Self published interview with Dave Gughran

Let’s talk about you!

David Gaughran is a 33-year old Irish writer, living in Sweden, who spends most of his time travelling the world, collecting stories, and writing about them.

Why don’t you tell us about your book!

I’ll just give you Let’s Get Digital:

“You won’t make any money from self-publishing.”


The internet has revolutionized every business it has come into contact with, and publishing is no different.

For the first time, these changes are handing power back to the writer. It’s up to YOU if you want to profit from them.

Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should.

This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

It covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical advice on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing. And it reveals marketing tips from blogging and social networking right through to competitions, discounts, reviews, and giveaways.

If you are considering self-publishing, if you need to breathe life into your flagging sales, or if you want to understand why it’s a great time to be a writer, Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should will explain it all.

You can read the book for FREE here!


Why did you decide to self publish?  Or, why didn’t you go into traditional publishing?

I don’t think my story is that unusual. I spent a few years learning the craft and wrote a novel which I spent 18 months submitting to agents. I got close. Real close. In fact, I spoke on the phone with a New York agent who wanted to represent me. We agreed to talk again a week later. That was the last time we had any contact. Never found out why he dropped me like a stone.

I decided to self-publish a couple of short stories to see if I enjoyed the process, and whether anyone would buy them. Three months later I have three books out and another on the way. I’ve sold nearly 500 books in my first three months. I think it’s safe to say I’ll never send another query, and that thought couldn’t make me happier!

What does that process look like?

I do everything myself, bar editing and cover design, which should always be left to professionals. My designer is my sister and she is very talented – it’s her day job for a large publisher. My editor – Karin Cox – has over ten years experience in trade publishing and is an author herself. She’s a real pro, and I learn something every time I get work back from her. An education and a service all in one.

I don’t have any print versions out – short stories just aren’t viable that way – and my other title was a guide to digital self-publishing, and I figured most of my target market were e-reader owners. The novel I will release in the Fall will definitely have a print version – I think the overwhelming majority of historical fiction readers haven’t switched to e-books yet.

What are some good things about self publishing?

The direct connection with your readers is very fulfilling. I get emails all the time from people that have enjoyed my work. Creating that dialogue with your readers is essential to success in today’s world (and extremely rewarding). Having up-to-date sales figures can allow you to respond very quickly to changes in the market. And I really enjoy being able to publish whatever I like, whenever I like, for a price that I (and my readers) like.

What are some bad things about it?

Formatting is a pain (especially if you do it right). Those up-to-date sales figures make compulsive viewing, and you really have to break the instant addiction to checking them all the time or you will never get anything done. In fact, there are lots of minutiae that can intrude on your writing time if you are not disciplined. You always feel like you should be doing something (more) to promote the book. But you should ignore that, and just buckle down and write more. After all, new work is the greatest promotional tool that any writer has. Beats anything. And it’s your job!

Do you have any advice or suggestions for those thinking about going into self publishing?

“Good enough” isn’t good enough. You owe it to your readers to only show them your very best work and to present it in a professional manner. That means a professional editor, not your friend with an English degree or a published author you know. That means a professional book cover designer, not your neighbor who is handy with Photoshop. And it means taking the time to make sure that your formatting is perfect on every device. Remember, readers don’t just measure you against other self-publishers, you are competing for their attention along with all the best books from New York and London. Spend the money on an editor. Spend the money on a designer. It’s the only two areas where you have to reach for the wallet. Everything else can be learned – by anyone – and don’t waste money on promotion. The best promo tools are free. The paid stuff doesn’t even work. Keep all that in mind, and you will do okay.

Buy Dave’s books!

If You Go Into The Woods:


Let’s Get Digital:

Can’t get enough of Dave?








One comment on “Self published interview with Dave Gughran

  1. Dave, thanks for sharing your experiences in self-publishing. Very helpful post and I plan on buying your book.

    Are there any potential proofreaders/editors that you would recommend?

    Elizabeth – thanks for bringing Dave to your blog, too!

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