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Self-publishing, local authors and getting your foot in the door

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-publishing and how easy it is to get off your bum and actually put your work out there lately. Also, the power of social media to get an author known and what’s stopping more people gaining more followers online.

This started a couple of months ago when Ujima Radio organised a Green & Black debate with opinion leaders and local stakeholders in Bristol. I was covering the station’s Twitter, posting updates and encouraging people to have an open debate online as well.

While I was frenetically hashtagging (#greenblack), I kept seeing tweets from this particular account that were addressing the issues head on, but I didn’t recognise it as being part of the organisations I already knew were having this conversations.

After the debate and massive retweets, I realised I wanted to talk to this person and see what opinions they had on other matters. It turned out, she wasn’t a green advocate or a marketing representative for a cool new sustainability firm, she was actually a YA author.

I got her on one of our shows as soon as I could and found out more about her self-published book coming out in September. Natalie’s also done a lovely post about her experience at Ujima which was greatly appreciated.

This experience got me thinking of what an author can do to get more exposure. Having a voice is so important for anyone who wants to get their story out there and being vocal on Twitter and across platforms in general can generate so much attention.

I believe we are still scared to approach platforms with ruthlessness and hold people accountable in the public domain, but we owe it to ourselves to ask the questions we want answered from our public officials.

Also, as self-publishing goes, it can create a real profile of an author, even if what you think about politics or green issues has nothing to do with your book (By the way, Natalie’s book is about a 15 year old who goes on a mystical adventure when he gets trapped between his spirit and his body after an accident).

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All in all, my resolution for the end of this year is to read more self-published books! Starting with Natalie’s Spirit of Bristol, of course, which is coming out soon.

Do you read local stories and self-published authors?

Which ones are your favourites?

Any recommendations, book lovers?

🌟 Happy reading 🌟

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