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  • Penny Walker

A Self-publishing Journey - Part 1

I have been writing on and off for 40+ years. So far none of my novels (I have written 4) have been accepted for publication. Fremantle Press did take one book seriously enough to have an editor look at it before returning it after five long months of nail-biting suspense, to arrive with a resounding FLOP on the doorstep on my son’s 18th birthday. I think this was the toughest rejection as their initial response was positive and I waited all that time with hope perched on my shoulder, whispering exciting dreams in my ear. I have toughened up a fair bit since then.

I have been prevaricating, avoiding writing this first post, as with it comes a certain amount of commitment to the undertaking. Two years into my degree I am full of self-doubt. I have had about twenty readers all give me very favourable feedback about the novel I am putting forward yet no publisher has been interested.

For this process to start I have to produce not just the manuscript, edited and ready to go, but also front cover artwork, a title, a catchy one liner, a 45 character description of the novel, a 500 character précis, a short 300 character biography and three hundred character answers to oft asked questions from book clubbers etc.

Have you any idea how hard it is to condense a 90,000 word novel into 45 characters?

Here’s my effort:

Life is cancerous: Hope lies in Remission.

Then my ‘offspring’ will have a month to secure sufficient likes (they don’t tell you how many are required) from the members of Kindle Scout to be accepted for publication by Kindle. I will be calling all contacts for support at this point – the more marketing you can do for yourself, the higher your chances of getting the deal. This outcome comes with a small advance and Kindle will then of course throw their marketing behind it.

If this doesn’t work, I’ll have to think again. I still have the option of self-publishing with Kindle direct.

It is scary. When you submit work to a publishing house, it is faceless and fairly private. The rejection is the same. I think that I will feel very vulnerable during the process as my work is out there being assessed in a very public forum and it may be found wanting.


Penny’s book, Remission, is currently being considered for publication through Kindle Scout. You can read an excerpt of the book here and if you like it, you can nominate it to be published. If it gets enough nominations, it will be available for sale in the Kindle Store and you’ll receive a free copy of the book.

You can also check out more of Penny’s work at her website,

This is the first in a series of blog posts by Penny Walker on her experiences with self-publishing.

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