Thursday, 11 September 2014

Going it alone with Jennifer Joyce

This week I'm delighted to welcome indie author Jennifer Joyce to Writer's Blog. She probably doesn't know what an inspiration she has been to me over the last few months but she will after she reads this! Jennifer has been hugely instrumental in helping me 'screw my courage to the sticking place' and keep going safe in the knowledge that their is always, always a way of making a dream come true. I am thrilled to welcome her to talk about her indie publishing path as she is about to publish her second novel, Everything Changes But You.

Welcome Jennifer...

I never planned to be a self-published author. My dream was to write a book, submit it to agents and end up with a publishing contract. I did write several books and I did submit some of them to agents, but I never managed to bag myself an agent. This was fine for a while. I didn’t expect the process to be a walk in the park. With each set of rejections, I would dust myself off, shelve the book and get on with the next one.
And then I wrote A Beginner’s Guide To Salad. I loved writing the book and I really connected with the main character, Ruth. It received some positive feedback from a few of the agents I submitted to, but ultimately they all ended with a rejection. I was gutted. I couldn’t bear the thought of shelving A Beginner’s Guide as I really believed in it. And that’s when I began to think about self-publishing.

The problem was, I didn’t have a clue where to start – how did I go about finding an editor? What about formatting the book? And cover design? It all seemed overwhelming and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. My solution was to make a list. It seems simple enough but it really helped a lot. Breaking down the tasks made it seem less daunting and I started to make my way through it. My biggest hurdle was finding an editor. I didn’t have a clue how to go about it so I turned to one of my best friends: Google. After a Google search, I made a list of editors who sounded like they would fit my requirements and then started to contact them, requesting a sample edit (from around 500 words to the first chapter or two, depending on the editor) and asking for a quote. It wasn’t nearly as scary or difficult as I thought it was going to be and I found an editor I wanted to work with.

Formatting is another issue as you can’t just stick your word file on a kindle and expect it to look like a real book. I took some advice from a couple of self-published authors and downloaded Mobipocket Creator. I also Googled how to fix any formatting errors that I came across. Once my file was converted, I could then proofread on my Kindle.

The day of publication came, which was pretty scary but I had a lot of online support from Twitter and book bloggers. A Beginner’s Guide To Salad started to receive some positive reviews, which was amazing and I’m grateful every time somebody takes the time to share their thoughts. I also organised a blog tour and hosted some giveaways, either with physical prizes or an ecopy of my book.

In some ways, getting my second book, Everything Changes But You, ready for publication has been a little bit easier. I already knew who I wanted to edit my book and I’d learned how to format it, but it is still scary. What if nobody buys my new book? And if they do, what if they hate it? But I think this is probably something every writer has to battle with whenever they publish a new book, whether they are traditionally or self-published.

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. A Beginner’s Guide To Salad is out now and Everything Changes But You is available to pre-order.

You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at

Everything Changes But You will be available to buy from Amazon from September 16th but can be pre-ordered now!


  1. I loved A Beginner's Guide to Salad and thought Ruth was a great character, I also loved your hero! I'm looking forward to reading Everything Changes But You when it's published.

    1. Thanks Georgina. I hope you enjoy Ally's story too!