Melton Times reporter Nick Rennie shares the secrets of writing and self-publishing your own book

Melton Times reporter Nick Rennie with a copy of his new book
Melton Times reporter Nick Rennie with a copy of his new book
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Not so long ago, writing and publishing your own book was just a pipe dream for many of us.

It wasn’t so much getting the words down on paper which was putting us off.

It was more the expense of either finding an agent and a publisher or paying through the nose to print dozens of copies yourself which might have ended up unsold and gathering dust in the garage.

But that is resoundingly no longer the case. Digital publishing and online booksellers such as Amazon have been an absolute game-changer.

And social media has provided a powerful and free method of marketing books to not only a local and regional audience, but to a national and global one too.

These developments have helped people like me to write and publish our own books in a way which just wasn’t possible in the recent past.

I wrote ‘How To Become A Journalist’ in just three months and it was published and started selling on Amazon a few weeks later.

I know there are many Melton Times readers who want to write a book but haven’t yet got round to doing it so I thought it would be a good idea to share my experiences with you.

The first thing you need to do, and this is crucial, is come up with a title for your book using words which lots of people are searching online for.

This is important because your publication will feature highly in the rankings for search engines.

I came up with my title because I found that thousands of people were searching for the phrase ‘how to become a journalist’ every month on Google.

Before I started writing I wrote down all of the chapters I wanted to include in order then set about writing the content.

When you know the subject, the words flow easily. I concentrated first on writing those chapters which I knew would be easiest, to make quicker progress.

I found it best to sit down in a quiet room with no distractions and write whenever I felt I wanted to, whether that was first thing in the morning or in the early hours.

At this stage you need to think about getting an eye-catching design for your book cover to attract potential readers when there is competition from thousands of other books. Out-sourcing this task to an expert is very cost-effective I found.

You should also employ a professional proofreader to make sure your book is free of spelling errors or other mistakes – I used experienced Melton Times sub-editor Jan Jackson for this task.

If you publish your book on Amazon it is fairly easy to upload the manuscript and format it for Kindle readers and you can even get paperback copies printed by the company on demand every time there is an order on the site.

The whole process was very straight-forward although I did work closely with a book mentor called Richard McMunn, who has written and self-published more than 150 non-fiction books with the majority becoming best sellers, and who now assists first-time authors to get their work out there.

The good news is that sales are already going well and, with Christmas coming up and online reviews hopefully being made by satisfied customers, the book will grow in popularity among budding and trainee journalists.

So there is now no reason for you not to start writing that book, whether it is a career guide like mine, a historical title or your memoirs.

For further advice get in touch with me at and if you are an aspiring journalist you can buy my book as a paperback or eBook here: