My journey to become a self published author

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In April 2021, after making a major overall in my career as a mainstream secondary classroom teacher, I decided it was time to start my journey towards being a published author. I had always dreamed of being traditionally published. I began to refine the craft of writing: writing short stories and submitting them to online literary websites, writing picture books, working on a novel and completing my Master of Letters in Creative Writing, culminating in my novella for my dissertation. I started to listen, read and be aware of the publishing industry. I began to realise that self-publishing wasn’t the poor cousin to the big five publishing houses. 

Today, self-publishing is achieving great heights. From where I'm sitting, I’m aware of a few key elements that must be incorporated to ensure your book is successful. Before I mention these, I must add a disclaimer—as of April 2021; I am still a fledgeling. A writer still learning about the world of indie publishing. I have just started this journey, and this online journal is the premise of this journey. I will be sharing my experience from the very green, naive beginning so that my journey might help another writer who is thinking about self-publishing.  What are these key elements that I have discovered as a newbie indie author? Make sure that your work is the very best. Ensure that you:

  • Draft, edit and revise and continue to do so until you can no longer go any further.

  • Get feedback on your work. Not from family—they are too kind to tell you the truth—from other writers. Join a writing group. Get your work read by Beta Readers.

  • Have professional editors work on your manuscript. You could start with a manuscript assessment. However, you must consider undertaking the three levels of editing: a structural/developmental edit, a copy/line edit and the final, proofreading.

  • Market your book. Make sure you have an author’s platform. Preferably one started before or while you are drafting. I’ll repeat it. Be prepared to market your book and never stop.

If you are thinking about self-publishing, starting to self-publishing or just curious about the whole process, then follow this journal. 


And now my journey begins. See you on the other side. 

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Valerie Miller