Professional Reader

Amateur Authors and Self Publishing

Self-proclaimed ‘grateful amateur writer’ Lena Walton shares her journey as a writer and the traps to avoid when self-publishing. Here is Lena’s take on amateur authors and self-publishing.

Back in 2014 I self-published my book Jewish Days Arab Nights. It was a huge learning curve for me. For several reasons. One I realised the importance of editing. Never publish without another individual giving your work a final read. Two marketing. How does someone who is an unknown writer get his or her work read out there? Selling myself was not a natural thing for me to do. I let the book slide into anonymity and left it at that.

Recently a few new readers have given me feedback and mentioned the sequel. I wrote the sequel a few years later, but I felt was nowhere near good enough.  An agent did express interest but that too fell into the black abyss of publishing.

Heading back into the self-publishing world

I am now resurrecting the sequel Not Quite Gaza. The learning curve from the first book, I am hoping will help me to succeed this time around. I have several volunteers to do a final edit, which I now know is an absolute must. Now I know that marketing is going to be something important.

The plan is to have a jab at mainstream publishers and then go down the self-publishing route. How launching this book with the first book still out there will work remains to be seen. However, as a writer, I feel I have to try again.

My work is set in a country that has conflict and controversy across the globe – Israel. When I wrote the first book, many people suggested taking the story and setting it somewhere other than Israel. They missed the point. It was about a young girl coming of age in a part of the world she did not understand, and how that conflict caused turmoil in her own life.

The sequel Not Quite Gaza has that girl returning to Israel as a grown woman to make peace with people in a country still at war. Will this work for me as a writer second time around too? Fingers crossed it will. Feel free to follow me on my new journey.

Lena Walton Blog

My first novel Jewish Days Arab Nights is available on Amazon
Amateur Authors and Self Publishing
Lena Walton (grateful amateur writer )