Science fiction author Pam Bloom, from Meols has spoken about the challenges posed by self-publishing as she prepares to launch her second book.
Pam Bloom’s first novel, Whole New World[s], was published in July as an ebook through Amazon. She has recently also released it in paperback form through print-on-demand website Lulu.com.
Self-publishing – which relies on the author doing the job of a traditional publisher in addition to writing the books – has taken off enormously in recent years.
The process has become more widespread, and much more user-friendly, so even someone with the most basic grasp on technology can now publish their own books. Accurate figures are impossible to find, but there are probably millions of self-published books now on sale.
But self-publishing is not easy, as Pam explained: “I find the writing pretty straightforward, but the publishing quite difficult. As part of the process I have had to set up a website, start building an email list of interested readers, become active on as much social media as I can find the time for, and effectively become my own public relations company.
“In addition, the practical aspect of publishing the book requires revising and editing your work, formatting it correctly for publication and getting a cover made. Thankfully I have a talented designer – Ilan Sheady – who does my covers for me; everything else I have done myself.”
And becoming a published author is not, contrary to popular belief, an instant path to riches. Said Pam: “Although you don’t have to pay to actually publish the books, it costs money to do everything else. I have probably spent around £1,200 so far – and made about £40 back in sales. So, if I had a day job, I would not be giving it up anytime soon.”
But the process has been worth it to see her work in print, as Pam explained: “I have always wanted to be a published author, and just to be able to hold my book in my hand makes me burst with pride. I also believe it’s an entertaining, well-written read, and am enjoying the positive reactions of readers.”
Unemployed Pam, who lives with her husband and teenage daughter, was a journalist for 26 years with the Wirral News, Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post before being made redundant last summer. Now aged 49, she has written all her life but Whole New World[s] is her first completed novel. It is an inspiring tale about an 11-year-old boy who finds a device which enables him to travel to parallel universes.
The first book in a trilogy, it has been gaining consistent 5-star reviews from readers. The second, Running, will be published very soon, and she is currently writing the third, as yet untitled, novel.