How Do Authors Self-Publish?

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Recently, my BFF from days gone by (many days, but who’s counting?) has self-published her first novel. Although we haven’t lived in the same state or been in close contact since becoming wives and mothers, the advent of facebook has made the world a smaller place, and I excitedly followed the book’s progress via status updates and her blog.

And, although “young adult paranormal” isn’t usually my go-to genre, I immediately coughed up the $15.99, and snapped up a copy when it became available on Amazon.

When my package arrived, it was thrilling to hold the finished product in my hand and see her name emblazoned on the cover. This was the girl I had cried over countless boys with, taken best-friend photos with (circa 1990, in matching homemade puffy painted t-shirts, no less,) and spent hours talking on the phone to in our not-so-secret language in order to stump the over-large ears of my hovering father.

Now, that girl is a bona fide author, with an impressive 413 pages under her belt, hard at work on book No. 2 in the series. Hopefully, this second volume will be joining the current title, “In the Midst of Darkness,” very soon.

Once her passion for writing had been rekindled, and the story had been put to paper, however, she still had a long road to travel for that book to wind up on my doorstep.

How does one go about self-publishing a book? Promoting the book so that it finds an audience? Finding a place for it among the myriad other titles already crowding the bookshelves?

Daunting questions, yes, but they can all be answered at a workshop taking place this month at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa.

On July 28-29, the Marriott will host  “Writer’s Workshop,” during which both aspiring authors and those who have already written a book, and need help with the next steps, can learn the ins and outs of self-publishing, and a step-by-step process for book marketing.

Speakers will include Randy Davila, President of Hampton Roads Publishing and Hierophant Publishing, and Jan Johnson, Publisher of Red Wheel/Weiser Books and Conari Press. Both will be sharing their secrets for book publishing and marketing success.

The workshop is broken up into two days, each with a different focus. Saturday’s session will cover self-publishing, while Sunday’s classes will give insight on how to properly and successfully market a book.

Passes are available for the entire event, or on a daily basis for those who have a more specific need.

With the hotel being nestled right near Fashion Island, the workshop is easily accessible from all the coastal communities, and is sandwiched between a plethora of restaurants, giving attendees a fantastic opportunity for post-class networking with fellow authors.

I can’t help but think that had my friend had access to a class such as this one, her road to being published might have been a little easier. Additionally, the journey doesn’t stop once the book is printed. New authors still face the uphill challenge of getting the word out about their work, and finding their target audience, making the expertise shared at the workshop in that regard invaluable to say the least.

One thing my friend did have going for her was a good story. While vampires may not be my normal reading companions (OK, I did read all the Twilight books), I admit to staying up way past my bedtime, more than once, to see what would happen with the main characters, Waverly and Finn.

Plus, her vampires are Irish, and who doesn’t love a hot immortal with an accent?

For more about “In the Midst of Darkness” by Nicole Bailey, visit, or look for it on For more information on the workshop, or to purchase tickets, visit or call 949-679-7020.


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