some “Signed by Author” stickers to put on books when I sell them – although not expecting to sell a huge amount. I read on one of the book-signing advice sites that I’d be lucky if I sold one book!
23rd Have arranged to do book signing on Friday, 6th December. Was hoping to do a Saturday, but too much going on at the shop. But it’s getting near Christmas, and there’ll be plenty of people around. Sent email + Book Signing Press Announcement to the editor of the paper which ran a piece on me a few weeks ago, suggesting they come along and do a follow-up. Designed some bookmarks online and ordered 100, and also designed and ordered two A2 posters. (You can read about which sites I used in my Book Signing post on 25th November, and there are some tips about book signings on the Tips & Advice page). I also designed a page of my book reviews, and printed out two or three copies for people to glance through.
28th Bookmarks arrived. They look good - perfectly printed and packaged. Will definitely use Centreprint Online again.
29th Put a notice on the BookGoodies message board to say that my book will be out in paperback on Sunday, with a brief blurb and links to sites where it can be bought, and to my blogsite.  Posters and stickers arrived.

1st PUBLICATION DAY! Have been looking forward to this day for so many months, and dreaming of it for years…now it’s here, I just have a sense of calm inevitability. And happiness, of course. Lots of happiness.  Sent emails out to all friends and acquaintances, announcing that today’s the day. Also put it up on Facebook, and wrote on my blogsite. 
  Later in evening, had glass or two of wine to celebrate and darling Steve made a lovely day perfect, when he gave me another engagement ring to replace the one the diamond fell out of several years ago. Tears of joy on a joyful day.
2nd Put up details of my book-signing on the 'Events' part of my profile page on Goodreads.
3rd Submitted Dependence for free review on Readers Favorite   Option to send either book or ms – they prefer to have a digital version. Had to fill in name, name of book, ISBN number, description of book (if this info is already on Amazon, they will ‘populate’ it using the info there), genre of book, and to state whether any explicit language, sexual or violent situations so they can place the book with appropriate reviewer. Option to pay and receive review sooner, but I’m happy to wait…  This is what they say on their website: Readers' Favorite provides FREE book reviews and posts those reviews on our site, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. You can also post the review in your Amazon Editorial Reviews section on your Amazon page. In addition, our reviewers will often post your review on their website and blog, as well as on popular review and social media sites. We only post 4 and 5 star reviews. If an author receives a poor review, we provide constructive criticism to the author instead. We are in the business of helping authors, not hurting them.. We are asked to review for such renowned authors as James Patterson, David Baldacci, and Stephanie Meyer, and are trusted by prominent publishers such as Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster. However, our primary goal is to review for new and self-published authors to help them get recognition for their work.


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