Wow. What a process!
I decided to self publish all three of my books. For The Hare and Tortoise Have Counselling, I did not try to find a publisher for it. For The Hafu Child and This Girl Can I went all out, and how tricky it is to land a good home/publisher!
I found many places wanted to receive payment to publish your book (vanity publishing) and it was no small fee! Some were asking up to £3500! Please never pay for your work to be published, it should always be the other way round.
Then, the places that didn’t want a fee, wanted a huge cut of the royalty and wanted to control your work. It became very important to look at the fine print in the contract. The majority of the publishing agencies, in particular the well known ones, only accepted manuscripts from agented writers. However, there were quite a few that accepted submissions, but I believe they must of been swamped as some wouldn’t respond until months later.
I experienced so much rejection haha, but! There were a few who simply said, this is a good book, but not for us – have you tried? etc.
I decided in the end Amazon was a way to get my work out there and Amazon has been good to me.
I have no regrets using KDP and would highly recommend.
I decided to invest money into Marketing, looking around the prices varied from £300-£5000. I settled for a company called Publishing Push but were disappointed with the results. After investing £500, I received a mention in one blog with a small following. I saw they sent the same generic email out, and did not tailor it to the blog or publication. After expressing my disappointment at this result, they did not refund me. It was hard loss but a lesson learnt. Always ask for their strategy, check their reviews and reach out to a real books/people they have worked with.
A couple of months later I tried again, and this time understood what to expect. They would send it out to all their contacts/publications and the replies would come straight to me. This worked and I enjoyed responding to questions and had some good opportunities arose.
For my third book, I have now created my own media out reach spread sheet, and getting in touch with influencers, podcasts and bloggers. This is going really well, and I am using all free online resources.
If you wish for any help creating your own media target list, and how to promote your book for free, please do not hesitate to get in touch.