Indie Book Talk
By Emma and Shelley
Emma G. Rose is the owner of Imperative Press Books, a publishing house that amplifies niche voices. She is also the author of contemporary fantasy novels, including Nothing's Ever Lost, Near-Life Experience, and Assembling Ella.
Shelley Shearer is a writer of cozy mysteries and urban fantasy. Her first novel, Menace at Meeple Manor, the first of the Board Game Mystery Series is coming soon.
Find out more at ImperativePressBooks.com
Indie Book TalkDec 01, 2022
An Important Announcement from the hosts of Indie Book Talk
Friends, readers, writers and listening fans, we have an important announcement for you. Please listen!
Book Review: Alice the Cat by Tim Cummings
Emma gushes about the new middle-grade book from Tim Cummings. Alice the Cat is an urban fantasy story in the tradition of Neil Gaiman, Tim Burton, and Caroline Thompson. Find out why this book is worth a read no matter what age you are.
From Webcomic to Hardcover Collection with Jimmy Craig
You’ve probably seen them in your social media feed, hilarious comics revealing the inner thoughts of cats, dogs, and other animals by comic artist Jimmy Craig. We talk to Craig about his process for deciding which of his They Can Talk comics made it into the book and why making a “gift book” just makes sense for him.
How to Organize a Writer’s Life When You’re a Hot Mess with Genalea Barker
Genalea Barker is the first to admit that she’s a hot mess, but that hasn’t stopped her from signing contracts with two indie presses for three novels in 18 months. Writing across genres in the stolen moments between family obligations, Genalea calls her work “a sad song in a minor key.” She talks about her first novel, “Life After” and why she keeps writing despite the chaos. Genalea's Website: https://genalea.wordpress.com/
The Thrilling Case of the Coverless Book with Alex Kenna
Alex Kenna studied both art and law before deciding to write her first novel. So, it should surprise no one that her first novel, What Meets the Eye, is a thriller centered around a work of art. She talks to us about her publisher, Crooked Lane, and how she’s dealing with some unexpected publishing challenges while also wrangling a toddler.
Publisher’s Website: crookedlanebooks.com
Disability Representation in Fantasy Stories with L.J. Stanton
L.J. Stanton is the author of The Dying Sun and co-host of the Scribe’s Journey Podcast. She’s also working to shift how people with disabilities show up in fantasy stories. Stanton’s writing from experience, as someone diagnosed with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome who has a service animal and uses mobility aids. Hear how fiction can help people with disabilities feel seen.
Mentioned in this podcast:
L.J.'s Website: swordandboard.gg
Sneezing Out a Story and Perfecting Illustrations With Help From Children’s Author Sheryl Bass
Where do authors get their ideas? For children’s picture book author Sheryl Bass, it started with a sneeze. Her book Baby Dragon's Big Sneeze came from a silly thought caused by a tickle in her nose. In short, the idea was the easy part. She partnered with a book coach to get illustrations made and her book published. Hear how it all came together.
How to Build A Street Team and Thoughts on Bibliotherapy with Kacey Rayburn
Psychologist Kacey Rayburn comes from Appalachia and a family she describes as “granny witches and gravediggers.” She tells us how she mixed this all together to create her gothic fantasy, Sing Our Bones Eternal, and then built a street team to help with book promotion and pre-launch. Plus, we discuss the benefits of bibliotherapy.
Book Marketing Through Relationship Building with Michelle Shores
It might surprise you that even though Michelle Shores has a background in sales and marketing, she published her book The Gathering Room: A Tale of Nelly Butler without a marketing plan. But her natural tendency to talk to people and make connections has helped her sell 1,000 books in just 4 months. See how you can put her strategies to work for your next novel.
Rewarding Rejection to Sell 88 Short Stories to Magazines with Marie Vibbert
It started with a challenge from Marie Vibbert’s twin sister. “I’ll give you a gift for every 100 rejections you get.” Today Marie has placed 88 short stories with magazines like Fantasy and Science Fiction, Analog and Clarkesworld. She talks about how she does it, plus gives us a quick intro to worldbuilding using the example of her latest novel “The Gods Awoke” in this episode of Indie Book Talk.
