Why did I choose to self-publish?

It’s been three years (on the 28th of March) since I self-published my first novel Endurance

Endurance Cover T. J. Blake

I remember working on it whilst at university, and I most of all remember having doubts about self-publishing Endurance – mostly because there was a niggling fear of what people would say or think about me for doing it. Once I adapted a hardness and carelessness for what people would say about me, my decision was made. The decision though even after that wasn’t simple, because then I needed to consider whether to self-publish Endurance after an edit, or to finish Endurance and then just see if I could get the story published.

However, when I thought about it, I knew that would be a challenge for anyone, let alone a nineteen-year-old university student. In the end, I thought ‘you know what? f*ck it, I’m going to give it a go’ and decided to start my self-publishing career as T. J. Blake.
‘Why?’ I hear you ask; because firstly, I could, but secondly, I wanted to see what people thought of my writing. I had a slight idea of what people thought of my work, because of my Creative Writing and English Language studies, but I wanted to know what more people thought; more than my family or my peers. This is exactly what self-publishing has done for me, it’s given me a great amount of experience, a huge boost in confidence and now I’m ready to self-publish more.

Writing pen pad and laptop

So here I am, nearly three years later with three books self-published, and a fourth & fifth in the works, I’m very happy with my writing progress.

Self-Publishing on Createspace

I personally love the freedom of self-publishing, even though it does require some more work – who am I kidding, some? A LOT more work.

My experience of self-publishing comes down to using the self-publishing platform Createspace – an Amazon company. Createspace boasts the ability to allow you to ‘publish your words, your way.’ and I have to back them on their statement and say that is 100% true.

Createspace is extremely easy to use. The website itself provides a number of tips for beginner self-publishers, and offers support throughout the entirety of their publishing process; from implementing your cover design to finalising the layout of the book’s interior. Not only is there constant support throughout the process on the website, but the employees of Createspace are extremely helpful too.

For me, I designed all of my own book covers, meaning I needed to adjust all measurements to perfectly fit the book; using a template. For my book The Author, I had strictly followed the template, but was millimeters off on the spine of my book. But not to worry, the team of Createspace helped me by editing book’s spine on the template; allowing me to approve what they had done and successfully get it ready for publication.

Createspace is a great platform to use and I would highly recommend it for not only new authors but experienced ones too.

You can easily find out more about the process of self-publishing with Createspace, the royalties and the print on demand service by continuing to Createspace.


What are the benefits of self-publishing?

The key benefit to self-publishing is without a doubt, that you get to publish (so to speak) your writing and allow readers across the world to read your stories. That is why I believe new writers should try their luck with self-publishing; mainly to engage with readers, create a following and allow people to review your work and help adapt you as a writer. From my experience, encouraging people to read your stories is the key part to self-publishing; even if you give them the book for free – I’ll write another post about this soon for you authors out there.

Another benefit to self-publishing is that you do all the work yourself; even if it does keep you up at night and drain you of all energy to finally get it self-published; and available to buy and download on Amazon, B&N and Waterstones Marketplace. With the power of doing everything yourself, you are in control of the writing itself, the book cover and of course, the marketing of the book. There are many people out there willing to help us self-published authors, and I would highly recommend searching for editors to help you edit and proofread the book before publishing – to ensure your book is the best it can be.

If you’re not entirely tech-savvy, then I would also recommend finding someone to support you with the design of your book cover – the book cover is ultimately an important part of the marketing of your book; acting as the face of your story and the ultimate pulling power. Even though you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, people generally do.

The Author by T. J. Blake book cover
The Author

I also think that although there is a bad name for us self-published authors out there, it gives us a platform to shock our readers. Even though we have a bad name, there are still thousands of people out there who want to read books for the story, rather than whether they’re traditionally published or not. As long as you have a great story that is well written with believably enticing characters, you have every chance of impressing your readers – which is such an amazing feeling.

Where am I in terms of my self-publishing career? Writing/editing, marketing, blogging, repeat (not quite eat, sleep, rave, repeat) 

Having self-published two out of three books from The Endurance Series (Endurance Endurance: Apocalypse) and standalone novel The Author, I can proudly say that I am looking forward to self-publishing my fourth novel DECEPTION, the finale of The Endurance Series (Endurance 3) and the many more books and book series to follow.

If you want to find out more about my books, then feel free to continue to ‘Books by T. J. Blake‘ or continue to my Amazon author page or even my Goodreads author page.