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13-08-2014

The advantages of self-publishing: an interview with French writer Mélanie Gondoux



Mélanie Gondoux is a French teacher at Le français en direct, an online language school. Recently, she self-published her first novel, “Confettis,” using Amazon’s digital publishing services and Peecho for print on demand. Since we often get questions about publishing content in both epub format and print on demand, we were eager to learn more about the book and her experience with both services.

Mélanie, can you tell us more about Confettis? What is the novel about and what inspired you to write it? 

Confettis transports you into the world of fandom. It tells the story of Melissa, a young woman who struggles with her family life, but whose life and goals change when she discovers Akim, a famous musician, and becomes his fan. I am a big fan of a pop star myself so I wanted to explore fandom in my work. I also wrote the book to express things I was not able to talk about with the people around me. Maybe these were things that I didn’t know how to express other than with written words. My goal at the start was not to get a lot of readers, but simply to share these thoughts with friends and family – for example. 

Photo credit: Leila Challakh Photo credit: Leila Challakh

Why did you choose to self-publish? 

Finding readers was not my top priority when I wrote Confettis, so I never thought of sending it to big publishing houses. Self-publishing also appealed to me because it gives me loads of freedom, it doesn’t impose many obligations or big financial costs. At the same time, when my friends told me the book was definitely interesting for a wider audience, I wanted it to be easily available everywhere. So I finally decided to publish it as an ebook. This made things easier and cheaper for me and for the readers.

Did you work by yourself or did you hire a designer and editor to produce the e-book?

I did everything by myself, it took me a while but it made the process all the more interesting. I also focused on simplicity. The picture in the cover, for instance, was taken by a friend of mine. 

It’s important not only to write your book, but to make something that you would like to read yourself, something that attracts you. I looked at other books for guidelines. I took one book in particular and I checked its measurements, the fonts used, how many lines per page it had, etc. 

The best thing you can do if you’re publishing on Amazon is to set everything up on a Word or OpenOffice Writer format. And don’t forget to use the “page break” function if you need a page break. I forgot to do this and I ended up with a poorly formatted ebook on my first attempt. The beauty of working with Word or OpenOffice is that you can also easily export to a PDF, and then printing with Peecho feels like a breeze. 

Why did you choose Amazon?

When I decided to publish Confettis as an ebook, I immediately thought of Amazon. I buy ebooks from Amazon myself and I knew it was easy to publish with them. Since their service is worldwide, readers can buy the ebook wherever they live. This is the same big advantage offered by Peecho actually, but for print on demand. 

Speaking of print on demand, what made you offer a printed version too? 

I didn’t think of offering a printed version of Confettis at first. I decided to do it after a few people told me that they were regretting not being able to have a printed copy of it. Still, since most of them were buying the ebook version, I found it risky to order loads of copies without being sure if I would sell them. Then I discovered Peecho. Upfront investment in print was no longer necessary. Readers can order their own copy if and when they want to. They can choose the quality of the print, and even choose to have a black and white or color version depending on their budget. People love the feeling of touching the book, which I can perfectly understand as I ordered a printed copy of Confettis myself as soon as I could! 

Follow Mèlanie on Twitter to learn more about her work.

Jolien

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