WGGB launches new guide to self-publishing

Download the guide here

Independent authors are changing the face of publishing with figures suggesting they now make up around a third of e-book sales in the largest English-language markets.

According to recent statistics, there are more than 750,000 self-published books in the UK and the last five years saw a 68% growth in self-published e-books.

While this offers unparalleled opportunities for authors, there are also many pitfalls along the way when it comes to writers protecting their intellectual property rights and potential revenues. According to the recent Is it a steal? report from WGGB and the Society of Authors, which examined the practices of hybrid/vanity publishers, 94% of writers who had paid to have their book published lost money, typically in the thousands, with many authors experiencing aggressive marketing tactics, manipulative sales approaches, unclear contracts and publishing processes and services that fell far short of expectations and value.

To enable authors to protect their rights and capitalise on new opportunities, WGGB is therefore launching a new guide to self-publishing.

The publication Self-publishing: A step-by-step guide for authors features advice on:

  • Choosing whether to manage the self-publishing process yourself, or hiring a company to do it for you – including the difference between reputable companies offering self-publishing packages and predatory hybrid/vanity publishers which should be avoided
  • If you need an agent – and how to get one
  • Editing and proofreading, design and formatting, indexing and illustrations, including hiring professionals
  • Printing versus e-books (plus a guide to the process and costs)
  • Marketing your book, including hiring a PR professional
  • Useful resources
  • Handy top tips

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said:

“The past two decades have seen a seismic move away from traditional book publishing, driven by a change in reading habits and the rise and reach of the internet. Genres and disciplines have melded and merged, the route to getting a book published has been transformed and authors can now get in print (or virtual print) by the click of the button.

“While this offers many more opportunities for writers, the road to self-publish can often seem unnecessarily complex and confusing and littered with potential hazards. We hope that our new guide will arm authors with easy-to-understand, practical advice on the process and help them protect their rights and revenues so they can thrive and not just survive in this new landscape.”

WGGB Books Chair Simon Guerrier said: “More and more fantastic work is being self-published, with a significant impact on the wider publishing world. This is an excellent, comprehensive guide to the rich possibilities. I learned a lot from it!”

Former WGGB Books Chair and launch event panellist Corinne Sweet said:

“All writers know that knowledge is power and that getting your work into print is essential for changing hearts and minds, or for simply, entertaining. And most writers know that getting their work published can be an uphill climb.  As pressures on traditional publishers has increased many have turned to the burgeoning world of self-publishing. Yet, many have also got caught out, been scammed or have found it tough to know where to begin. Hence our new self-publishing guide brings together what we hope will help our book writing members not only to get their invaluable work into print, but to make a decent living at the same time.”