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Local Author Finding Success After Self-publishing

Published on: 13 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 15 Jan, 2021

Author Maddy Glenn

By Alice Fowler

Guildford author Maddy Glenn is celebrating the publication of her first novel, On the Edge. Her novel, which she describes as an easy-going fantasy, tells the story of a rebellious outlaw girl in medieval times, who uncovers a secret that changes her world. Thanks to marketing via social media, the book has already sold in countries as far afield as Canada and the Philippines.

At a time when many of us are reading, and writing, more, Maddy has published her novel herself, via her own self-publishing company, Softwood Self-Publishing.

A writer since the age of seven, Maddy, now 27, started her business after realising there were limited options for authors who wanted to publish their own novels. Working with her partner from their home, between Stoughton and Worplesdon, she and her small team now support writers through the processes of editing, formatting, printing and marketing their own novels.

I’d say to new authors, don’t try to get an agent at this time. Publish your work yourself first. Then, if an agent wants you, they’ll come and find you.”

Clients include international chess champion and Grandmaster, Robert Gwaze, and the award-winning American screenwriter, Towanda Kilpatrick.

“The whole aim of self-publishing is to make sure the author stays in control,’ Maddy says. ‘We can help you through the process of writing a novel. Then, when it’s written, we can help you work out what to do with it.

“You don’t have to have an agent and a publisher. My partner is really good at marketing. We can help with people’s social media, give them a strategy, ideas, a Twitter and Facebook page. That’s a new language to a lot of people.”

Maddy’s own book is available as an ebook, from Amazon Kindle, or in paperback, direct from her own website. Intriguingly, most of her sales so far have been in paperback. “That’s unusual. I think it’s because more people are at home and have the time to read. Books are nice things to have.”

She expects Kindle sales to pick up when people are once more out at work and on the move.

Softwood Self Publishing

The benefit of self-publishing, Maddy believes, is that authors stay in control. “It’s very difficult at the moment to get published in the traditional way – more difficult than winning the lottery. You have to have a name, so a publisher knows they’ll make money from your book.

“I’d say to new authors, don’t try to get an agent at this time. Publish your work yourself first. Then, if an agent wants you, they’ll come and find you.”

Softwood – the name refers to the type of wood used in book production – is making its mark on the local literary scene, sponsoring Joanna Trollope’s appearance at last year’s Guildford Book Festival, for example.

‘For me the self-publishing journey has been a really positive experience,’ Maddy says. ‘So many people have wanted to work with me and support me. Publishing is a very difficult world to get into, but this has been incredible. I haven’t felt demoralized or put down.’

For details of Maddy’s book, see her website:

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test One Response to Local Author Finding Success After Self-publishing

  1. Harry Elson Reply

    January 13, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    A very good article. It just goes to show what can be achieved. Everyone has a book in them, so now is the time to pick up your pen or get on the tippy tappy to write the next Booker Prize winner. Well done, Maddy.

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