Why People are Scared of Self-Publishing

It’s sadly true that some people are just plain scared of self-publishing. I mean really when you think about it, who to best sell your book than… well… you?

Although self-publishing has been on the rise for the past few years, titles and genres have been blurred so much that sometimes it can be hard to look or even, be original. With this I’m referring to ebooks; when you scroll down amazon or the book store on iTunes, you begin to notice how similar all of the books look. After scrolling to page 16, well, I don’t know about you but I sometimes feel like the first page is just repeating itself. It’s because of this that it can seem daunting to self-publish.

I mean lets face it, the person that knows your novel the best is you right? So why is it that many of us want agents or publishing houses to help get our novel noticed?

Expertise? Of your own novel?

Now let that just sink in… you want an expert in your novel that you wrote…

A lot of the time we know the truth but we are too scared to make the first move. We can market our book the best but ultimately, we leave it for someone else to do because we doubt ourselves.

If we believed that we could deliver good marketing techniques to our book to give it great sales and publicity, would we do it? Absoloutely. Dare we try it? Not a chance.

I partly think that we all think like this because of two reasons. We either:

A: Want an agent or publisher to tell us that they think it’s good enough to publish (aka, tell us our writing is good!)


B: Are scared to put our all into marketing our book because we don’t want to fail in either marketing or writing.

Yes it can be a tough one to call sometimes, but the best advice I can give is to think of all that hard work you’ve done. Do you really not want to share it with the world?

If you don’t attempt to get it seen then it never will be.

This concept is something that I’ve been battling with for quite a while. However after much deliberation and looking for a publisher, I have decided that I could do a better job. I know that I believe in my piece and want the world to read it. Whether people pay for it, is another question, but I would love for people to see how much hard work I’ve put in to it.

So without further ado, I’m going into self-publishing… are you?

This post was originally published on my Medium page. Check it out here.

The Myth of Quality Literature

Myth of Quality

Ever went into a bookshop and wanted to read quality fiction? Others may describe it as high literature, but similar to what you call it, it differs from person to person. Sometimes even the pressure of writing quality fiction can be enough to make them put the pen down and walk away. So why is it that we want to read quality fiction? Is it to strengthen our knowledge and understanding of a particular field, to challenge ourselves or to simply help us write quality fiction ourselves?

I must admit I like to read quality fiction. However what I think is ground-breaking stuff, you may think is rubbish. My tutor at university once gave me a method to discoing ‘high literature.’ He believed that to have a quality piece of work it must have direct, indirect and free indirect discourse/speech (i.e. “stop it,” she said, she said stop it, she shook her head, stop it.) He argued if this was balanced throughout the novel it would be a quality piece. However, he also believed if the book was slightly bigger than A5 paperback or was printed only in hardback, then it was quality fiction.

My interpretation on the other hand, is that any novel that challenges societal values or ideologies should be considered as quality fiction. My reason being that the book would have a purpose and the plot would seem more original. However as I have previously mentioned, this is my interpretation.

The Beauty...

Like the saying, ‘Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder,’ it works with literature. What you might hate, others may love. With this in mind, the concept of quality literature is a myth. Not everyone will agree with what depicts a novel as quality fiction and that’s fine. I therefore urge you to keep writing your novel and/or keep reading what you enjoy. After all, if you enjoy a piece of writing, why not call it a quality piece of fiction?

Jo Colley’s Book Launch of ‘Bones of Birds’

Bones of Birds by Jo Colley

Smokestack Books £7.95  ISBN: 978 0 9929581 1 4

On Tuesday 24th Februrary, The University of Teesside were proud to host Jo Colley’s book launch of her new anthology Bones of Birds. The evening at The University of TeessidIMG_2375e kick started with Andy  Croft, founder of Smokestack Books, describing Jo Colley’s latest anthology Bones of Birds as “a beautiful book inside and out” and “extraordinarily original.” After such a warm welcome, Jo Colley began to read several of her poems out of her anthology, to help lure the audience into her way of seeing the world.

 Bones of Birds is about flying and falling from one extreme to the other. The anthology describes the act of flying and falling physically as well as describing the highs and lows of everyday life and dreaming into the abyss.

Throughout the night Jo Colley explains her influences for each poem, so that her audience can understand the relation between the two. After discussing several of her poems, a Q and A session took place, to learn more detail of why she had created the collection and what it meant to her for the anthology to be published. Colley explains that her work focuses on escapism. With her father being in the RAF, she was brought up around planes and even wanted to be an air hostess at one point. Everyone laughed in nostalgia, I mean who wouldn’t want to be an air hostess? With escapism coming naturally to her when thinking about flying, it was well suited that she decided to write Bones of Birds. With this, the crowd listened intently on her further readings of her anthology, applauding each piece along the way.

 Each poem that was read at the book launch of Bones of Birds was written effortlessly, as if the wording was at ease upon the ears. The storytelling performance of the poems helped intrigue the audience and rightly did so. Not a word or sound escaped the audience as they fell in trance to another one of Colley’s mesmerising pieces.

Towards the end of the night, refreshments were given and people were able to buy their IMG_2370copy of Colley’s anthology, followed by a signing of the book. Everyone was in high spirits as laughter filled the room and discussions of the poems followed into the night. This event was organised by Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie, founders of Ek Zuban and senior lecturers in Creative Writing at The University of Teesside. If anyone would like to learn more about Jo Colley’s Bones of Birds, visit http://smokestack-books.co.uk/book.php?book=103 were you are able to purchase the book and read some of the sample poems that were performed at the launch.