Why you should self-publish by Annie Ridout
Poet Annie Ridout shares her advice on self-publishing and gives details of her online course that takes you through the process.
After writing and sharing some poems about motherhood online (and one - 'I’ve just had a baby’ - going viral), I decided to create a collection. I tried the traditional publishing route but to no avail and so rather than waste more time, I committed to self-publishing.
For a while, there was a stigma around self-publishing; it’s what people who ‘weren’t good enough’ did. But now, it’s incredibly common. And we have lots of wonderful stories about people who self-published initially then being picked up by publishers - like Otegha Uwagba with Little Black Book, and of course E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.
But the ’self-publishing’ success story I like best is that of poet Rupi Kaur.
She studied creative writing and was a gigging poet. When her lecturer told her that poets don’t get book deals but that self-publishing would lower people’s opinion of her in the literary world, she was disappointed. It was suggested that instead, she should submit individual poems to various publications. But she felt her poems needed to be together, in a collection - not published individually - so she ignored this advice, self-published, sold shitloads of copies and got picked up by a traditional publisher. She now has millions on followers on Instagram and is a bestselling poet.
So, if you’re keen to have a book of poems published: take matters into your own hands and self-publish.
That collection of motherhood poems that I wrote and published? I sold 300 copies, and made a few thousand pounds profit.
There’s a huge appetite for motherhood poems but like with all things ‘female’, we have to fight harder to be taken seriously. So taking the reins and making it happen yourself can feel rather liberating.
And if you’d like some help with this, I have an online course explaining exactly what you need to do to write and publish your own book.
Author, journalist, editor
I also run online courses for female founders and freelancers…