Friday 14 August 2015

Indie Publishing Journey: Part One

I recently did a series about publishing on 98.5 FM here in Perth and responded to questions about what it takes to write a book and how to get published. Sharing my personal publishing journey was a lot of fun and reminded me of how far I’ve come and also how much I still have to learn

When I left teaching in the early 2000s to begin writing more seriously I embarked on the journey full of enthusiasm, but without any practical knowledge. Several people I knew had published books and I had the big idea that if they could do it, so could I.

Once I’d written my first book, Beautiful: beauty tips for the soul, I had no clue about what to do with it. I’m sure many of you are either in that place right now, or have been in that place. 

Back in the early 2000s, there weren’t many Christian publishers in Australia. Several of my friends had self-published, forming their own indie publishing companies, so after getting business and legal advice, my husband and I established our own indie publishing company.

We chose the name Beautiful Books as our imprint name and motto because it reflected our content and presentation.

The University of Western Australia offered an extension course on self-publishing so I signed up. It was the best course I could have done to begin the publishing journey.

The husband and wife tutors were successful psychologists and publishers and it was in this class I learnt the terminology and skills required to publish a book. Printing, designing, marketing and financial costs were covered and demystified. I now knew what to do in order to self-publish my book.  I followed the tutors' advice the same way I’d follow a recipe—step-by-step.

I got feedback on the writing and edited the book, then found a designer and printer to work with. 

With the prospect of two thousand books arriving in my garage, I wondered what to do next. How would I sell my book?

Consulting with the managers of the two national  Christian bookstore chains, I received two pieces of advice have stuck with me ever since:

1.     Write a good book with excellent writing and content and a viable target audience.
2.     Build a platform. Get out and speak and sell your book at events.

I pass on this advice whenever anyone asks me about my publishing journey. Our books have consistently sold in those two chains for the last ten years and I can’t believe that they still sell after all this time. We've added several more to the list since I published our first book, Beautiful: beauty tips for the soul including my husband’s photography books.

This is what we've produced so far: 

Inspirational Non-Fiction by Elaine Fraser
Beautiful: beauty tips for the soul
Too Beautiful: more beauty tips for the soul

Novels: by Elaine Fraser
 Beautiful Lives Series
#1 Perfect Mercy
#2 Love, Justice
#3Amazing Grace (Releasing late 2015)

Photography Books: By Steve Fraser
Moments in the Light by Steve Fraser
Wild Frontier by Steve Fraser and Ken Duncan
Inspirational Moments by Steve Fraser
Fragile by Steve Fraser (Releasing October 2015)

We produce books that reflect beauty— beauty of spirit, inspiration for living a beautiful life filled with adventure, beautiful images of nature and stories of triumph that result in beautiful lives. 

What has the journey been like in the space between the first book and 2015? 

The first part of the journey was about learning, the second part of the journey was also about learning— in fact, the whole journey is about learning!

More about the learning journey next time. 

By Elaine Fraser


  1. I loved reading about your journey, Elaine. I appreciate how you took the time to find out how to indie publish rather than just flinging something together and 'having a go'. Planning and preparation is a vital key in this business, isn't it? Really looking forward to Part 2.

  2. Beautiful indeed, Elaine! 'Whatsoever things are lovely, think on these.' How wonderful to have this focus. Yes, there sure is a lot to learn in the Indie side of things.

  3. Hi Elaine, Thanks so much for sharing your indie publishing journey with us :)


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