Voyage of Self Publishery

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been seriously considering self-publishing. We downloaded David Gaughran’s excellent book Let’s Get Digital (we can’t recommend it enough) and it really inspired us to bring something out as an ebook. We love printed books. We don’t have enough shelf space in our room for any more books and our floor stacking now has a couple of layers. Our dream is to hold our own book. With the short stories we’ve had published, we prefer the ones in actual magazines or books because we can hold them. It makes it more real. But print self-publishing is more expensive and unless we fire up our back-up plan of becoming guinea pigs for scientists, we can’t afford it. When we were younger we always printed out our stories and designed our own covers for them, including cover art and blurbs. Our own cheap way of self publishing, so doing this professionally appeals to us.

We always used to think that self-publishing was in a way, a failure. Someone wasn’t good enough to be taken on by a publisher so had to do it themselves. Then we learned how tough the publishing industry is and changed our minds. We then thought if one of our novels received a lot of rave rejections (‘we really liked it but it’s not right for us’) then we’d self-publish because we would know it was good enough. But hearing back from publishers/agents, takes time and we’re not patient people. Anyone who’s seen us in a supermarket queue knows this. We’re the kind of people who will drive several miles out of our way to avoid a traffic queue, even a short one because we hate waiting. Our Renault 4s feel the same way and one just had to look at a queue and he’d overheat. Then we read David’s guide and the success stories and thought ‘if they could do it, so could we’.

So we sent one novel, Soul Asylum to be edited, made a front cover with GIMP and tried to learn about formatting. Then we thought, maybe we wouldn’t risk a novel first, we’ll write a collection of rewritten fairytales. We’ve got 3 versions of Snow White, finished writing Sleeping Beauty and done a few redrafts and are now writing Cinderella. But this is going to take some time to get them all up to publishing standard. Our friend, Lisa, is joining us on the self-publishing adventure and she’s way ahead of us. Did we mention we’re highly competitive? We have to catch up. So instead, we’ve decided to release a single short story first. We’ve chosen one of the first we ever wrote, Death’s Cold Kiss. It’s one we really like and doesn’t really fit a genre, so we’ve struggled to find a magazine to take it.

Now to learn formatting. Those of you who follow us on Twitter, or are friends with us on Facebook, will know all about the epic battle we had with GIMP. If it was a wrestling match, GIMP had us pinned in a full nelson, mushing our faces into the canvas. But we fought back and victory was ours. Sort of ours. We still haven’t figured out how to make our font bold, but the only experience we had with photo software is Picture It, which is ten years old. Now we’ve fallen victim to Movie Live Maker’s cruel games and it has broken our spirit. So the thought of formatting leaves us cold inside. Going to read up on it now. So if you hear hysterical sobbing, the gods cowering in fright from our swearing outburst and the sounds of a laptop smashing coming from the Cardiff area, you know formatting has defeated us. Might just book a room in the nearest institution in advance.


  1. First, I’m not used to intimidating people! Hahahaa – that’s new for me. I don’t think I’m that far ahead – I’m still editing and I’m going to wimp out and pay someone to format for me.

    It looks like you salvaged your video work and it’s good to know now that you should save different versions of the film as it is being made so that one corrupted file will only lose you a little bit of editing work.

    Remember that it is darkest before dawn. have you ever actually seen that – because it’s so true – in nature and in life!

    • LOL we’re not intimidated, we’re inspired. Knowing you’re coming on this adventure with us is forcing us to keep at it, instead of giving up 🙂 That damn video will be the death of us. Hopefully a 16GB USB should solve the problem and there’s a lesson – no more long videos 😀 We haven’t actually seen the darkest before the dawn, in nature or in life, even though we’re up with the cats at odd hours. We’ll keep an eye out for 🙂

  2. The first time you try to format, you will tear your hair out. It really is a pain. But trust me, the second time is a cinch. But you have to go through that first time to get to that. Which is all pain.

    (Worth it though…)


    P.S. Thanks for the mention. Glad you found the book useful.

    • Thanks David 🙂 We loved your book and recommended it to our friend, Lisa, in Canada and it’s also inspired her to self-publish too. It’s the first time we’re not looking forwards to, but we will give it a try. As long as we don’t pull out too much hair. There’s not a lot to begin with 😀

  3. You go for it girls – I don’t think I can help you out with this though – it’s beyond my capabilities.

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