Friday, 27 January 2017

Adventures in self-publishing: customer feedback, kind words and the cover-quote of my dreams. (If I'd ever dared dream that big.)

Hello, hi, how's things? 

Only now, after I've prepared all the info and images for this post, has it occurred to me that I might just be preaching to the converted. 

Below I've collected together some of the feedback, reviews and general loveliness Snipped Tales readers have offered through Etsy and Instagram over the last few weeks ... and I now realise that the majority of those supportive words have come from you: people who read this blog!! 

But ... perhaps there'll be a new set of eyes reading this, someone who really would like to hear what other people thought of the book before giving it a try themselves. Or perhaps you'll just enjoy seeing if other people pointed out the same thing you did in your comments. So let's begin ...

If you read my previous post, where I talked about the events following the book's release, I mentioned that - if I ever happen to do a second print-run - I now have a quote I can use on its cover. And it's this quote: 

Andrew Miller has been one of my favourite writers ever since I read his first book Ingenious Pain, which remains one of my favourite novels ever. And now I have this, from him. 

I could explain to you how this came about ... or at least, I could tell you the technical and chronological steps that occurred in order for an award winning novelist to be talking about my little self-published book ... 

And I could tell you that I sent him a copy of the book as a gift ... and that he enjoyed it so much he offered to help support it. I didn't even have to ask.

But, actually, I can't really 'explain' explain it ... there's a lot of serendipity involved, more than a little awkwardness, some 'hold your breath and just do it', and a good dose of 'don't squander this opportunity but don't abuse it either'. And somehow here we are. 

(BTW: if you've read the 'Full Disclosure' section on my About Me page then maybe this has shed some light on which novelist I was referring to there.)

Somehow several years ago the universe conspired to put me in touch with an author who would eventually offer to support a book I hadn't even considered publishing at the time.

 And while I can't give advice on how prospective writers can emulate this particular set of events I can stress the importance of being open to opportunities and making genuine connections with people along the way. You truly never know when they'll offer to help you out. 

And speaking of people who've offered their words in support of mine ... here are some of the other humbling and rewarding things Snipped Tales readers have been saying. 

Kind words about the contents of the book.

 I absolutely love this book! Such a clever, original idea. Some tales made me laugh, some were just so cleverly put together, and one in particular brought a tear to my eye. If you are looking for a totally different, interesting book, look no further!

Lovely bedtime morsels to cure Monday.

I just love this book! I have been dipping in when I want a moment to reflect or to smile and it is full of little treasures, it is magical.

This is fantastic. Perfect for often interrupted reading and actually quite magical to read. I love it!

Devoured it over a big mug of tea and will go back and re-read. Made me smile, made me think. Love it.

This is a gem of a book ... something for everyone.

This is the most unique, thought-provoking, funniest compendium of stories I have ever had the privilege of reading. [...] Julie Kirk's witty way with words (a mouthful!) is a true talent ... hoping for more "snipped tales" in the future!

Wonderful read, and inspired both myself and my friends (great idea for a New Year party!) to make up stories from snippings.

The book is lovely and I and my friends all adore it!

A gift to myself that I love and will look at daily and smile, and be reassured that there is someone else out there on my wavelength. Thanks for setting a precedent by publishing your kind of fiction.

This is a wonderful idea and a beautiful little book. If you like oddities, little poems, and tiny stories, you'll love this. I bought one for me and one for my sister-in-law... then loved it so much, I've just bought another two copies as presents for other people I know will love it.

Fantastic little book.

I love the style of this book! It's very thought provoking, I love the way it's laid out and how cleverly you've used the book text in such an imaginative way!

A wonderful book! I love the whole concept of 'snipped tales'. I have been eagerly awaiting this book and when it finally arrived it did not disappoint. Delightfully quirky!

Absolutely fantastic. Such beautiful new stories made from old ones - a little something for everyone!

Loving these collaged treasure tales and my unique tag, all beautifully done,

Compliments about the look of the book.

My good friend and long time collaborator Kirsty Neale created the illustrations for the book and Graeme at 6E Publishing incorporated them into the kind of cover design I had in mind. And really ... feel free to go ahead and judge the book by its cover ... because its outsides really are a good match for its insides. 
I love this book for so many reasons. Beautifully printed and designed and lovely to flick through randomly.

Couldn't resist sharing another shot of #snippedtales just because it's so beautifully photogenic.

Beautiful and intriguing ...

I've had it for half an hour and all I want to do is find a quiet corner to read it from cover to cover.

Praise for the packaging.

When you buy a copy through my Etsy shop each one comes gift wrapped complete with a one-of-a-kind tag featuring a mini snipped tale just for you because I love the idea of making it feel like you're receiving a gift even if you're buying it for yourself.

This lovely book would make a great gift: the packaging was almost too nice to open.

Beautifully wrapped.

Even the packaging was individual and very lovely.

Love the personal touch of a snipped tale on a handmade tag.

Beautifully packaged and personalised.

Amazing packaging, personal note welcomed. 

I ordered three copies (two as gifts for friends) and all three arrived beautifully gift wrapped.


I hope you'll forgive me blowing my own trumpet here, it's all just part of the job, the next step in the process. I spent time, care, and - yes, if we're not being coy about it - money, putting the book together and really do want as many people as possible to get hold of a copy. And no, it's not about the money, truly; I'm not going to be buying that villa in Florida my Dad asks about, or the bungalow my Mam's been hinting at, any time soon! (Sorry about that.)

When I was in the middle of the pricing/print numbers meltdown I mentioned in my previous 'Adventures in self-publishing' post, James - hero that he is - made me stop and tell him the main reason why I wanted to publish the book, and my answer was that I just wanted the right people to find the book, to have it in their hands, to share it with them. And that still stands today. 

There are some stories in there that will lift your spirits while others will tug your emotions, keep you company or raise your eyebrows. And hopefully posts like this will help someone new discover these eclectic little messages so they get to hold the physical book in their hands, while letting the contents hold them in return. 

Julie x


**Next week (30th Jan - 3rd Feb)** 

  • Kirsty Neale and I are hosting a 'Snipped Tales Takeover' of our collaborative Instagram account @thecopyandpasteproject
  • All week we'll be sharing behind-the-scenes details about how we collaborated on the book and various aspects of the creative and publishing process. 
  • Join us there @thecopyandpasteproject from Monday! 


  1. Great comments, and all so well deserved! BTW, my friend loved her copy too! Jo x

  2. How splendid! Delighted that your hard work is paying off and that you have so many happy readers as well as me :). Will be keeping my eyes open for the Copy and Paste next week.

  3. I'll be looking out Copy And Paste next week. It sounds like a great idea.

    I can see my copy from here as I type. It's on my bedside table and every time I catch a glimpse of it it gives me a smile. Have I said well done??!

  4. Looking forward to see what gems will be appearing in Instagram this week. You've worked so hard on this book, you deserve all the compliments and praise.

  5. oh my good god, i received my book yesterday. i am besotted, enchanted, and remained becalmed until i had finished it! Blow your trumpet, wave your flag and beat your drum - you are a sensation my dear! a sparkling mirror ball of wit and emotion! I devoured that book in big, wordy bites. xxx


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