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Tag: Self publishing

Guest Post Chloe Thurlow: An Idiot’s Guide to Self-Publishing

I’m delighted to welcome Chloe Thurlow back to my site today, to tell us all about her adventure in self publishing. This thirteen month long odyssey has led to the production of her beautiful new novel, Katie in Love. (Look out for the giveaway at the end of the post!!)

Over to you Chloe…

An Idiot’s Guide to Self-Publishing

Self-publishing a novel is like walking the high wire between two tall buildings without a net and traffic roaring up at you from below. The experience is an adrenaline rush, exhilarating and terrifying.

Katie in Love cover small

Katie in Love is that novel. It took 13 months to write, twice as long as my earlier works, and gave me almost permanent stomach cramps. Giving birth to a book is likened to having a baby and I felt as if I were carrying a small school of dolphins.

Sleepless nights and self-doubt is the staff of life to a writer; so is skipping meals and overdoing the Spanish cava, my drink of choice, less bubbly and lighter than champagne. Oh, yes, and falling over. I don’t have stretch marks but I do have some bruises.

Katie in Love went through four editors, all of whom had different suggestions; editors are such egotists. Picking the bones from their flesh-eating comments left me each time with a leaner manuscript and I came to understand the axiom: the first secret of writing is cutting. You spend 9 hours writing 400 words and then 2 hours whittling them down to 200. Then you open a bottle of cava.

When the big boy publishers take your manuscript it’s like kidnapping your baby. They choose the cover, they decide on the publishing date, the marketing campaign (if any) and when you want to speak to someone, they are always on holiday in the South of France.

The covers of my other books have pictures of girls like photos in an old album of people you can no longer remember. Self-publishing Katie in Love meant I could choose the image. I went to the Shutterstock library and almost went blind studying more thousands of head shots. Having created Katie, I knew exactly what she looked like. Finding her in the crowd was intense and incredibly satisfying. Look at the illustration. That is Katie.

katie in love

My friend Polly Playford designed the cover. The blurb on the back cost another few bruises but, then, that’s what writing is, a battle to reach an impossible perfection. Marketing requires ceasing all other activities: no writing, no chatty phone calls, no lunches with mates. Marketing means being at the laptop 24/7 begging for reviews and asking nice people like Kay Jaybee to give you some space on her website.

What’s Katie in Love about?

Katie Boyd likes sex with strangers. No strings. She isn’t looking for love and doesn’t know if it’s what she wants when the feeling slowly starts to tingle and surface after that first night with Tom Bridge. Katie is a party girl drifting through the hip clubs and London party scene. Tom’s intense, caring, in the bedroom and in his concern for others. Katie’s world is turned upside down as she sets off on a journey of self discovery and change. In three weeks, Tom leaves for Sri Lanka, where he runs an orphanage, and Katie must decide whether to return to her old life or follow him into the unknown.

Present day relationships are as complex as the quickly changing world we live in. In Katie in Love, I set out to explore the intricacies of love, romance, desire and erotica set against the hopes and fears of contemporary life, a book for our times.

Now I hold the book in my hand and the digital version is ready to slip into devices everywhere, self-publishing Katie in Love turned out to be a worthwhile experience. I have crossed the high wire. I am safely on the other side. All that’s left to say now is: Please buy my book –

Link for Amazon downloadshttp://bookgoodies.com/a/B00S1SMMIG

Link for Amazon bookshttp://bookgoodies.com/a/1503014908

The book that it currently in my hand, which is rather beautiful, is FREE!!! If you would like it- then please leave me a lovely comment below (including your email address) and I will pick my favourite on 28th March, and send you Katie in Love.

chloe bw 2


Chloe Thurlow is the author of six novels including the best-selling The Secret Life of Girls (Xcite Books). She has a lively blog at www.chloethurlow.com and is, at present, on good terms with her Mother.


Many thanks for coming by today Chloe!

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Chloe’s latest novel!

Happy reading,

Kay xxx

Joining the Vicious Circle- Christmas Kink- An Adventure in Self Publishing

I never thought I’d do- I never thought I’d self publish. To be honest with you, I’m still not absolutely sure it was the right thing to do. I am blessed with fab publishers, who have been very good to me- a little voice at the back of my head is telling me I’m being disloyal.

I’ve always seen self publishing as something of a vicious circle.

vicious circle

Self publishing is free therefore (understandably) loads of authors do it- but this means publishers are getting less trade- so publishers lose money- so publishers can’t afford to do as much as they used to- so they take on fewer writers – they can’t afford to market so much- so sales drop- and so authors have on choice but to self publish…and round we go again! (Yes, I am generalising- but you get the idea)

My other problem with self publishing is the removal of the gate keepers- no editors and no form of quality control- the result being a flood of badly written work drowning out the good stuff.

So- having said all that, why have I bought out my anthology, Christmas Kink, as an Amazon KDP?

In short- I need more sales. Simple as that. It may not get me many of course, but the attraction of 70% profit per £1.88, rather than the usual 25% is not to be sniffed at!! Erotica is struggling more than ever before in the literary sales world- and so I decided – (with the wise words of Lily Harlem buzzing in my head “You’re a brand woman- Your work won’t get lost in the flood- go for it” )-that it was time I swallowed my principles and went for it!

I was still nervous however- I am rather useless when it comes to sorting tax and things- and so I approached the enterprise with trepidation.

If it wasn’t for my wonderful friend Lily Harlem- one of the very very best self published authors out there- I’d have got no where at all with it!! In fact- it was her wisdom and support that guided me through what can only be described as a very complex process if you are resident outside of the USA. Poor Lily must have been dreading looking at her email in case it was full of questions about the self publishing process from me!!

Providing you follow all the rules and get your formatting right, the actual uploading of a book is very straightforward- it is the tax and bank forms that are enough to make you want to put down your pen and never pick it up again!!


The real pain is the W8-BEN form- which is something you have to fill in concerning US tax- I would talk you through how to fill it in- but I can’t!! I had to run to Lily and my good friend Kev Blisse many times in the process of filling in that bugger of a form- I swear it’ll give me nightmares for weeks to come!!

The main thing you need to have is a TIN or EIN number- the 2 options for non-US residents to make sure the American government don’t take 30% of your takings in tax. As yet I haven’t managed to get one of these, as the number you have to ring comes complete with at least a 15 minute period on hold- and I never have 15 mins to spend on an International phone call!! But I know I’ll have to do it soon- I confess, I’m putting off the evil moment (I hate talking on the phone at the best of times!!)

The other 2 things you have to have concern the form about your bank details- your IBAN number and your BIC number (sometimes called a Swift code). I just popped into my local bank branch and they gave them to me there and then- that bit was easy!!

Christmas Kink

Apart from all that of course- you need your story, a blurb, and a cover. I just love the cover to Christmas Kink– it was put together for me my Liz Ponting, a freelance designer who I met during her time at Xcite/Accent. I just love it’s suggestive simplicity! (If you want her services just ask and I’ll put you in touch!)

So now I’m just waiting to see what happens- to see if the time I spent getting everything together was worth it!!

Watch this space…

Happy Reading

Kay xxx


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