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Hands-on Self-Publishing Course at Davitt College Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Davitt College Self-Publishing Course
Self-Publishing Course students with copies of their book in their hands.
Photo taken at Books@One, Louisburgh, where their books were printed while they watched.

Self-Publishing Course sign-up 8pm, Thursday 30th January at Davitt College
Classes begin on the Thursday 13th February at 8pm sharp

For more information or to sign up, click here

sign up here to stay informed

2019 Autumn Davitt College evening class on self-publishing concludes with excited students holding their own books in their hands

This is a hands-on course, conducted at Davitt College, Castlebar, where you will be walked through turning your own manuscript and into an actual printed book and into an eBook using your own laptop. The last evening of the course will be conducted at Books@One in Louisburgh, where your book will (optionally) be printed. You will finish the course with a copy of your own book in your hands.

The objective of the course is to give you the skills and tools you need to print your book locally and/or set it up online, and sell it to the world

Instructor: Alex Blackwell, author, commercial printer, marketer and self-publishing professional.

Do you have an idea for a book? Do you have a manuscript and are uncertain what the next steps are in getting it into the hands of a reader? Are you an instructor or specialist and have been asked about further reading? Or would you like to produce a cookbook or family history as a Christmas gift for your family?

Alex BlackwellAlex Blackwell has worked his way through all of these scenarios. He has also been a book printer and has self-published several of his own fiction and non-fiction books.

Book publishing has changed radically in the past decade. Self-publishing, the alternative to the traditional route, was previously an expensive option. Short-run book printers required a minimum of 50 copies at significant cost per book or even much higher quantities which then created a storage dilemma. In either case, these books had to be sold or sent out one copy at a time, a process involving considerable time and expense on the author’s part.

With print-on-demand technology and online digital marketing, the up-front costs are no longer prohibitive. Getting a book published is now something everyone can achieve. Today one can upload digital files of a finished and formatted book at little or no cost. It is then listed on the likes of Amazon who sell one copy at a time without ever having to intervene. An e-store can also be posted where the author may sell the book directly. Review or gift copies of the title can be ordered from the supplier at very low costs. Books can also be produced in the same way locally in Louisburgh at Books@One on their Book Machine.

Alex has many years of experience in printing, having developed short-run book printing at the marketing and printing operation in which he was a partner in the United States. When print-on-demand was introduced, he embarked on a journey of writing, editing, designing and producing books that he and his wife co-wrote. Having published nine titles now in three genres and in both POD and eBook formats, he has distilled his knowledge into this instructional and highly useful course for aspiring authors who wish to self-publish.

For more information or to sign up, go to: http://mayosligoleitrim.etb.ie/nightclasses/

Davitt College, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, 094-902-6172


  • Hardware
    • You will need to bring your own laptop to the course
    • PC or Mac are ok

  • Software
    • A full working version of either Microsoft Word or OpenOffice should be loaded on your computer
      • No trial versions of software
    • You should have a working knowledge of how to use your software.

  • Manuscript
    • You should have written at least a rough book manuscript
      • Fiction, Non-fiction, poetry collection or short story collection, etc.
    • A classic manuscript can be supplied if needed

"This was a fantastic course. I would urge anyone with a book idea to do it!"

“My work has been transformed from a basic story to a professional book.”

“At the start of the course I had only 500 words. Alex inspired and motivated me on the journey. To hold my book on the final night was just a dream come true – What an end to the class!!”

Alex is so right about the joy of holding your very own book in your hands. Nothing has come as close to pride and happiness for me in quite a long time. For that, I'm more grateful than I can express.”


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