Jeff Rasley

Jeff Rasley’s experience with traditional publishing left him disillusioned and inspired him and his wife to start their own indie publishing company.  Read more about Jeff’s journey and how he learns the ropes of self-publishing.

1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.

Monsters of the Midway:  The Worst Team in College Football? is my most recent book.

In 1969, amidst the culture of sex, drugs, rock and roll, the draft lottery, the anti-war movement and radical feminism, the University of Chicago resurrected its football team after it had been dead for 30 years.  A small town Hoosier kid who just wanted to get the best education possible joins the team to build his resume.  His teammates are jocks, pot smokers and nerdy intellectuals.  Along with his teammates he is swept into the tumult of the late 1960s.  He falls in love with a radical feminist who demonstrates against the return of football to Chicago.  He rooms with a secular Jewish kid taking ballet whose father has begun manufacturing something called a computer chip.

An assistant coach rides Jack for not fully committing to the team.  His favorite professor chides him to concentrate on his studies. What sustains Jack through the bewildering cultural milieu, and the pressure of balancing sports and studies, is the tolerant understanding of his head coach, reconciliation with his girlfriend, and the friendship of his teammates.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I thought I was very lucky to publish my first book the traditional way and the publisher even spent some money on a publicist.  But the publisher refused to use the title I had chosen and used one I did not like; issued the book on an “accelerated schedule” six months after it was finished; published with a few typos despite three levels of editing; demanded I engage in time-consuming and unproductive promotional events; let the publicist get away with doing nothing except mailing the book to reviewers and libraries;   and lost interest in promoting the book when sales did not quickly reach best seller level.

I have since published five direct.  The titles are my own choice and the books are published as soon as they are finished.  Now, I still find myself engaging in time-consuming and unproductive promotional activities and I might have missed some typos.  And I sure wish someone would pay me an advance.  But, the gain in control and responsibility is worth the sacrifice.

My wife, Alicia Rasley, has published twice as many books as I have.   We have become so jazzed about the process of direct publishing we started our own indie publishing company to help others through the process of direct publishing.  It’s called Knowledge Capture Publishing & Editing.

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Kenneth Weene

Kenneth Weene works through a small publishing house through which he and other authors do their own marketing.  Learn more about that, Kenneth’s book trailers, and his advice on how to properly use social media in your marketing efforts.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me one of your books in five to ten sentences.

Set in a small bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tales From the Dew Drop Inne tells the collective bittersweet stories of the people who make the place their home – people who have not fallen off the social ladder but who are hanging on desperately at the bottom. These integrated stories of men and women, who may not be successes but who still are so very human, offer laughter, pathos, and a sense of camaraderie.

2. Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

My books are halfway between traditional and indie publishing.  All Things That Matter Press is a small house so we, the authors, have to do the marketing ourselves.  But as a publisher they offer cover design and editing as part of the contractual deal.  They take no money but make their profit from our sales.  Would I prefer to move to a “larger” house, one that could provide more marketing service?  Sure.  But I do appreciate the sense of family that we have created.  The owners of All Things have been very supportive, and many of the authors work together and are wonderfully supportive.

I must admit that I would never want to self-publish or go with one of those “indie publishers” that sell their services.  That would feel like I was their mark rather than their valued writer.

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Katie Epstein

Katie Epstein found confidence in indie publishing and has learned the industry quickly.  Read about her experiences with traditional publishers and why self-publishing is a better fit.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

The Arranged Marriage is a romantic adventure set on the mythical Isle of Centurias.  It follows the story of Princess Rohesia who is fuming when she finds out her father has arranged her to marry the illegitimate son of a neighboring king, revoking the promise that she could choose her own husband.  Upon attempting to flee the island to seek freedom, Rohesia doesn’t expect to be saved by the very man she is running from, Sir Ison Mondar of Dondayas.  As they unite in their marriage, Ison and Rohesia have to find a way to work together to rid the island of a rebel group who is becoming more daring each day in its attacks.  They must learn to take a chance not only on their union, but on each other as the
fate of Centurias rests in their very hands.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

When you have finally put the last edit on your manuscript, there is a need for other people to read your story and share in the character’s experiences.  It can be frustrating waiting for that one letter that will take you to the next level via the traditional route, and indie publishing gives you the opportunity to put yourself out there to dedicated readers who will give you a true critique.

3. Have you been traditionally published?

I have only sent my manuscript off to a dozen publishers, because I put too much of myself into the process and took all rejections personally.  No matter what people tell you about it all being part of becoming published, it can still hit you hard if you let it, and unfortunately I let it.  Through this learning curve I have realized that no one will take you seriously as a writer if you don’t take yourself seriously first, and to do that you have to have confidence in your capability.  Going through the indie publishing route has given me my confidence, so I can try the traditional publishing route again in the future as I learn more about the industry.

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