Mentioned in this episode: Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Google Ads for Indie Authors with Nicholas Poe
Working in marketing for a big-5 publisher, Nicholas Poe learned a thing or two about Google Ads and other book marketing strategies. He’s carried some of that over into marketing for his own book, Selection Day, published by the small indie De Novo Press. Learn from his experience on this episode of Indie Book Talk.
Publisher Website: denovo.press
Sound of History Podcast: soundofhistory.podbean.com
What If I Just… An Unusual Path to Comic Book Publishing and Other Strange Adventures with L.A. Cunningham
L.A. Cunningham never meant to be an author. Not really. It all just happened. A blog let to a class which led to a Twitter connection which…well, we’ll let her tell it. She talks to us about Babies with Rabies, why she might die in a freak book-slide, and how she takes pantsing to a whole new level.
L.A.'s Website: lacunningham.com
Publisher’s Website: asapimagination.com
Why You Should Live in 1968 With Hugo Award Finalist and Sci-Fi Author Gideon Marcus
Most sci-fi authors live in the future, but Gideon Marcus spends most of his time in the past. For Gideon, the year is 1968 the Vietnam war is still underway, and Star Trek is in it’s second season on television. From that historical vantagepoint, he’s helping modern readers rediscover underrepresented science fiction classics and newer works from unusual and diverse viewpoints. So don’t touch that dial…
Journey Website: galacticjourney.org
Publishing Website: journeypress.com
Can You Teach Me to Publish A Picture Book with Harleigh Clark
10-year-old Harleigh Clark has a couple of big messages to share. First, kids should write books. She thinks its silly that even books for little kids are written by adults. Second, it’s okay to ask for help. She needed a lot of support from her grandmother, Lanette Pottle, her illustrator Sveltlana Lau, and the international community to make her book into an international Amazon bestseller.
Harleigh’s Amazon Author page: amazon.com/stores/Harleigh-Clark/author/B0BN151Z5W
Lanette's website: shegetspublished.com
A One Word Story and Other Amazing Feats of Fiction with Briane Pagel
Write a novel in a month. Sure. A page a day? Why not. But you've never seen a writing challenge quite like the one Briane Pagel set for himself. Write 365 stories in a year... oh, and the first story has to be exactly 365 words. Every day you write a story one word shorter until you come to the final day, the final story, a single word. We talk about how and why he wrote "Translated From The Original Shark: A Year Of Words" in this episode of Indie Book Talk.
Mentioned in this episode:
All These Explosions were Someone Else's Fault by James Alan Gardner amzn.to/3kzZ602
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut (in the short story collection Welcome to the Monkey House) amzn.to/3jb7geX
Briane's Instagram: @brianepagel
How to Pitch a Podcast If You Want To Be A Guest
Emma and Shelley share everything you need to know to successfully pitch a podcast. With advice based on the hundreds of pitches they've seen as podcast hosts. Plus insights from Emma's successful pitches to other podcasts. We talk about everything you need to know to land a podcast guest spot (and be an awesome guest during the interview).
Using Fiction to Embrace Identity As a Middle Eastern Girl in America with Anisa Ashabi
High school is tough, especially when you're growing up as the only Middle Eastern girl in an all-white community. Anisa Ashabi funneled all her teenage angst into a novel she started when she was just 14. Years later, she picked it up again. With the benefit of hindsight, Finding Chaz was born. Anisa talks about her relationship with her brother, writing a book that's "too long" for traditional publishing, and her dog Anubis.
Representation Matters, LGBTQ Characters in Mystery with Audrey Hanagan
Growing up in a small midwestern town, Audrey Hanagan found her escape between the covers of Nancy Drew novels. She loved the adventure, the friendships, and, of course, the mysteries. There was just one thing missing...LGBTQ characters. So Audrey set out to write her own mystery series and normalize the presence of LGBTQ characters in the process. Here first novel, The Case of the Canine Capers, is out now.
