Writers On Writing / The best reasons to self-publish with Joel Naoum

“Ultimately, especially when starting out, it pays to learn best practice and some of the tips, tricks and pitfalls that you’re likely to come across.” Joel Naoum speaks to us about the benefits of self-publishers seeking professional advice ahead of his 7-week self publishing course.

Sydney based publisher helps students self-publish their book

What are the best reasons for self-publishing?

Sometimes I think there are as many reasons to self-publish as there are self-publishers. It can be a great way to get a long neglected story out there, to build a career over time or to build an author platform.

What are the trickiest hurdles self-publishers need to look out for on their publishing journey?

Most new self-publishers try to rush the process. They’ve heard that self-publishing is faster than traditional publishing and don’t allow enough time to learn the ropes or find the right help to get the job done. Ultimately, especially when starting out, it pays to learn best practice and some of the tips, tricks and pitfalls that you’re likely to come across. Replicating a whole publishing company’s worth of skills is a big ask of an individual person, especially when you want to find time to write as well! 

The process of self-publishing can be a daunting prospect. How will your self-publishing course at Writing NSW help writers to jump or to understand some of these hurdles?

I think the best thing about the course is that it’s very practical. The whole time you’re learning these somewhat abstract skills you’re applying them directly to your own work. I think that makes it a lot easier to retain the knowledge and to ask useful, practical questions. At the end of the day you also get a published book out of itI can’t think of any other writing or publishing courses that do the same!

Joel Naoum is a Sydney-based book publisher, bookseller, editor and consultant. He is currently the non-fiction category manager at Booktopia and runs Critical Mass, a publishing consultancy. Joel previously ran Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital-first imprint Momentum. He is the chair of the board of Writing NSW and in 2011 he completed the Unwin Trust Fellowship researching digital publishing experimentation in the United Kingdom.

The Self-Publishing Program with Joel Naoum takes place at Writing NSW over seven Wednesday evening sessions, beginning 26 September and finishing 5 December 2018.*

At the end of the program your book will be available for sale globally in ebook and print on demand formats.


*We have updated this course for 2019, and under its new name, Online: Self Publish Your Book, it will be running online from 9 September to 30 November.

Enrolments for our 2019 course close on 30 August. Bookings are only taken over the phone, after participants have read the course guidelines and returned their form. Find out more about the course and how to enrol here.

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