Journey of a Self-Publisher: Author Nathan Barham

There are a few ways for writers to get their story published and out to the general public. While most writers are clamoring to be discovered by well-known publishing houses, there are those who become their own publisher, doing away with the middle man.

Fragments: Alora's Tear, Volume 1 by Nathan Barham

Fragments: Alora’s Tear, Volume 1 by Nathan Barham

Nathan Barham is one such writer. His debut novel, Fragments: Alora’s Tear, Volume 1, came out in paperback and ebook format on August 18, 2014. Barham had every intention to go through more traditional channels to get his book published. For about a year, he sent emails and query letters to potential agents in the hopes of snagging someone’s attention.

“I wanted to just be the writer,” he said, “and not have to spend the time, I could be writing, selling books.”

With no bites, he soon began to feel discouraged and started to question himself and his writing. Barham didn’t let that stop him though, and he then looked into self-publishing. He did his homework and found he liked the idea. Self-publishing gave him full control on how he wanted his story presented. Through Goodreads, Barham found an editor and cover artist that he felt worked well with his own style.

The editor, Zoe Markham from England, was one, out of a few, that Barham sent his story to for editing. Markham’s returned comments on his manuscript were more helpful to the flow of the story than the others, and Barham jumped at the chance to offer her the job as his editor.

With the cover artist, Isis Sousa who lives in Norway, he knew right away that she was the one.

“Her artistic style was exactly what I wanted, but I was scared she wouldn’t be available or that the commission price would be way too high.” Fortunately, neither were a problem. Barham worked with Sousa to create his vision for the cover.

The inspiration for Alora’s Tear goes all the way back to high school. Barham found the basis for names and places he eventually used in the novel through a greek mythology writing assignment. The name Alora came from the middle name of a class member. “She sat in the row to the right and two seats ahead of me,” said Barham. That girl later became his wife.

The rest of the story didn’t come to a more permanent thought until after college. The novel started out as one book almost 800 pages long. But after he began planning to self-publish, Barham intends to expand the story into six books.

Barham learned much in the process of writing and eventually publishing his novel. With the experience behind him, his advice for those who love to write and would like to get their work published someday is to, “write everyday, commit to the act every chance that is practical.” If you set up a time after a long day, or whenever you are too busy or tired, you set up for failure.

And from his professor, Joy Passanante says, “your manuscript isn’t finished until the publisher rips it our of you hands.” There is always going to be something to add or revise, and using that last minute chance to polish your work is not wasted time.

Barham attended the University of Idaho where he received a bachelor’s in English and a teaching certification. Now living in Moscow, he writes from his home, supported by his wife and two children.

He works as an English teacher at a local high school . Whether it’s essay structure, a classic literary work, or the occasional impromptu dance routine, he strives to keep students interested in the fun and the fundamentals of the English language.

The Elf and the Arrow

Fragments: Alora’s Tear, Volume 1 by Nathan Barham

The second book of the series, titled “The Elf and The Arrow,” is now available. You can check out Barham’s books and blog at His works are also available through ebook editions on iBook, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Kobo.


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