Indie Publishing: Here to Stay

By Jennifer Hallmark

Wow. We’ve had so many good posts this month concerning Indie publishing that I dislike seeing it come to an end.  In case you missed any, here’s a quick review…

Betty Thomason Owens started our month on July 3rd by discussing her own road to Indie publication with her fantasy novels: A Month of Indie Publishing.

On July 7th and July 11th, Susan Neal shared not only how she Indie published her book but how she took it to a number one Amazon ranking: Make Your Dream Come True and Self Publish Your Book, and How to Obtain an Amazon Best-Selling Ranking.

July 10th rolled around and Gail Johnson pointed us to some good ideas while Trekking the Indie Route.

On July 14th, Tammy trail asked an important question, “Is There Room for Indie Publishing?

Harriet Michael “Declared Her Independence” on July 17th with her Indie publishing journey.

On July 21st, I interviewed Hallee Bridgeman, an “Indie Author Extraordinaire”, who shared how she sold over half a million books.

Sherrie Giddens wrote a guest post titled “Take the Steps to Self-Publish Your Books” on July 24th of how she Indie published her books.

And Betty Boyd ended our month with an interview with blogger, author, and life coach Nancy Colasurdo and her Indie published memoir.

As you read each of these articles, I believe you’ll understand why Indie publishing is here to stay. The reasons behind the decision may vary but each person seemed happy with the results.

Next month, we’re taking a totally different road and discussing favorite books of the Bible. Don’t miss it!

Click to tweet: Indie publishing is here to stay. #IndiePub #amwriting

Writing Prompt: Bob stood facing Lil, hands on his hips. “Why would anyone want to read your memoir? And who’ll publish it?”

Lil snorted. “Haven’t you ever heard the word Indie?”



An Interview with Nancy Colasurdo

By Betty Boyd


Nancy Colasurdo is a blogger, author, and life coach. Her journalism career spans 30 years and her work has been featured in or on Fox Business, CNBC, Fortune and Ladies Home Journal. Her recently published memoir is called Alive in the Sunshine.

  1. Why did you decide to self-publish your own book?

As a journalist for over 25 years, I had a preconceived idea about how the publishing process should go – write the book, get an agent, land a book deal, celebrate. Well, I’ve learned how old school that is. It took me over a year to get an agent, which is not uncommon. Then I signed a two-year contract with her. While we had interest from publishers based on the merits of the book, ultimately they didn’t sign me because I didn’t have enough of a “platform.” I am not one to buy fake followers on social media; it’s not my style.

In the process, I had had the book professionally edited. I’d thought about self-publishing, but was stopped by the idea that I’d never be able to create a book that met my own high standards – how it would look, how it would feel in my hands. I’ve seen a number of self-published books that are of inferior quality and I was nervous about that.

However, because I am a trained life coach, I asked myself what I would advise a client to do. The answer is this: try. Do your research, pick a route, and give it a whirl. I asked a local artist whose work I love to design my cover. Then I created an e-book and it felt great. So empowering. Because I was emboldened by that triumph, I decided to try creating a paperback myself as well. I was more than pleased with the result – a memoir called Alive in the Sunshine.

  1. What was most difficult in self-publishing your book?

The most difficult part about it was teaching myself to navigate the process – the cover template, how to create page breaks, etc. I had this manuscript that I needed to birth and I had to continually remind myself to be patient when I became perplexed. I almost gave up a few times.

  1. What was the most enjoyable? The least enjoyable?

The most enjoyable part of self-publishing was getting the very first proof in the mail. When I held the paperback in my hands, felt the quality of the cover and the pages, saw how beautifully the colors translated from template to proof, and realized how many little decisions I had made to create this book, I was in awe. So proud.

The least enjoyable part was correcting little mistakes along the way, then uploading the manuscript. Correcting more, then uploading again. Getting it just right required I do this dozens of times before getting it to where I wanted it to be. It was ultimately very satisfying, but definitely the least enjoyable part.

  1. What tips can you give writers who want to pursue self-publishing?

Do it! If you decide to create a physical book in addition to an e-book, do some research. Not just on the self-publishing process or which outlet to use, but on what appeals to you in other books. Pluck books off your shelf and see what you feel strongly about.

Maybe you love or hate glossy covers. Perhaps white pages are a bit too bright or off-white ones are too dull. Do you like page numbers on the top or bottom? Centered or flush right? These are all decisions you’ll have to make in creating your book.

I’m not going to lie. It can get tedious. But the rewards and satisfaction far outweigh the moments of doubt.

  1. What other advice would you like to give?

Engage a few trusted friends in your process. In my case, I had a friend who sensed I needed an extra dose of encouragement and he would dash off an email asking about my book progress a few times a week. When I got hung up on one particular aspect of doing it, he came over and sat with me while I figured it out.

Another friend with a great eye helped me choose the color I used for my spine and back cover. I’d narrowed it down to three and she came by and gave her opinion. We liked the same one, so that was quite validating.

Yet another friend assisted me in getting the cover image to line up perfectly.