Following The Call Of Your Creative Heart with Dallas Woodburn
Dallas Woodburn believes that creativity doesn't stay in one genre. Every author should follow the call of their creative heart to write the stories they have inside them. This might mean writing different genres, publishing with multiple presses, or tackling multiple formats. As a book coach and host of the Thriving Authors Podcast, Dallas has advice on how to do all that and more.
Mentioned on this episode: dallaswoodburn.com/podcast
Keep Your Medieval Potatoes (or Testing Types of Publishing) with Karen Heenan
Author of Tudor fiction, Karen Heenan, tried out pretty much every type of publishing before landing on self-publishing for her most recent books. She talks us through her path from agents to pitch wars to small press and finally to self publishing, with plenty of side-quests along the way. Plus, her adorable cat sings in the background.
Mentioned in this episode: The Rebel Author Podcast
Also mentioned in this episode: Take Back Your Book by Katlyn Duncan
Karen's Publishing Checklist
Trying It All In Publishing with Editor, Author and Writing Coach Alison McBain
Alison McBain does it all. She's the author of The New Empire, editor of Scribes Micro Fiction, and a writing coach for When Words Count. She's also a freelance editor for authors. We talk to her about all of it, plus her writing groups and how she started in the publishing world.
How to Start a Writing Group Based On Our Real Experience
Emma and Shelley share their best tips for how to start a writing group. From where to find members to how to manage the group once you have it, we'll talk through all the basics you need to know to build a writing group that works for you.
Emma's Website: imperativepressbooks.com
Shelly's Website: shelleyshearer.com
Building An Audience As A Kindle Vella Early Adopter with K.J. Gillenwater
K.J. Gillenwater was among the very first authors on Kindle Vella, the episodic story publishing app from Amazon. When the store went live in July 2021, she already had 24 episodes scheduled and ready for reading. The last episode of her sci-fi novel, "The Genesis Machine," dropped in November. She takes a look at what worked for her on the platform and what she plans to do next.
K.J.'s Website: kjgillenwater.com
Climbing Out of the Querying Trenches to Choose Indie Publishing with Erin Reilly
Erin Reilly spent three years querying multiple manuscripts because that's how her professor told her publishing worked, but when she received one too many rejections she decided to take a chance on indie publishing. Now that her YA masterpiece "Tossed By The Waves" is out in the world, she's ready to take what she's learned and publish even more books. She talks about her path to indie publishing and lessons learned in this episode of Indie Book Talk.
Erin's Twitter: @ereillywrites
Erin's Instagram: @erinwrites
Erin's TikTok: @erinrwrites
Writing Middle Grade in Middle School with A.Y. Johlin
Teen author and Moonbeam award winner A.Y. Johlin started writing The Girl Who Wasn't Chosen when she was in middle school. At 17-years-old, she published the book. Now she visits schools to show kids that you don't have to wait to be chosen to follow your dreams. She talks about her plans for future books and how she found her own path to publishing.
A.Y.'s Instagram: @ay_johlin
Moonbeam Awards: moonbeamawards.com
Writing Fiction Rooted in a Real Place with Stacy Lee
Stacy Lee's Nubble Light series of novels span romance, family drama, historical fiction and more, all against the backdrop of Maine's Nubble Light house. She talks to us about why books with a strong sense of place are so popular, especially if that place happens to be a beach in New England. Plus, learn how she started working with a producer to potentially turn her five-book series into a TV show!
Why We Hate the "Lose Her Power" Trope with Myah Bawadi
Read the last few chapters of any fantasy series with a "strong female lead" and you might notice something discouraging. That strong woman is likely to lose or give up her power near the end of the story. And Myah Bawadi is sick of it. She started writing the Legends of Infinity Series to turn that trope on its head. In fact, she was so excited about the first book "Infinity Legion", that she wrote a draft in just two months *while* finishing her Freshman year of college!
Myah's Linktree: infinitylegion.com
Storytelling at the Prep School for Serial Killers with Tara Platt
Tara Platt is an actor, writer and entrepreneur who wrote the first draft of her novel during NaNoWriMo. But "Prep School For Killers" didn't fully take shape until she gave a TEDx Talk on creativity. She talks about her path to publishing, what it means to have feelings, and the mysterious door in her office on this episode of Indie Book Talk.
