‘Self-publishing can be both an exhilarating and lonely experience for an author, so anyone considering it should surround themselves with as much support as possible …’
That was Book Nanny speaking about the role of editing and editors with author, Anne O’Leary, for her article ‘Self-publishing: say goodbye to vanity and come in from the cold’ which was published in the January 2016 edition of Books Ireland.
The big question for many writers is: where do I find that support?
Resources for Writers
Please note: there are many, many resources out there for writers, but I have listed only those that I have had personal experience with over the years. I will update the list from time to time as necessary.
Finding a good editor is a great start. A professional editor provides practical support and assistance to a writer during the publishing process. An editor’s skills and experience makes them the perfect person to bounce ideas off or answer any queries you might have.
There are a number of national and international professional editing organisations which can be useful if you are searching for an editor with particular experience or specialist knowledge.
Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders and Indexers of Ireland (AFEPI Ireland)—the professional association for editorial freelancers across the island of Ireland. Membership is curated based on training and experience. Book Nanny is a full Member of AFEPI Ireland.
Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP)—the UK professional body for editors and proofreaders which has a international membership. Membership is curated and there are various levels of membership based on training and experience.
Editors Canada—the professional body for freelance and in-house editors in Canada. There are various levels of membership based on training and experience.
Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)—the US-based association for editorial freelancers which has an international membership.
Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd)—the professional association for editors in Australia and New Zealand. There are various levels of membership based on training and experience.
It’s impossible to overstate the benefits of being a member of a writers’ group. Don’t underestimate the emotional support your fellow writers can provide during the writing and publishing process. They can help you stay positive, energised and focused during the dark days and lonely hours when all is not progressing as smoothly or as quickly as you would like.
Writing courses, seminars and workshops are a vital source of networking for writers. They help you improve your craft and meet other like-minded authors. Many writing groups start out as a group of writers who meet at a writing course. So check out your local arts or writers’ centre – it’s worth making full use of the resources they offer.
The Irish Writers Centre in Dublin is the national resource centre for Irish literature and runs courses and events covering all aspects of Irish writing.
One of my favourite writing resources is Writing.ie, an online magazine packed full of articles, news, events and information about all aspects of writing and self-publishing.
And don’t forget Facebook. There are any number of writers’ groups covering all fiction genres on Facebook. Some groups are public (everyone can see posts) and some are closed (only members of the group can see the posts). You can network with other writers and editors, ask all sorts of questions, and find out all you need to know about both traditional and independent/self-publishing options. My favourites are Fiction Writers and Editors and Ask A Book Editor. Both are closed groups, so you will need to follow the joining instructions to be added as a member.
The writing community is a generous one, with writers willing to share their knowledge with other writers. Listening to and talking with other independently-published authors can give you first-hand experience of the pitfalls of self-publishing as well as many practical tips for success. If you are interested in self-publishing, you should consider joining a professional organisation which gives you access to all that experience on an international level.
ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) is a non-profit professional organisation promoting publishing excellence and support for independent authors. ALLi has its own weekly newsletter and Facebook group. ALLi also provides a list of vetted publishing service providers, including editors, graphic designers, formatters and printers.
Book Nanny is a vetted supplier for the crowdfunding platform PubLaunch. Their website is packed with information about crowdfunding and they often offer webinars and one-to-one consultations, so do check out the website if crowdfunding is something you would be interested in.
Literary Festivals/ Writers’ Conferences
There is nothing quite like the positive energy and excitement a writer can get from attending a literary festival or writers’ conference. It’s a wonderful way to meet other writers and industry professionals.
Here’s a selection of the festival/conferences which take place across Ireland throughout the year: