Three lessons learned from Habitat Man and my first venture into self-publishing

My first lesson is enjoy the process! Many things go wrong. I invited a film crew along to my book launch a few weeks ago thinking that while people were buzzing with the book and readings (and free alcohol) they could pick up some reviews to camera and clips of readings and put together a book trailer. Except their sound card failed and I ended up with nothing. My consolation was that everyone had a great time. The readings especially were fantastic. In hearing how my book came to life when others read out their favourite extracts I realised I needed an audio version which prompted me to get started on the process. I’ve found an audio book narrator Matt Coles whose voice I adore who really brings the characters to life. Hopefully the audio version of Habitat Man should be ready by the end of the year. The film crew were so sorry, they agreed to return for my book signing SATURDAY 20th NOV. It’s at October Books, Southampton, and runs from 12.30 – 2pm – so do come by if you’re in the area.

The book signing comes straight after a writing workshop I’m holding at the University of Southampton which is based around the Green Stories Writing competitions. It’s free, so sign up quickly if you’d like to come.

The second lesson is that nothing happens when you self-publish unless you make it happen. But having learned that, I’ve found that with all the concern about the climate and biodiversity crisis and the increased appreciation many of us feel now for nature, it’ hasn’t been too difficult getting people interested in talking to me about Habitat Man. The podcast I did for the Creative Penn is out today – see  and I’m one of ALLi’s inspirational authors and will be featured in their next podcast. So after moaning and groaning about the marketing one has to do as an independent author, I’m actually finding it wonderful to feel part of this growing, creative and enterprising community.

The third lesson is patience. Not something I’m good at. But unlike traditional publishing where the whole process is set up for the launch, independent publishing is a slow burn as you gradually connect with the kinds of readers who like your style. The best thing to do I keep hearing is to write the next book. So on that note, if you’d like a little taster of the sequel, or to hear for first 15 minutes of the audio book (still draft version) then sign up to my mailing list.