Cash from keystrokes: self-publishing for profile and profit

After two decades as a journalist, magazine editor and author, Lorraine Wilson wanted to get away for a while.  She could not kick, however, the thought that her solo rail circumnavigation of Europe might make a book.  “I put up an appeal for crowdfunding on social media and was surprised to receive more than £2,000 – enough to meet most of my basic costs”, she says.

Facing Forwards: Europe. Solo. No Looking Back., the resulting volume, is just out on Kindle and Wilson has already been offered several ghostwriting commissions on the strength of the book.

She is one of many journalists and writers who are discovering new ways to market their work in self-published eBooks.  Peter Jukes created a 20,000 strong crowd-funding community to support his work live Tweeting the phone hacking trials.  Andy Leeks has sold tens of thousands of books written and ingeniously marketed while he was commuting. And, George Mahood has abandoned wedding photography on the back of the success of his eBook travelogues.

Their experiences all form part of a new book, Make eBooks Pay: Self-Publishing success strategies – including ten detailed case studies, available now from Amazon.

The lessons included in the book are applicable to any self publisher, but the are particularly aimed at journalists.  eBooks are particularly suited to publishing longer-form journalism because of all the new formats in which journalism has appeared the past two decades, they are the only one that the consumers have shown themselves dependably willing to pay for.  Speed of production and the relatively short length expectations also make eBooks an ideal medium for journalists who are looking for a new outlets.

The book explains the technical aspects of eBook production as well as advising on pricing, advertising and publishing law.



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