Links to everything: monkeymayhemhub.com
Mistakes On the Path to Publishing Success with Jared Morrison
Jared Morrison has won a couple of awards and secured several high-profile reviews for his urban fantasy novel Of Dreams and Angels. But the path to what many authors think of as publishing success wasn't always straight. Jared tells us about what has worked for him and what doesn't. Listen all the way to the end for some really good advice.
What A Small Traditional Press Can Do For You with Geoff Habiger
As the senior editor and co-owner of Artemesia Publishing, Geoff Habiger has spent the last 18 years helping authors get their books into print. He talks to us about how it started, how it's going, and the big question on every author's mind: what can a small press do for me? If you've ever been curious about small indie publishing houses, this episode is for you.
Keeping LGBTQ+ History Alive with Owen Keehnen, Co-Founder of The Legacy Project Chicago
History can be fun. That's the message Owen Keehnen wanted to share in this latest book LGBTQ+ Icons. It features short bios of members of the LGBTQ+ community alongside vibrant and exciting artwork from David Lee Csicsko. Hear the serendipitous story of how this celebration of LGBTQ+ figures in history came to be.
Owen's Instagram: @owenkeehnen
David's Instagram: @csicskokid
Writing Your Real Life Medical Drama in Fiction with E.D. Hackett
In 2019, E.D. Hackett found out she had a pituitary tumor. So she did what any author would do; she wrote a book about it. Now, in honor of Pituitary Tumor Awareness month, she talks to us about how and why she turned a traumatic experience into a women's fiction novel.
Writing Blind and Standing Up to the Studios with Jim Stovall
Jim Stovall is one of the 13 million blind and visually impaired people in the world. He's also an author and president of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, which makes television accessible (and enjoyable!) for blind and visually impaired people. Jim talks about the simple process that helped him write dozens of books, several of which have been turned into movies and tell us why he rejected two screenplays before finally making "The Ultimate Gift" into a movie.
Jim's website: jimstovall.com
The Ultimate Gift Movie: https://amzn.to/3SVrN47
Photographing Music's Biggest Stars with Paul Natkin
Paul Natkin is the first to tell you that he's not an author, or even a writer. He's a photographer who finally decided to publish a book featuring a few of the hundreds of thousands of photos he's taken throughout his career. You might recognize the names of some of the people he's photographed, people like Prince, Madonna, Mick Jagger, and The Beastie Boys. If you've seen a live show anytime in the last 30 years, there's a good chance Paul was there.
Paul's Website: natkin.net
Publisher's Book Page: trope.com/blogs/news/paul-natkin-the-moment-of-truth
Creativity In All Directions with L.L. Smith of Lachdown Productions
L.L. Smith is what you might call a jack of all trades. As the author of Healer 2, and founder of Lachdown Productions, his creative interests pull him in all directions, but what he's really passionate about is connecting with other indie creators. He talks about indie books, covers, audiobook production, Kindle Vella, YouTube and more in this hilarious conversation. Check it out.
YouTube Channel: youtube.com/channel/UC-wDUYozpj8fHCu9YAa7j2w/
Author page: amazon.com/L-L-Smith/e/B08W9NP4RT/
What is a Developmental Editor? With Jennifer Milius
Jennifer Milius is a developmental editor who delights in helping authors bring their stories to life on the page. She talks about what a developmental editor is, why you might need one, and how to choose the right editor for you. Listen in, then go check out Emma's episode on Jennifer's Tufish Podcast!
Podcast and Website: jennifermilius.com/blog
Jennifer's Books: jennifermilius.com/books
Build Better Fictional Worlds Through Anthropology with Kyra Wellstrom and Michael Kilman
Your assumptions shape your world. At least, they should. Kyra Wellstrom and Micheal Kilman are the authors of Build Better Worlds: An Introduction to Anthropology for Game Designers, Fiction Writers, and Filmmakers. Drawing on their experience as professors of anthropology, they talk to us about how a basic understanding of people and cultures can and should shape our worldbuilding. Hear from these professors of anthropology and learn how to build a more realistic fantasy or sci-fi world.
