Last week’s post (What To Do With My Business After I’m Dead) looked at a book that fellow Writing Magazine columnist Tarja Moles has published. This week, another fellow Writing Magazine columnist, Lorraine Mace, explains why she’s bitten the bullet and self-published her children’ novel, even though it was something she swore she’d never do.

was the first book I wrote,” Lorraine explains, “and so it has always had a special place in my heart. In 2007 I was taken on by one of the UK’s top children’s agents. She loved Vlad and was certain she could find a home for him in one of the big five. We came close, but it wasn’t to be.”

“In 2012 Vlad was picked up by a US publisher and looked set to do very well. I wrote the second in the trilogy and that was also published by the same company but it wasn’t a marriage made in heaven. I was able to take back my rights just over a year ago and, sadly, believed that was the end of Vlad’s publishing lifespan.”

“However, I have now done something I never thought I’d do, which is self-publish.”

And the reason why is something that I think many writers can identify with. (It’s certainly an aspect that I’ve questioned with myself in the past, when it comes to fiction.)

“I am one of those writers who need the validation of others to believe in my work,” explains Lorraine. “I never wanted to self-publish because I would always have doubted the value of whatever I’d written. I have so little self-belief in my own abilities that I would not have been able to market my novels without a publisher behind me who was prepared to risk their own money on the book.”

“So why have I now changed my mind? As I mentioned earlier, Vlad opened the door to a top class agent and was later traditionally published. This tells me it’s good. Knowing that, I couldn’t simply let it stagnate on my hard drive, so I’ve taken the plunge and am now a hybrid author – traditional and self-published.”

Once she’d made the decision, Lorraine discovered the actual effort of self-publishing happened quite easily. “It was very easy indeed, but then I had some excellent help from Jane Dixon-Smith who guided me through the process. I have known Jane for many years. We first met on a writers’ site almost a decade ago. She is a graphic designer who set up her own company and works now with many successful self-published authors designing their book covers. When I told her I wanted to rebrand Vlad and self-publish she was extremely helpful and always professional. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

Lorraine also writes crime novels (for adults) under the pseudonym of , so is she planning to go hybrid and self-publish her children’s fiction, but remain traditionally published for her adult fiction?

“I will definitely self-publish the second and third in the Vlad trilogy,” she confirms. “As for the Frances di Plino crime series I have no intention at the moment of moving away from the traditional route – but never say never!”

So here’s a great example of how self-publishing works well on a per-project basis. Writers don’t have to fall into two camps: traditionally published OR self-published. You CAN be both. Make the decision about which route to publication is right for the particular project you’re working on. 

Good luck!



Lorraine Mace is the humour columnist for Writing Magazine. As well as being head judge for the Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions, she also writes two columns for the magazine. Lorraine is a tutor for Writers Bureau and also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press).

Her novel for children, , is available in both paperback and e-book formats. Writing as Frances di Plino, she is the author of the D.I. Paolo Storey crime thriller series: , , and


Coming soon: Vlad the Inhaler – Hero at Large. In addition to the Vlad the Inhaler trilogy, Lorraine is working on a series of novels for the same age group, featuring Jonas Fry, which could best be described as Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer – but without the vampires!


Vlad’s Facebook page:

Lorraine’s Website:

Lorraine’s Amazon page:

Lorraine’s Twitter account:

Vlad the Self-Published

3 thoughts on “Vlad the Self-Published

  • November 13, 2017 at 8:38 PM

    Self publishing for already conventionally published writers is fast becoming the norm. We all have ideas that we think (or know!) are great, but that never find a home with an editor. Niche subjects, for example, can be tricky because a publisher won’t take a risk. Self publishing is the perfect outlet. Sometimes, you just have to put your material out there and have faith in it. A Vladdy good decision, I’d say, Ms Mace! 🙂


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