Once authors complete their manuscripts, they decide whether to publish traditionally or independently.

The traditional route involves finding an agent who then sells the manuscript to a publisher. It also encompasses smaller presses that will often take submissions directly from authors.

If authors want more independence, they can hire hybrid publishers to do some or all of the work for them. This is what I did for Carpe Diem, Illinois and God on Mayhem Street.

And then there’s independent publishing — the route I’m taking with The Devil Particle Series. (For more details on these choices, check out my article “The Pros and Cons of Indie Publishing.”)

The Cover of The Devil Particle


After revising my manuscript, reading it out loud, sending it to a copyeditor, running it through Grammarly Premium for typos and grammatical errors, revising it again, listening to Natural Reader read it in a monotone voice, and tweaking it some more, I have the final draft of The Devil Particle. (Months before, I’d hired Patrick Knowles of Reedsy to design the amazing cover.)


Next step, designing the book’s interior. I assumed I’d complete the interior design in a day or a weekend. It took me a week. I’m a perfectionist with some artistic talent (I was an art major my first two years of college), so I’m very particular, which, I admit, may have been part of the problem. I used Atticus to design the book’s interior.

Atticus LogoAtticus is terrific — very intuitive. And when I couldn’t get rid of one pesky Roman numeral on my “Also By” page, the support staff immediately got back to me with the solution. I’m thrilled with the result.


Then on to downloading the formatted book in IngramSpark. IngramSpark will make the paperbacks available for bookstores and will distribute the book worldwide.

After spending a week formatting, I thought downloading the finished product would be the easy part. I was wrong. It took almost two weeks because I needed to do additional research. How much do I price the book for? What type of wholesale discount do I give bookstores? Do I accept returns?

I finally got the answers I was searching for and simply had to upload the manuscript and cover art. Easy, right? Nope. I kept getting a “500-code message.”

Could the ice storm have something to do with it? I tried contacting IngramSpark’s customer service — it’s nonexistent.

After watching videos and reading more articles, I finally resolved the issue. I then ordered Advanced Reader Copies to send out for reviews. When the books arrived, I was thrilled with how they looked.

Okay, now onto loading the book on Amazon, reaching out to reviewers, podcasters, bloggers, and other media, sending it to contests, researching Amazon marketing techniques (it’s all about the keywords), deciding what ads to place and when to schedule discounts, etc., etc. The good news is I’m learning a lot about book production and marketing.


When I started writing fourteen years ago, I didn’t know I’d have to learn all about running a business. Yep, I was naive. But being naive was a good thing. If I’d known the writing was the easy part, I might never have finished my first book.


If you’d like to get a free Advanced Reader Copy of The Devil Particle in exchange for an honest review on Amazon when the book is released on June 6th, click here.



Upcoming Events


CWA conference logoThis weekend – March 25-26, 2023, Chicago – Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference. In addition to workshops (including my workshop on characters), and panel discussions on all aspects of writing, agents and publishers will be there to hear authors pitch their manuscripts. Hope to see you there!

The Devil Particle Release Party Flyer

Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – The Devil Particle Book Release Party at Mystery to Me Bookstore, Monroe Street, Madison, WI! This event is free and open to the public but space is limited so click here to reserve your spot. The party will also be livestreamed if you want to join us remotely.


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