Indie publishing won me over with the publication of my first novel, Women’s Company – The Minerva Girls. The model holds fast for me, and last month I published my third novel, Cloud County Harvest, the sequel to Cloud County Persuasion.
Indie publishing is often referred to as self-publishing because the author is in control of the publishing processes: editorial, design, production, distribution, marketing, promotion, and rights licensing. That means the indie author must build a network of individuals who work to professional standards.
But where do indie authors find these good people?
I. Editor: Robyn Conley.
For me, the search for an editor ended when I met Robyn Conley at an annual conference of the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. Her credits include not only hundreds of edited manuscripts for satisfied clients, but also a list of her published nonfiction.
Robyn has edited all three of my novels. I salute her with a big “Thank you!”
When she is not tackling a manuscript at her headquarters in Texas, Robyn shares her expertise as a guest speaker at writers’ conferences and workshops in Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas—and wherever else the work takes her.
You can learn more about Robyn by visiting her online home robynconley.com. If you like, she’ll give you a free ten-page critique of your manuscript. See her website for details.
“I’ve seen the difference Robyn can make. Her knowledge and insights are amazing.”
II. Graphic Designer: Anastasia Sobol.
I was at a loss in my search for a book cover designer until a fellow writer recommended 99designs, an online platform. What began as a small startup in Melbourne, Australia, in 2008, has grown into a go-to source for thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
99designs by Vista is a "global creative platform that makes it easy for clients and freelance designers to work together online."
The young Ukrainian designer Anastasia Sobol came to my attention through a contest I ran at 99designs. I posted the type of book cover I wanted. Interested designers drafted ideas for my review. Anastasia won hands down.
Do you know the time difference between Kyiv and Kansas? It’s about eight hours.
Yet working with Anastasia was easy given her creativity and work ethic. She designed each of the book covers for my three novels. While creating the third cover this year, the invasion of Russia into Ukraine expanded and escalated.
I later learned that Anastasia joined 99designs when she was seventeen. She is now twenty-two and reports that she continues with the platform because “it offers a space where designers of any level can get better at their craft by getting real work—even a 17-year-old who is just starting out."
Anastasia S....became an established and successful designer on the 99designs platform at a young age."
Three Book Covers by Anastasia Sobol
Editors and designers are critical to a final project. Then there's production, distribution, marketing, promotion, and rights licensing in need of their fair share of attention. And it's all done for people like you: readers on the hunt for a good book. Thank you to everyone who helps make it happen.
1. Photo of a rustic signpost. Lynne Schall, September 2022.
2. Photo of Robyn Conley. Publicity photo, robynconley.com
3. 99designs.com/blog/designers/designer-anastasia-s-interview/, February 2022.
Lynne Schall is the author of three novels: Women's Company - The Minerva Girls (2016), Cloud County Persuasion (2018), and Cloud County Harvest (November 2022). She and her family live in Kansas, USA.