Do you guys know Mary Waibel? She was my very first Editor’s Note interview way back in January, and I wanted to have her back to talk a bit about her new project. Mary has worked (and is still working) with a couple of small houses, but has also decided to take the big leap into self-publishing. Today she’s here to tell us what fueled that decision and what she’s learned along the way. Thank you, Mary!
Becky, thanks so much for letting me drop by today to talk about my experience with small publishing houses and self-publishing.
In the past year I’ve released three books with a small publishing house (MuseItUp Publishing) and have another one releasing this year from another small press (BookFish Books**). So, why would I want to publish a book on my own? Well, there are several reasons, but I’ll just focus on two.
-I’m a control-freak by nature, so being in total control of my project from start to finish suits me. I have all say in the cover, in the edits, in the layout, and the price.
-I like to learn new things, and boy was there a lot to learn in this endeavor!
Looking at my first reason, one might think I was unhappy with my small publishing houses, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve enjoyed working with both houses. I had a say in my cover art, and worked with amazing editors. I can ask for my book to be on sale, or have changes in prices made. The only things I really had no say in was release dates and the layout, as that was all handled in house. In the end, I would definitely work again with either of these houses on books in the future.
These small presses helped me make connections and learn things I never knew before entering the publishing world. I met cover artists, worked with a variety of editors, and connected with many other authors with wide ranges of experience. All these things gave me the confidence to step out on my own.
That’s not to say the task wasn’t a bit terrifying. I knew nothing about HTML coding, or how to take my manuscript and make it into an .epub or .mobi or any other format for e-readers to use. I read and re-read Susan Kaye Quinn’s section on Formatting the Hard Way (from Indie Author Survival Guide) so many times. I searched the web for more information on HTML coding. I looked at books on my tablet and my Kindle to see what I liked about their layout, and what I didn’t like. Being a bit of a hands-on learner, I took a draft version and played with formatting it, getting frustrated when it wouldn’t look like I wanted. So I researched more.
In the end, once I had my final copy back from my amazing editor Judy Roth (judy-roth.com), along with my cover from Charlotte Volnek (http://www.ckvolnek.com/cks-cover-designs1.html) I had learned enough to code my book to look how I wanted it -once I remembered to take out the spaces in the file names! And it felt great to know I’d done the hard work myself.
**Disclosure: I am an editor with BookFish Books
The Mystery Prince, a novella
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU6TSY8
Tristan enjoys being in the shadows as Prince Rand’s bodyguard. Similar in looks, the two often exchanged places in their youth, but he never expected the king to order him to impersonate the heir to the throne in order to win the hand of a princess.
Princess Zoe needs to find a husband. After a year of searching with no success, her father insists on hosting a masquerade ball for the eligible princes of the nine kingdoms. Not one prince piques her interest, until she meets the mysterious stranger who won’t tell her his name. When Tristan meets Zoe he finds the girl of his dreams. The only problem? She’s a princess and he’s impersonating a prince―a crime punishable by imprisonment and floggings. Unable to tell Zoe his real name, he gives her a special navigation device. One that leads to the owner’s true love. Will this magic device lead Zoe to Tristan, or will her true love forever remain a mystery prince?
Mary lives with her husband, son and two cats. When she isn’t twisting fairytales, she enjoys reading, playing games, watching hockey, and camping. Her Princess of Valendria series (Quest of the Hart, Charmed Memories, Different Kind of Knight) are available from MuseItUp Publishing and other major retailers. Her novella, The Mystery Prince, is available at Amazon. Her Faery Marked (book 1 in the Faery Series) will be available from BookFishBooks this summer.
You can find Mary Waibel at:
Thanks so much for hosting me today. I really appreciate it! I’d be happy to answer any questions your readers may have, too!
I’m so glad you came! Thanks for being awesome, Mary!
Great post, ladies! I’m so impressed with everything you’ve learned, Mary. The whole HTML coding and formatting sounds daunting. You are made of much sterner stuff!
I know! Coding scares me. I can’t even figure out how to make my words like italicized half the time. 🙂
It’s not as scary as you might think. Once you understand the basics of it, the rest is pretty easy.
Quite a twist in the Mystery Prince!
Thanks William! It was a fun twist to make 🙂