Category Archives: Starlighting Honor Roll

Authors featured who get up early to write.

Indie Publishing Done Right

The number of books published each year is boggling. Last year 200,000 new books were released. And that’s only counting traditional publishers. 400,000 self-published books were launched, too. We talk about self-published and traditionally published, but I think there’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Agents and publishing, Starlighting Honor Roll | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

17 Responses to Indie Publishing Done Right

  1. Rachel says:

    Thanks for this candid and helpful list of tips. Good luck with book sales, Cari!

  2. Laurie says:

    Heather – This is a wonderful list that deserves a wide audience. I’m going to Tweet, Google+,!, Digg, and Reddit it!

    Bravo Cari – my hat is off to YOU!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Wonderful, Laurie. My publishing team VASTLY improved my book. I’ve been giving that a lot of thought since self-published authors need a team, too. Glad you liked the list!

  3. Cari Noga says:

    Thanks, Heather, Rachel and Laurie. Nice to have more allies in my corner. As far as other quality self-published books, right here in our community we have Chickadees at Night, an illustrated children’s book by Bill Smith and Charles Murphy. It has had incredible success – one local indie bookstore posted it has sold more than 1,100 copies in the year since it came out! It’s on my nightstand as inspiration.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Yes, quality, quality. No matter how we publish the focus has to be on quality.

  4. Great tips, and good luck to Cari! I strongly agree that editing and having a writing group is imperative. I’ve been looking into self-publishing a lot lately (so far I’ve been told by agents that my idea is great but need a bigger blog following and to contact them again in a year’s time = if I’m doing all the marketing anyway then why give the bulk of my profits away?!), so I joined a writer’s group, am looking for a cover designer, and am cultivating people to do test readings. I anticipate a long revision process, but I think it’ll be worth it.

    A book that I’ve actually found really helpful is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, it’s really good for breaking down the process of self-pub’ing done right, as well as marketing your book, before and after it’s published.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Danielle, thanks for sharing that great book tip. I’m sure many people will find it helpful. I think you’ll find that whichever publishing route you go having a good blog following will be enormously helpful. Best of luck on your book endeavor!

  5. That’s a darn good checklist for self-pubbing, Heather. The only thing I’d add is for the author to look deep inside herself and ask: Is this book the absolute best I can make it? If the honest answer is yes, send it out to the world. If not, keep revising and editing.

    Most of us know the true answer to that question (the gut feeling we get when we’re alone with our thoughts), but some of us lie to ourselves because the dream of being “a published author” overwhelms our ability to objectively evaluate our book.

    Congratulations to Cari for doing it right and helping to legitimize self-publishing. I’ll pass this blog post along to my social media connections as well.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      I hear you. We often know the answer and need to listen to that voice. Sometimes all writers get stuck and can’t make it better on our own. That’s when it’s time to seek outside input. Outside critiquers, readers and experts can often inject a new level of excellence and then the revision soars.

  6. Cari Noga says:

    Danielle, I am adding Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur to my reading list. Chris, I agree that honest soul-searching is important, with one caveat: Don’t let your fear of the risk color your assessment. It’s scary to put your work out there, and even more so in the absence of a traditional publisher’s imprimatur. That fear, I think, can sometimes keep us stuck when we should be moving forward. With something as big as a novel — or a nonfiction book — striving to make it the “absolute best” is nearly impossible. Almost everything could be improved with more time spent. Revise, rework, listen to beta readers, (repeat) for sure. But don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good, or, as Heather puts it, the “done right.” Because ultimately, you aren’t the judge — the readers are.

  7. Kate says:

    Heather, I am currently reading your book and enjoying it thoroughly !!!

    I wish there was a way to connect with other like minded parents in my area (SE MI) so that I could afford my child the opportunities you describe in your book outside of a formal setting.

    I relish the idea of being considered a “renegade” parent !!

    Thanks so much for the great tips!!


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thanks, Kate! So glad it resonates with you. Yes, rather fun to be a “renegade.”

      Not sure where you live in SE Michigan, but I am coming to Ann Arbor to speak in May. Send your friends and maybe we can meet. The event is Tuesday, May 21 at the Ann Arbor library, Pittsfield branch. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find like-minded parents there. They’re out there.

      Thanks for stopping by – and happy reading.

      • Kate says:

        I would enjoy hearing you speak, but unless it’s a child friendly event I have a very hard time finding sitters in my area 🙁

        • Heather Shumaker says:

          Kids have come to some of my talks before – you’re welcome to if you think it will work out with bedtimes and all. I have no problem with young folks in the audience!

  8. deidra says:

    The cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous. Great tips for folks who write!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Isn’t it great? Beautiful cover — and designed by a woman with autism, too – very fitting.

Starlighting on the Farm

From time to time, I’m going to profile other Starlighting writers as an inspiration to us all.  I’m pleased to announce our first one – Angie Lathrop Treinen. Angie is a YA fantasy novelist who juggles writing with 2 kids, … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Honor Roll | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Starlighting on the Farm

  1. Valerie Johnson says:

    I love the Treinen corn maze. We try to go every year and compete to see which family teams can get through the fastest.
    As more of a moonlighter or at least a night owl, I surely admire anyone who can get up early and be creative.
    – Valerie

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Lucky you! Wish we lived closer during pumpkin season. As for being a night owl, take advantage of that gift. The stars are out late at night, too.

  2. Definitely the coolest corn maze I’ve ever seen. Love the draft horses. I have three, all anglo-arabs we’ve watched being born. My family. Angie, you sure have a lot to juggle–kids, animals, being a vet, pumpkin patch, and writing. I’m impressed. You go girl!

  3. Angie, My youngest kid loves mazes! Hope to get to see you soon, maybe next year on class reunion!, and… Keep writing! Shirley