I highly recommend tapping into your support system. It’s invaluable. I would caution, though, not to enlist too many people in the process. Be judicious.

About Nancy’s Book:


Nancy Colasurdo’s memoir, covering a decade of self-reflection and change, begins with the staggering effects of 9/11 and her subsequent layoff as a television producer. Her well-ordered life falls apart completely as she struggles to find her way, continually questioning and seeking a life beyond that of the conventional Italian-American Jersey girl she was raised to be. She finds a new profession in life coaching, divorces the Catholic Church in the wake of the priest scandal, and seeks love, often with devastating results. Eventually she attracts a man who shows her capacity for love, opening her up even further.


Writing Prompt: What would make you want to indie publish your book?

3 Questions Wednesday with Dawn Kinzer

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday on Thursday!

It’s standing room only at 3 Questions Wednesday! Dealing with a failed hard drive has left me scrambling to retrieve everything so I’m catching up our latest interview with a Thursday post.

Today we hear from another wonderful author, Dawn Kinzer. I’m so excited to see how she will answer our 3 Questions. So without further ado–

Let’s get to the first question:

What inspires you?

Dawn: Well-written books, music, movies, paintings, and theater all inspire—anything under the “arts” umbrella has potential to move me. I often draw inspiration from just hanging out with nature and God while being silent. People who face challenges with courage and optimism motivate me to be better. They all affect my writing and my life.

There’s nothing better than a well-written book. 🙂

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Dawn: Lovely Lilac because lilacs are my favorite flower and the color is peaceful—at least I think it’s soothing. I’ve been told I’m often the calm in the midst of craziness. I’d also be a scented crayon because I love the smell of those blooms.

I like the idea of a lilac scented crayon…last question.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Dawn: When I was very young, I wanted to be a dancer. Didn’t most little girls? But, from the start of junior high through high school, I wanted to be a medical missionary. There are a variety of reasons why that didn’t come to fruition, but needless to say, God had other plans. However, he’s used my gifts to minister in other ways through the years. God always knows best!

That’s a wonderful to look at it. Thanks so much, Dawn, for joining us today!

 Dawn has written another great book, Sarah’s Smile, she released a while back and she is willing to give away a signed copy. 

Leave a comment for a chance to win!

Sarah’s Smile

Romance. Heartbreak. Scandal. Secrets. Second Chances.

In 1902, Sarah McCall is waiting to leave for the mission field when the man she once loved steps back into her life. Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, she strives to overcome a tarnished history she didn’t create and a heartbreak she can’t forget.

Peter Caswell returns to his Wisconsin hometown a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation. But no matter how hard he tries to move on with his life, he can’t forgive himself for his wife’s death.

When Sarah learns that Peter is returning to Riverton, the letter giving her departure date for Africa can’t come soon enough for her. They were best friends—she loved him and supported his dreams—but he married another and broke her heart. Although ten years have passed since he left Riverton, Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance. But a charming newcomer pursues her affections—and Sarah’s childhood nemesis manipulates her way into Peter’s life. Will Sarah and Peter find their way to forgiveness and each other, or will past mistakes make a life together impossible?

Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Paperback:

Dawn Kinzer writes fiction because she believes in the power of story to comfort, challenge, and inspire. Her work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends magazine, The One Year Life Verse Devotional, A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love, and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home.

Dawn’s historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton, takes place in the early 1900s. The setting and some of the characters were inspired by her rural Wisconsin hometown. Sarah’s Smile is the first story in the series, and Hope’s Design is the second. A third novel, Rebecca’s Song, will be released later in 2017.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, cinnamon, popcorn, strong coffee, good wine, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.

Readers can find her at

Blog – Inspiration, Dreams & Purpose:






Amazon Author Page:

3 Questions Wednesday with Marji Laine

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Marji Laine prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, entrees to desserts, and Jaguars to any other vehicle. Her favorites include emerald green, Autumn, stargazer lilies and white roses, New York style pizza, and red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. From her website at

Question: What inspires you?

Marji:  I’m most inspired by setting. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m a mystery and suspense writer. Everywhere I look is a possible crime scene. And I can seriously see the tape partitioning off the area and the drape over the body in all sorts of crazy places. Once I saw a pair of boots, toes up, in a clothing-donation box and the whole story poured itself out.

That’s truly a gift. If I saw a pair of boots, toes up, in a similar situation, I’d probably run.

Just for fun–You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Marji:  I would be Sparkle, a pink-based color with a glitter element involved. I confess that pink isn’t my favorite color, but after being told again and again that it’s the best color on me, my girls started telling me to embrace the pink. So, pink it is. And the glitter is an absolute necessity. There’s nothing that delights my eyes more than shiny sparkles. They make me smile!

You say you’re not really a fan of pink. The color pink shows a gentle nature, maternal. But, I knew there had to be some special meaning behind the sparkles. So I looked it up: to give off or reflect bright moving points of lightor my favorite meaning: to perform brilliantly. I’m thinking that one fits you.

