The first How to Self-Publish Workshop was held on 28th May and I thought I’d do a quick feedback post on how it went.
The Venue… ‘Faultless. The parking was free and plentiful, the food was delicious, the guy looking after us made us feel very welcome and the room was a perfect size.’
Ms J, Cambridge
I’d booked the Turpin Room at The George Hotel for this first workshop. Dating from the 17th century, and a traditional coaching inn, The George, originally home to Oliver Cromwell’s grandfather, takes great pride in its own history and that of the local area. It is also in an ideal location to hold meetings, with the A14 and A1(M) within an easy commute, as well as the train station being within walking distance. It also has a large car park which is free for those who have booked an event there. It offers free Wi-Fi and can cater for up to 150 people although my needs were rather more modest.
The Turpin Room was off the courtyard so secluded from the hustle, bustle and distraction of the main hotel. I had arranged for the workshop to run from 10 – 1 and my three eager participants were there in plenty of time to help themselves to the refreshments provided before a prompt start at 10. I knew we had a lot to get through and the time just flew!
I’d worried about numbers and had limited the places to 10 anyway due to the room size but it would have been pretty cramped if all those places had been taken and the dynamic of the morning would have been different. As it was, with the four of us, there was plenty of interaction and time for questions as we went along which was easier to handle than I suspect it would have been with a larger group.
The group were fully engaged throughout. I presented a stripped down Powerpoint and as they all started frantically making notes I reassured them they would get the full version, with all the extra information, emailed to them after, which slowed the scribbling, a little.
The longest part, which is a lesson to us all, was the preparing to publish section, and so it should be! We departed from the presentation and went online to go through the actual process of loading up an ebook which was very popular. It also showed just how easy this is once you have everything prepared beforehand.
We went online again for the production of the paperback which had a slight glitch to it as the website crashed but fortunately not until we had done what we wanted there. Phew!
So was it useful to you? ‘The whole content was useful. It was very interactive and the trainer maintained focus and control and kept to time.’
Mrs R, St Ives.
‘Without a doubt, for me it was learning about Createspace and the fact I don’t have to pay out huge sums of money to have my books printed. It was also an eye-opener to discover how simple it is to self-publish, particularly on Amazon. Even a technophobe like me can understand it – and to think, I was going to pay someone to do it for me!’
Ms J, Cambridge
We finished with a look at the first steps in marketing. This is enough of a topic to fill its own workshop (as indeed I have, 9th July, if you’re interested – see website for details) so this was a taster for what is needed in order to sell books. As you soon learn in this business it is much harder to sell your books than it is to write them and I will keep saying it until someone listens – you should start building your author platform well before you press that publish button. Although I know that is all most of you have in your sights.
However, don’t be like me. Don’t publish then find yourself looking around and thinking that you’d better start telling people about what you’ve created. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the lecture now!
I produced packs for the participants which they seemed to like. Pads and pens, of course, plus a list of suppliers to this industry that I have used, or can recommend because I have seen their work. I added in a few sheets of useful information I have gleaned from the internet to give them some further reading. Lastly, of course, I added in a Feedback Form and having already received a couple back I’ve added in the quotes. The testimonials now have pride of place on the website and I’m truly delighted that what I have to offer went down so well.
We finished with a tasty buffet and carried on chatting until one by one we drifted back out into the sunshine.
Best of all, I loved every moment of it and look forward to doing it all again (shameless plug alert – the next one is on Saturday 10th September, should you be interested).
Thanks for reading.