Self Publishing – The Errors of My Ways…

Like many budding authors I felt on top of the world when I completed my first book. The euphoria was quickly replaced by the stark realisation that no one was willing to publish or promote my work.

It took me over six years to finish my first book, so I was a little impatient to see it published. Unfortunately I rushed through the self publishing process only to discover that my book had some inherent copy editing issues that had not been addressed. I made quite a few mistakes when I first self published, but it is through these mistakes that I learnt so much.

What I should have done

  • I should have had my manuscript professionally edited.
  • I should have taken the time to seek out successful mentors for advice, support and personal development.
  • I should have researched the publishing, marketing and management process more thoroughly.

I don’t regret any of these mistakes; I did fix the edit and re-release my first book. It is the fear of mistakes, perceived failure, ridicule or embarrassment that prevents some emerging authors from publishing their work, which is a little sad really. It was only through this imperfect publication that I learnt how to do it all again, but so much better.

What I needed to know

I have been self employed in business for over 25 years and what I have learnt about writing is very similar to what I have learnt about business over the years.

  • Know your skills and limitations (I really suck at editing).
  • Know your target market (or audience in the case of a writer).
  • Know your industry, its developments, trends and expectations.

As a business woman in my particular industry, I had learnt these things over time. However, as a writer, I really had no idea and quite a lot to learn. So I have spent the last year not just writing my next novel, but learning all I can about the world of books. I still have so much more to learn but some successful and influential people have helped out enormously along the way.

What I did next

  • I started following a number of successful novelists online; both fiction and nonfiction, self published and traditionally published.
  • I enlisted the help of a professional editor.
  • I built relationships with like minded people.
  • I read as much as I could find about editing, fiction writing and book marketing.
  • I planned the release of book 2 in the Covenant of Grace Series, Seed of Hope.

Writing for me is about my own enjoyment and the expression of my ideas and passion on paper (or computer). I can’t guarantee that what I have learnt will see me selling millions of copies of my new book Seed of Hope. All I can hope for is that the better I get, the more likely more people will read my work. So I will keep on writing and learning all I can along the way.

Destiny of Kings          Seed of Hope


As a special offer to all of Chris’ readers.

I am offering a FREE copy of Book 1 – Destiny of Kings, with the purchase of Book 2 – Seed of Hope.

lf you buy book 2, all you need to do is join my newsletter list and send me a copy of your online receipt. I will send you a link to a free download of Book 1.

Fiona Tarr

Fiona Tarr 01

Fiona Tarr Newsletter Link


Seed of Hope Links:

SmashwordsBarnes & Noble



30 thoughts on “Self Publishing – The Errors of My Ways…

  1. No matter what you do, you are going to make mistakes. The man who never made a mistake never made anything. The important thing is to try to learn from the mistakes, and not fret about them. At the risk of picking on someone unnecessarily, read one of the very earliest works of Clive Cussler, and read one of the latest. Remember, the earliest one will also have been professionally edited. In my opinion, the differences will be stark, and I also think it is a waste of time trying to patch up the early ones. Get into the next one. If you see your earlier flaws, you know you are learning, but you also have to learn that certain patching is a waste of time. A total rewrite will certainly help, but haven’t you something better to write?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on sherriemiranda1 and commented:
    I totally get how this could happen. If I hadn’t been trying for a few years to get an agent, my book would have gone out too soon too. The longer I waited for a nibble from agents, the more time I spent writing, revising and editing. The one thing I always knew was that I did need an editor. We should always have an unbiased reader to help us improve 1) storyline 2) grammar 3) in-congruencies.
    P.S. Do you know about my debut novel?
    Historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about a young American woman goes to war-torn El Salvador:
    The video my husband made for my novel. He wrote the music too!

    Liked by 2 people


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