Monday, February 6, 2012

Write Brain Notes: New Models in Publishing, An Indie Author Speaks

This is the third, and final, portion of my notes from the Write Brain workshop New Models in Publishing, presented by Pikes Peak Writers. Today, I will pass along notes from DeAnna Knippling, an independently published author.

DeAnna Knippling gave us advice on indie publishing. She pointed out that we should do research on self publishing, whether we're going traditional or not, so that we know what to look at. For instance, if you've done your research on what makes a good cover, you will know what to consider when a traditional publishing house sends you their design for your book cover. Is the font good? Will the colors stand out? Can you read the title? Is the image eye-catching? Studying up on details like this will help you insure your book is high quality, even if you're being traditionally published.

If you're being traditionally published, she stresses that you should READ THE CONTRACT CAREFULLY. Don't just sign it in a flurry because you're excited to be getting published. Read every nitty-gritty detail and make sure you're being treated fairly.

DeAnna pointed out that being consistent in the types of stories you're putting out can increase your sales. She'll be the first to tell you that she doesn't do this across the board, but that her children's series is consistent and sells better than some of the more varied offerings. People will come back to something they liked.

The following is summarized from her handout on Indie Publishing, and is what she feels is the bare minimum (for the full handout, please see it on the Pikes Peak Writers' official blog, Writing From the Peak, where there is fantastic information I did not pass along in this series of posts):

You need material that you own the rights to; a freelance business (properly set up) for tax purposes; various forms of marketing (an author website, social media, contact with reviewers (send them a free e-copy), contact with any specialty markets that may apply to your book (websites with related content) and writer's groups); proper editing, proper formatting, a good and legal cover design, e-publishing in all formats, validation of your product once published, announcements/marketing and limitless patience. **NOTE: All of this is further explained in the handout, linked above)**

Some links:
Library Thing
Step by Step Self-Publishing
Smashwords Style Guide
Dreamstime free images and software
KDP Amazon
Zen Habits for patience

Some additional resources:
The Copyright Handbook by Stephen Fishman (this comes highly recommended by her, and seems like an excellent resource, whether you're self-pubbed or traditionally pubbed).
Nolo's checklist: Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You'll Need to Do

DeAnna always has valuable insight, and can be found in the following places:

Her personal blog,
Her small publisher website,
Her middle-grade pseudonym blog,

She also does e-book and POD formatting for hire, so feel free to contact her at the above places. Her books can be found under the names DeAnna Knippling and De Kenyon.

Do you have anything to add to this?

This concludes my notes from the Write Brain workship, New Models in Publishing, by Pikes Peak Writers.

May you find your Muse.


  1. Interesting information - and new to me.

    Am now following you, compliments of A-Z. Thanks for co-hosting the challenge. (that's a great team)

  2. Great stuff - thanks so much for sharing.

  3. The options out there are sure opening up!

  4. Great info... and thanks for sharing the links... am going to check them out now. You're lucky to have attended it.

  5. Thanks for the info. I'll check out some of the links.

  6. There's so much to know about this business. what did we do without the internet to share this kind of information?

  7. D.G., thanks, it is definitely a great team I'm privileged to work with!

    Laura, I hope you find it useful! DeAnna's a great source of information.

    Melissa, my pleasure!

    Jo, I agree; it's all very exciting!

    Tania, very lucky, and I know definitely try not to take it for granted. I live in a wonderful area for the arts.

    Medeia, I hope there's value in it for you!

    Karen, I'd like to know the same thing! As much as I complain about it sometimes, it can be great in many ways, too.

    Andrew, I know the feeling. I'm not even published yet, so it all leaves me reeling.