Final Question–As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Marji: I wanted to be a teacher. In fact, my neighbors and I would play “school” and I was always the teacher. There was nothing I liked better than to find a new way to explain something. I loved teaching in the public realm, loved teaching home-school co-op classes, especially for the high schoolers. And I still love teaching, high school Bible studies and children’s choir. I still get a charge out of seeing the light of revelation flash on in someone’s eyes.

One of my favorite things, too. Thank you, so much  for visiting 3 Questions Wednesday.

Marji Laine writes about hope and redemption. Her characters, tangled in desperate situations, rely on authentic faith in God to carry them through treachery, betrayal, and impossible circumstances.

She’s collaborated in five novellas over the last two and a half years with Write Integrity Press. The first, The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, rose to best-seller status, catapulting all the authors to Amazon’s top 100 list. 

She’s begun her solo publishing career with the Grime Fighter series, five novellas following mysteries encountered by a crime scene cleaner. Currently available in e-book and print.

Her first full-length novel, COUNTER POINT, was the first of a series contracted by Write Integrity Press in January of 2016. (Released in November, 2016 and a 2016 Grace Award Finalist.) This series, set in the fictitious Texas town of Heath’s Point, begins with the question of how someone can survive when ultimate power wants them dead. Such could be the question for each of these four stories. 

In addition to writing, Marji is the executive director of Write Integrity Press and it’s non-fiction imprint, Pix-N-Pens Publishing. With over a dozen releases every year and almost two dozen authors working with her, Marji has her hands full. For more information, visit her website

Marji Laine’s Books on Amazon

Write Integrity Press

Pix-N-Pens Publishing.






Take the Steps to Self-publish Your Book

By Sherrie Giddens

Over the last several years, many of the walls between authors and self-publishing have come down. As a result, it is easier than ever for a determined writer to become a published author. However, knowing exactly how to go about the process of self-publishing can be an overwhelming task. I can remember the first book that I self-published. I followed the path paved by those who went before me and took some of the stress out of the process. I would like to share that path with you today.

Once you have written your manuscript, the real work begins. It is time to go back over your work and edit, edit, and edit again. Once you have completed your editing, it is important to turn the manuscript over to someone who can do a more thorough job of editing. They will look for spelling and grammar issues, sentences that do not flow easily, and holes in the plot and story line. This is an important step and should not be skipped, if you intend on having a professional piece of work to publish.

After your manuscript has been edited, you’ll need to consider where you want your work to appear. Many choose to publish their eBooks through Amazon on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Doing so will require preparing your document. You can find information on document preparation, by following this link to the information page. There are no fees associated with uploading your document to KDP and the process is not a difficult one, when you follow the guidelines provided.

You might also consider the publication of your document as a paperback. Amazon owns Createspace, a company that many self-publishers use to create their paperbacks. If you choose to use Createspace as your self-publishing solution you will be given a few options.

  • They will provide you with a free ISBN or you can purchase one through them.
  • If you are having difficulty with your document, you can pay for their services, which include editing and formatting.
  • You will need to download a template for your manuscript. Templates are designed to work with the various book size options. They are easy to use and make the process less time consuming
  • Createspace also offers a free cover creator.
  • Unless you choose to use their services such as editing, there are no fees for creating a paperback through Createspace.
  • You will be given the option of ordering a proof copy of your book. There is a small fee for this service, typically less than $10. I highly recommend ordering a proof copy. Once it arrives, check it over, you will be able to make any changes needed before you publish your book.

It is important for your eBook and paperback to share the same cover image. Whether you choose to have someone create your paperback book cover, or you use the free cover creator offered by Createspace, once your book is ready, Createspace will provide a cover that can be used for your eBook as well. Download the provided eBook cover and save it to your computer. Then you may upload it to the KDP edition of the book. This will provide a uniform look for both the eBook and the paperback. Here are some of my covers:








As with every program, there can be some glitches. Createspace is no exception. You will be given the option of allowing them to upload your eBook to KDP. This option can lead to issues with extra numbers and letters showing up throughout your document. I would recommend taking the time to upload the document yourself. Doing so will also give you more control over the process.

Once the eBook and the paperback have been completed and uploaded, they will automatically be listed for sale at Amazon. Amazon tries to link both editions within a week or so, but it doesn’t always happen in the way that it should. By creating your author page, through Author Central, you will be able to initiate this process on your own.

I know this information can seem a little overwhelming. I thought so until I took the plunge and began preparing my document. Step by step, while following the guidelines, the feeling of being overwhelmed was replaced with a feeling of relief and accomplishment. Take a deep breath and dive in.

There is much more to discuss when it comes to self-publishing, but with the basics that have been offered in this article, you are well on your way to living your dream. My wish is that you find self-publishing to be a fulfilling part of your writing career.

Sherrie Giddens is the author of several titles for women and their families. Her latest book is designed to help lesser known authors fill their schedules with book signings and events.

You can find Book Signings and Events for the Lesser Known Author at Amazon.