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Publishing Online

November 25, 2012

Whitworth Hall, Spennymoor. Location of the e-conference for writersI first found the courage to publish online by attending an e-conference at Whitworth Hall in Spennymoor. The conference, which focussed on preparing and publishing with Kindle Online Direct gave me the confidence to tackle the technical skills required to convert a manuscript into the required format. The conference was run by Room To Write who are holding a similar weekend in March 2013. I am pleased to say that I have been invited to share my experience and expertise of online publishing at the conference, details of which can be found at

As part of my preparation for the conference I published Zipangu, Year of the Dog 1274: The Second Wave with Smashwords at the beginning of October. I wanted to be able to compare publishing with Smashwords online to following the more popular route of publishing with Amazon. So far I have been delighted with the results. My novella has been downloaded fifty times to date. One of those downloads is from libraries – and that’s before the book has made it through to the Smashwords premium catalogue.

What I like about the Smashwords process is that I receive regular e-communications telling me how to rectify formatting errors as well as notifying me of the status of the book. I have access to much more information about the book’s progress through an online dashboard and found the author webpage easier to set up. See

While some may argue that learning new technical skills takes time away from writing, I consider such skills an essential part of a writer’s toolkit these days. As with anything it takes time to master but becomes easier and quicker with practice. Moreover, I enjoy this aspect of publishing online and the opportunities it opens up for ‘getting my work out there.’

Getting Your Work Out There was the title chosen for Room to Write’s 2013 conference which also covers blogging and creating an online presence to support your online publication. While e-marketing and design services are available from £150 upwards from a range of self-publishing imprints such as Matador as featured in the December 2012 issue of  Writing Magazine, I prefer to pay to learn how to create and promote my work online myself. For me it is part of the writing journey.

If you are considering publishing online but would rather purchase e-book publishing services, then there is some good advice on They mention that the two most important factors for successful online publishing are to have the best conversion and the widest possible distribution. They suggest publishing an e-book alongside a paper book to maximise exposure and point out that e-book marketing should be online as that is where e-readers can be found. They also offer copy-editing and cover design services. The importance of the latter and guidance on how to create brilliant covers and informational front matter for both online and print on demand publications is covered by novelist Avril Joy on the first day of the writing conference at Whitworth Hall.

Whether you have already published online or are considering taking the plunge, you can share your thoughts about the process by leaving a comment at the end of this post. If you would like to read my novella, you can download it for free until the end of 2012 from


From → E-Publications

  1. Dear Judith
    Thank you for all this carefully thought through and insightful information about the process. All brilliant advice! You are certainly the poster girl do self publication!. We are looking forward so seeing some new faces at the Spring Conference of enthusiasts who will, like you, add to their burgeoning skills. WX

  2. Your free download links very generous but does not work

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