Tag Archives: probate

Self Publishing One Year On – Has it been worth it?

It’s just over a year since I took the plunge and published my local history book about Whomerley Wood Moat in Stevenage, and since then have made four more available to the book buying public.  Five paperbacks in a year, each one quite different. Probate – A Personal Journey is a diarised account of events during carrying out probate on my late mother-in-law’s estate. Three Courses is an anthology of twenty five short stories, Thinking in the Cloud is a compilation of thirty five poems and Twelve Dozen Limericks is, well, what it says it is! The limericks were written over a period of about three months, and to be honest I was lucky to get to 144 without running out of inspiration!

book covers - all five

The cost of self-publishing the books was quite low, the biggest expense being the purchase of a wedge of ISBNs. It is only possible to buy a minimum of ten, and that was a whopping £144. Apart from the monetary cost, there was also the time spent in preparation for publication. Having said that, it needn’t be a huge commitment.  For instance, for the Limericks book I decided to take advantage of a free shipping offer from Lulu which only lasted two days, uploaded the text and the covers on a Sunday afternoon, received the print copy for checking on the Tuesday morning and the print book was available for distribution that evening. From my computer to worldwide publication in two days!  Mind you, the text was already laid out and proof read many times over, and the covers were ready to go before I started with Lulu.

I chose Lulu as the Print on Demand house, mostly because of the transparency of their publishing process and because they are free to use. Their profits come from the sale of your books, rather than setting them up. Actually, they are not quite free, because once you have your book uploaded and ready to go, you have to purchase an author print copy to approve before Lulu will release your work to the world. That still wasn’t big bucks though, and the print cost of the book was mostly overshadowed by the shipping charge. It’s worth mentioning that Lulu are happy to provide a free ISBN when you publish through them. It’s a matter of personal choice, but I didn’t want Lulu to be the named publisher of my books, preferring to use my own imprint Cade Books.

My sales expectations were not high, mostly because I wasn’t planning to spend a lot of time and money publicising the books, but sales to date have hit almost 200. To think that all those people bought a piece of my writing and some even came back for more is quite a thrill. The best seller out of the print copies has been the local history book ‘Whomerley Wood Moat’, with 93 copies sold, and the ‘Probate – A Personal Journey’ book is second with 54 sales. It’s interesting that of the Kindle sales, the ‘probate’ book stands far ahead of all the others with 28 downloads purchased out of a total of 40 for all the books.

Although ‘self-publishing’ means you get to do much of the book distribution yourself, Lulu has been responsible for distributing over a quarter of the print books sold. All of those purchased from Amazon or in a bookshop have been supplied directly by Lulu. Kindle downloads are made direct from Amazon of course, but almost half of the copies sold have been ordered directly from me either by email or using my eBay selling page. This is what the distribution percentages look like.

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So, was it worth doing? The answer to that is a definite ‘Yes’. I realise that compared to best-selling authors, my contribution to the book market is very small beer, but seeing my local history book for sale in the local museum, and others sitting on the shelves at our town library and available on Amazon makes me break out in a huge grin!

Take a look at the Cade Books tab at the top of my blog if you’d like to find out more about the books.

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Probate – Do It Yourself

New Book: Probate – A Personal Journey

This diary account of the time spent and expenses incurred getting grant of probate, with additional information and example spreadsheets, is now available to buy either as a Kindle download or a printed book.  If you are wondering whether or not to do it yourself, this might just provide all the encouragement you need.  You can start reading it for free on Amazon using ‘Look Inside’.

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How to buy this book:

Contact me directly for a signed copy (free UK p&p) by emailing phil@philwadner.co.uk

Amazon – Print version – Click Here

Amazon – Kindle version £1.99 (immediate delivery) now available Click Here

eBay, signed copy (free UK p&p) – search for book or look for eBay username Philsbookshop

Direct from publisher, signed copy (free UK p&p).  Please send payment with your requirements to PayPal account: editor@cadebooks.co.uk

Lulu Print on Demand    Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Book Details
ISBN                     978-0-9931987-1-7
Publisher              Cade Books
Publication Date   25th March 2015
Paperback            54 pages
Size                      A5, approx 15cm x 21cm
Interior                  Black and White

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Probate – Week 9, two calls to the bank and nothing else!

What a frustrating week!  Haven’t moved forward with the probate one little bit.  Still awaiting the statement of tax paid on mother-in-law’s accounts since the date of death, so I can work out whether there is anything more due to the Inland Revenue from the estate.  Phoned the bank twice, and last Friday was delighted to hear that it had been sent.  Until, that is, I heard the end of the sentence.  Today.  So, not only did it not turn up early to midweek as promised last time I phoned, it wasn’t even sent until the end of the week!  Tried again to get them to give me the figures over the phone, but they refused.

As I had always suspected, the time that probate takes is little to do with the amount of work involved (remember I have only spent about 33 man-hours so far), and everything to do with waiting for organisations to respond.

I have no idea, then, whether the estate accounts can be completed without further ado, or whether I am going to need to fill out a tax form (R27) and wait for the tax man to work out the amount payable.

Hopefully all will have become clear in time for next week’s blog.

Haven’t updated the Probate DIY tab this week as everything is here, but click on it if you’re a new reader and want to see how straightforward the process of probate can be!

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