Lindsey Michelle: From the minute I could write and read as a child, I remember writing brief stories (perhaps an early version of flash fiction!) I’d say I became a very serious writer in high school. From sophomore through senior year, I wrote two novels (neither were ever published) and began sending query letters to literary agents. The summer after graduation, I started courses in screenwriting at UCLA Extension. Since then, I’ve split my focus between novels and screenplays.
IR: Are you self published or did you use an independent publisher?
LM: My novel “Dimensions” is self-published.
IR: What genre do you write in the most?
LM: I like trying out different genres. When I was younger, I would have probably answered drama or drama-comedy, but when I think about my writing, there’s a wide range of genres. My first two published short stories were in a “Scary Stories” anthology, in the thriller/suspense genre. “Dimensions” is a blend of science fiction, supernatural and drama. The two unpublished manuscripts I wrote in high school are historical drama and coming-of-age; my completed screenplays are romantic comedy and two dramas.
IR: How many books have you published?
LM: “Dimensions” is my first and only published novel. The ease of self-publishing makes it enticing to continue publishing additional works, but for now, I’m focusing on promoting “Dimensions”.
IR: What was the prime motivation in publishing your work through independent channels?
LM: I first turned to self-publishing because I had probably queried every agent in the country! As is often mentioned, it’s very difficult for a new writer to obtain agency representation. I felt as though I have a compelling story that readers really respond to, and it was disappointing to think that no one would ever read it. That’s when I began to look into self-publishing.
IR: What were your early experiences like?
LM: I originally published “Dimensions” via Lulu.com, before the creation of Kindle. Lulu.com is very helpful and takes the writer through the process step-by-step; even so, proofreading, formatting and publishing was more time-consuming than writing the novel!
IR: What did the process teach you?
LM: Proofreading and formatting are vitally important in order to present a professional book. Self-published writers cannot simply send in their manuscript and let someone else worry about the details. The upside is that self-publishing gives writers complete control over how the book looks; I played around with various fonts, title pages, etc.
IR: Have you seen a change in the independent publishing community?
LM: Yes, there’s been a drastic change between the time I first published “Dimensions” and now. There is no longer the stigma that self-publishing is an “easy way out”; I’ve seen numerous articles about traditionally published authors that have turned to self-publishing, particularly within the past year. The rise of e-books has also helped self-publishing in general because readers seem more willing to purchase self-published works on electronic devices than in print form.
IR: Do you read other independently published authors works?
LM: I recently started a blog called SelfScribes (http://selfscribes.blogspot.com) to promote the writing of self-published and indie writers. Writers can submit short stories, excerpts from novels or any other creative writing. The community of self-published writers is very supportive and I think it’s important to give a shout-out to quality writing.
IR: Where are you most likely to purchase indie works?
LM: Definitely online! You can find anything and everything online. Though I’ve always enjoyed browsing bookstores, the options are often very limited compared to the Internet.
IR: Where can people find your books and which source has been the must successful for you?
LM: “Dimensions” can be purchased in paperback or as an e-book from Lulu.com, in paperback from BN.com, and in paperback or on Kindle from Amazon. I’ve experienced an increase in sales since making “Dimensions” available on Kindle.
IR: Do you have books in print? Where can we find them? What was that experience like?
LM: The paperback copy is available online (see above), but not currently in bookstores. It took a lot of time to properly format the paperback version; then Kindle needed a different format.
IR: Do you have any advice for some one who would like to be an Indie author or publisher?
LM: Once you’ve completed and polished your manuscript, give yourself enough time to embark on the self-publishing process. It’s impossible to rush when you’re reading and rereading for any typos or formatting errors. Don’t cave and hire someone to do these steps for you; it’s rewarding (and inexpensive or free) to do this yourself. And to anyone publishing on Kindle: do not use the space key to indent paragraphs on a Word document! Kindle will only recognize the Ruler Tab.
IR: Do you do your own cover art or do you have some one do it for you?
LM: I chose cover art that Lulu.com provided.
Lindsey Michelle has written articles for MovieMaker magazine and websites such as Suite101. Two of her short stories were published in book anthologies Scary Stories 2 and 3; she has since adapted the stories into short scripts. Lindsey currently works as a screenplay reader.
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