Counting bees? An insight into Indie Publishing


June has been UK’s national bee count month. You download an app, take pictures of bees (challenging!). Then upload the bee picture, with the number of bees of that type, you saw.

The fly in the ointment

Well, I managed a couple of days of blissful bee spotting. But, I had to self-publish my paperback.

The publishing train as requested by DA-AL

Back in March, I completed the easy task of uploading my manuscript to Amazon KDP. I then proofed and published the eBook version of Betweenwhiles; A family between two wars – a true story of rebellion against Nasizm. I decided to release the illustrated version, in paperback.

This decision was informed by the reaction to my first illustrated book. Mizpah Cousins: Love, life and perilous predicaments during the Great War Era, received great feedback. But, the pictures could sometimes be hard to view, on mobile devices. Also, preparing my old family pictures for release is a long process. And, book fans were clamouring for the next episode of my family memoir.


The writing of a memoir – proofing

Being self-published, I am responsible for every element of the publishing process. As an IT professional, the computer bits are easy. For other skills, I seek professional help.

My manuscript had taken many years to research. The story developed and was finally complete. Back last year, I began the task of proofreading. This iterative process took weeks if not months. With the manuscript honed to my best ability, it was time for a professional to look at it. My lovely mentor, the author and artist Rob Lee, recommended his proofreader, Jude White. I can recommend her skills. Jude proved to have empathy for my style, but the strength to suggest improvements. When Jude returned my proofed copy and a report, my work began once more. With a fine tooth comb, I reviewed her suggestions and recommendations. I learnt a lot from Jude.


The writing of a memoir – cover design

My first book cover I designed myself.  I used a CreateSpace wizard. This is an online, on-demand paperback publishing company. This time around, I found their artwork was of low resolution. Maybe to encourage authors to use one of their graphic designers. While contemplating how to resolve this, I met my Graphic Designer, Rachel Powel. She is the wife of the pub landlord of a Bath pub, The Royal Oak. Blown away by her talent I will be using Rachel’s skills again. Do you need a book cover or marketing material? Rachel’s contact information is

You can read about my journey with Rachel here Do you judge a book by its cover?

The writing of a memoir – marketing

Amazon and Createspace are great platforms to self-publish from. Amazon’s KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing) program enables marketing of publications worldwide. I now have readers around the world and have many new international friends.

Web design and social media consultancy, I turned to Natasha Waldron. Contact at Natasha’s professionalism and patience is legend. She continues to support me through the book marketing process.

Back to counting bees

With my kindle version of Betweenwhiles, published. And waiting on the cusp, to publish my paperback, I’m back to counting bees until the end of the month. You may be surprised to know, we have over ten varieties, here in the UK. Just until the end of June, then I’m back to researching my next book.

If you have any questions about bees or the publishing process, please let me know.


14 thoughts on “Counting bees? An insight into Indie Publishing

  1. Margaret, an informative and interesting post about your publishing experience. A good proofreader is vital and happy that you found Jude. I found the actual act of publishing far easier than expected – of course once the ms, cover, blurb, etc were ready! Best of luck with your latest book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks, Margaret, for the great info — just reblogged it to my site – hope you like how it looks there & that it brings you lots of new readers! btw – any rough figures for how much editing & cover design cost?


    1. Thanks for the reblog. Have had a peek and liked it. A proofreader is different from an editor. Jude checked spelling, grammar and word usage. As an avid reader, she also highlighted passages that did not work for her. This gave me an opportunity to rework them. An Editor, works with the writer during the process. Proofing is done when the work is finished. It depends on how long the book is, proofing is usually costed by the word count. So anything from £350 to £750. I have had several quotes for covers, and the going rate at the moment is about £350. Hope that helps. Kindest regards.

      Liked by 1 person

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