How to Start Your Own Self-Publishing Career with Tim Lewis @StonehamPress #vcbuzz

How to Start Your Own Self-Publishing Career with Tim Lewis @StonehamPress #vcbuzz

The Internet gave everyone a voice.

If you have something to say, you can now be heard.

But not just that.

These days everyone can become a published author without depending on an expensive and demanding publisher.

How to become a self-published author? Let’s discuss!

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About Tim Lewis @StonehamPress

Tim Lewis @StonehamPress is author, podcaster and speaker.

Tim’s latest book, Social Media Networking covers how to use social media to get the job you want, find love and increase your travel experience, based on Tim’s own experiences.

Tim is the host of the Begin Self-Publishing Podcast – which you can find at

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become an online entrepreneur? Please share your career story!

In 2014, 3 years after being widowed in 2011 I gave up my IT job initially with the idea of doing IT contract work, but during my notice period I read a book on self-publishing (Write, Publish, Repeat) and decided instead to self-publish time travel books.

However despite writing 6 fiction novels (3 time travel and 3 fantasy) I got more and more interested in online business, marketing and helping other people to self-publishing.

My last book was the non-fiction book Social Media Networking where I interviewed people about their experiences of using social media to get great opportunities. I run the #indieAuthorChat Twitter chat and the Begin Self-Publishing Podcast.

Q2 Why would anyone want to become a (self-)published author. In other words, who would find our today’s discussion useful?

For the same reasons anyone would want to be an author in general. If you feel you have a book in you, you have a story to tell, or a point that you want the world to understand, then writing a book can be a fantastic way to do that.

Q3 Where to start and how to move forward?

The hardest part of writing a book is the actual writing part. I recommend creating a plan with at least the chapter headings and a few sentences about what happens (or the topics) in that chapter before doing any writing.

Once you have the plan, try to write the book as quickly as possible. Once you have the completed manuscript you need to get it edited and get a cover designed. Then get the eBook and paperback documents created from the edited manuscript.

These versions can then be uploaded to store portals such as KDP (for Amazon) and aggregators like PublishDrive, Ingram Spark and Draft2Digital for other stores/platforms. Audio versions can also be created an uploaded to services such as ACX and Findaway Voices.

Keep in mind the quality expected for Audible is a lot higher than for a podcast, e.g no umms, arghs etc.

Q4 How to sell your first copies? What are your favorite book marketing tips?

The #1 problem most authors (trad and self-published) have is marketing. The ideal first people to sell to is people who love the genre of book you have written. Failing that friends and family and anyone who owes you a favour can be your sales for your first book.

But you should try to capture e-mail addresses or other contact information for readers of your book so for your next book you can promote your new book directly to new readers. Alternatively communities of readers are good places to find potential readers.

Another approach is to use services like BookBub that promote fiction books to an email list, however these require a number of good reviews which means you need initial sales before you can access them. Facebook and Amazon ads can work for books in a series.

Book Marketing is tough as books are generally low value products; often people make money on the non-fiction side from selling courses and speaking opportunities rather than from the book itself.

Q5 What are your favorite self-publishing and book marketing tools?

A good place to start for unbiased self-publishing advice is the Alliance Of Independent Authors’s blog, if you prefer audio then my podcast Begin Self-Publishing might suit you

In terms of software, I recommend Word or Scrivener for writing/planning the book and Vellum for formatting the book for eBook and Paperback, though there are free services like Reedsy‘s Book Editor as well.

A lot depends on your intentions. If you are looking for sales then marketing efforts can take a long time to arrange and plan, and you might need to wait for the editor you want to become available etc. It’s basically a project with lots of little individual cogs.

For marketing books, I’d suggest listening to podcasts like @PaulTeagueUK‘s Self-Publishing Journeys and @theCreativePenn‘s podcast and the Sell More Books Show (@smbspodcast) as a start. ALLi’s blog has a lot on this topic as well.

Another thing that did work was being active in genre Facebook/Goodreads groups. That way you build up friends/people interested in your books.

Our previous book marketing chats:


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