Last night I went to Canteen in Spitalfields market to join the Kindle Publishers Meetup group, hoping for a good discussion about self-publishing and book marketing with fellow authors.
To some extent I got it, from a very friendly and welcoming bunch, with a very friendly and cheerful leader, Sharif. The discussion was maybe not all I’d hoped for- though that is no real fault of anyone involved- we’re simply at different levels in the process.
I am by no means a black belt in self-pub, but I’m on the belt system. Most of the people last night had yet to get their white belt, ie- they haven’t published anything. They don’t know anything yet. So the group is certainly good for them.
I felt some concern when I arrived and saw Sharif’s flyers for his publishing services, assisting in self-publishing. The thought of this is fairly laughable to me- since its hardly self-pub if you pay someone £500 to put your book on kindle.
But I held my tongue, as any guest should. To his credit there was no hard sell. For people unwilling to learn the self-pub basics, it may be a good deal. Maybe what these people want is some hand-holding. I’m no-one to judge.
One lady had written a book about a cat, another about fashion, and both had published. One guy was trying to get 1,000 pre-orders through a kickstarter-like site called Inkshares, which invests in marketing if you can bring that minimum amount of interest.
He was quite the evangelist for it, actually. It reminds me of Authonomy- since shut down. Maybe it’s a good idea.
One guy was white with ginger hair, but said he was Pakistani, had a twin, and just got divorced that day. He is plainly a novelist.
It was nice, but I’m hoping for a group with folks a little more on the belt system. At least white. Yellow if possible. This makes me think I should make a belt system for self-pub writers.
Also, I’ll set up my own group, with a minimum requirement for entry. At least white belt? At least yellow belt? If I go too high probably no-one will come. We shall see!