the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Going it alone

on January 19, 2016

You may remember I won a prize in 2012 to have a collection of my short fiction titled Four Buses printed. While it was lovely to win a competition, I didn’t realise what was involved in producing a print-ready pdf of the collection. I was fortunate to have the help of Julie Musk with the process but how do others approach the task of self-publishing?

The Dorset Writers’ Network drew upon the support of Helen Baggott to help in the production of a wonderful anthology of short stories titled This Little World. It occurred to me that others might be interested to know how Helen can support writers wishing to self-publish.

Helen Baggott

Helen Baggott, Copy-editor and Proofreader. Partner Member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and an Associate of The Society of Authors.

Helen edits and proofreads manuscripts, she also works with authors preparing their documents for self-publishing – as e-books and paperbacks. A lack of confidence in computer skills shouldn’t be the reason a writer can’t experience the thrill of seeing their work published.

She’s passionate about supporting indie authors and as a member of ALLi, she is able to pass on tips and hints that might not be easily accessible to anyone embarking on a self-publishing journey. ALLi is committed to raising the standard of self-published books.

She often half-jokes that no-one will come knocking on an author’s door, asking if they have a book to sell. Marketing is also part of the self-publishing journey and she is able to help with advice on that too. You can find Helen at

Helen has done some work for me in proofreading a manuscript and she’s recently supported Sue Stephenson in putting together an e-book. Sue has seen a massive increase in the traffic to her blog where readers have been searching the archive to find posts of a story called Powerless – The Year The Lights Went Out. The story has proved so popular that Sue’s taken the step of self-publishing Powerless as an e-book. You can find out more about it here, or visit amazon to purchase a copy. It’s a wonderful story that imagines what it would be like to suddenly have to live without power. The characters show such resilience and resourcefulness – it’s a fresh and absorbing read.

6 responses to “Going it alone

  1. Patsy says:

    Helen has proofread all my self published books for me and I’ve found her to be thorough and helpful.

  2. Suzanne Goldring says:

    Helen was so patient and thorough. I could not have published Powerless without her help.

  3. Richard Dee says:

    Helen has worked on my latest project and produced a meticulously edited manuscript with a lot of well thought out notes and suggestions. I’m glad I found her.

  4. Cathy Randall says:

    Thanks so much for this, Gail. Just what I needed, as you know!
    Cathy x

  5. Julie Musk says:

    Thanks for the mention and interesting to hear about fellow editor Helen.

  6. richarddeescifi says:

    Helen Baggott does my editing to a very high standard and is very helpful with critiques and suggestions. She has helped and encouraged my writing development.

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