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01 November 2012

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Thanks Phil, that info was very timely for me.

I am planning a history book for my community. It will be a rural history of the Rigo inland of Central Province.

For Amos and other writers looking to publish their books, Keith Dahlberg, an American who writes about PNG, tells me that:

"Amazon.com has a new project called Create Space, which will help you set up your book and cover for free. Publishing it on Kindle is also free.

"I have a nephew who just published this way; he paid about US$6 for a proof copy, and says that was his only expense. I am looking at it as a publisher for Gold. It is on the web on Amazon.com. The paperback copy he sent me looks good."

Some of these self-publishing companies will actually charge you to put things on Amazon and Kindle - don't be fooled.

The reference to "Gold" is about Keith's next book, "South Pacific Gold" which is about mining in PNG. From what I've read so far it is very accurate. Keep an eye out for it.

I love writing. I would like to have my stuff published. Thanks.

Phil, your words are true! I've done a bit of self-publishing and I wouldn't say I've made anything from it apart from seeing my name in print!

I'm vain enough to say that this gives me a degree of satisfaction! One ends up giving copies away to friends, but this doesn't really matter as I have no delusions about my talent.

A cheap way for would-be writers is to get their own blog. This can be a lot of fun and it's great for photos that come out so well online.

I've just about to have a biography of my father published which is being eagerly awaited for by family members. So if the publishing is not too expensive, go for it.

I've ordered a copy of your book from Amazon, Trevor. I didn't even know you'd published it. They reckon they've only got two copies left!

I've also ordered one by Keith Dahlberg called "Samana", which is partly set in the highlands.

I wonder if there is some way of advertising PNG books like yours and especially by PNG authors on PNG Attitude?
___________

The site is a bit limited in its flexibility for advertising but we're always ready to plug a good book about PNG - KJ

Thank you very much for this piece, Phil.

Love the humour, as well as the important information.

I am becoming a fan of your writing style.

Gladly awaiting your next masterpiece.

Its really true, Phil. So informative.

Phil - A great article and so true. I published my book through Xlibris as a print on demand book. It cost me $1,500 Australian.

This included a colour photo on the cover. It also included copyright and other legal obligations. It did not include photos inside which would have cost a great deal.

They suggested various ways to promote the book. Their latest offer is for them to help me promote it if I pay them another $1,500. Sadly I cannot afford to outlay any more money at this stage.

They don't appear to make much from book sales so rely on extra payments to make money. I do receive a cheque every now and again from Amazon but this would hardly pay for a meal in a restaurant.

Phil, an experienced writer of both long and short fiction has painted a broad and correct outline of the prospects for those of us who like to write.

To be happy with your craft you must do it for your own satisfaction. If you want to earn money on a regular basis by writing, join a newspaper or an advertising agency.

This may provide a living if you are lucky enough to find such a job, but it won't provide you with more than passing intellectual stimulus and satisfaction.

Books are products like soap, toothpaste, running-shoes and underpants. They are branded products which appeal because people have been led to believe they are worth purchasing.

In the case of an author, this comes to pass by first writing a best-seller or two. But to be a best-selling writer, you must be well-known. Get it? Catch 22 , they call it.

It is possible that you may get lucky one day, with the right publisher's reader after he/she has had an enjoyable lunch, on a nice sunny day. That is if he/she strikes the commissioning editor in a relaxed frame of mind, similarly enjoying the day. In other words, its a lottery, mate!

Love your writing for the satisfaction it gives you - never rely on it to bring in cash. Self-publishing will get your work into print in a bound and well-finished volume.

But it still has to be distributed (by who?) to bookshops which have to be convinced to give it shelfspace and then unsold copies must be picked up (if you want them back). If by that time you haven't gone mad or run away.

Self-publishing is costly and a little self-indulgent.Okay if you've got plenty in the bank. Better still if you have talent.

But if you love writing, then you will write and you will gain great satisfaction from the act itself and from reviewing your work as the years go by.

Good luck, writers, and finally, listen to the advice of world-famed Amarican novelist F Scott Fitzgerald whose best-known work was The Great Gatsby - a story which has been filmed at least twice since publication in 1935.

Known as a man who loved a drink or three, Fitzgerald died of alcoholism at age 44. Just before this he was asked to address a major seminar for aspiring young writers.

Fitzgerald arrived, having finished his first bottle of bourbon for the day.

The great man mounted the stage. Glaring at the assembled audience with a look both penetrating and yet somehow sympathetic he said loudly:

"So you bastards wanna write? Well, g'wan home 'n write!"

I love that story!

Thank you so much for this very informative post, Phil. It is timely reminder too, especially with literature in PNG picking up pace.

Thanks...really! I hope this article will be read by many other would be authors who are planning to the go down the 'self-publishing-highway'.

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