Get the Book: https://amzn.to/3Uak2YU
These links may be affiliate links, which means you're supporting this podcast while you support the amazing indie authors featured in this episode. That's a win-win.
Speculative Fiction and the Space Cowboy with Jean-Paul L. Garnier
Author, editor, podcast host and indie bookseller, Jean-Paul L. Garnier lives his life completely immersed in the world of speculative fiction and sci-fi. He talks to us about how to give back to the writing community, choosing books for the Space Cowboy Books store in Joshua Tree, CA and his special brand of spoken word speculative poetry set to music. This is an episode you won't want to miss.
Space Cowboy Books: spacecowboybooks.com
Simultaneous Times Podcast: podomatic.com/podcasts/spacecowboybooks
Poetry and Stories: spacecowboybooks.bandcamp.com
Managing Multiple Pen Names with Corinne O'Flynn
Corinne has a confession to make. She's actually three authors sharing one body. Learn how she juggles the pen names Fiona Star and Daria Blake and why she's bringing them all together for the first time. From marketing to book covers to writing groups, we cover it all in this fast-paced episode.
Corinne's website: corinneoflynn.com
Battling Imposter Syndrome and Writing About Mental Health with Sarah McKnight
Summary: Every author has faced it, the feeling that you're not good enough, the fear that someone's going to notice you have no idea what you're doing. It's called imposter syndrome. Sarah's been grappling with it her whole life, but that hasn't stopped her from writing The Reaper Chronicles, or tackling teen mental health in Life Support. She shares her secrets with us in this episode.
Sarah's Website: sarahmcknightwrites.com
Writing Your Values Into Fiction with Iris March
Iris March really cares about sustainability and the environment. She's authored successful grants for the US EPA and is a certified master recycler. So when she set out to write her Succulent Sleuth cozy mystery series, her main character ended up sharing some of those values. Iris tells us how she struck the balance of honoring the character without overwhelming readers.
Her website: irismarchbooks.com
Business Essentials for Writers with James P. Nettles
James P. Nettles treats writing as a business, and he wants to show you how to do it too. He applied his 30 years of experience as a consultant to write Business Essentials for Writers: How to Make Money in an Ever-Changing Industry. On this episode, he shares some of his top tips for business planning, marketing and more. So grab a notebook and get ready to learn.
His website: jamespnettles.com
Author Essentials: authoressentials.net
Being an Expat Writer Living in Spain with Jesse Salvo
Jesse Salvo is the author of Blue Rhinoceros, and the Senior Fiction Editor for Bull Magazine. He talks to us about being in American Living in Spain, lessons learned from the slush pile and his unique process for writing a novel. There's a lot of laughing and plenty of literature.
Maudlin House: maudlinhouse.net/author/jesse-salvo/
International Book Marketing on Amazon and Beyond with Nenny May
Nigerian author Nenny May has taught herself everything she knows about marketing. She's honed her process through trial and error on four books. She talks with us about how Amazon Ads didn't work for her, and what she does instead. Keep an eye out for her YA novel, The Return, available in January 2023.
Nenny's Website: nennymaysbooks.wordpress.com
Author Names and the MFA Thesis (Novel) with Ian M. Rogers
Despite the title of his new novel, Ian M. Rogers did NOT write it as an MFA Thesis. It's the book he started months after graduating to explore his feelings about creativity and writing in academic settings. He talks to us about sharing a name with another famous writer and what nails have to do with life in Japan. Grab a slice of pizza and settle in for this late night dorm room chat.
Ian's Website: ButIAlsoHaveADayJob.com
When's the Right Time to Hire an Author's Assistant? with Jenna Lee
The Daring Pres: thedaringpress.com
Publishing as Fundraising (for Animals!) with Amit Verma
Amit Verma, author of The Quiver in the Purlieu, explains how sales of his book help support the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Animal rights is his passion. Writing is what he does when a story seizes him and won't let go. Hear all about it.
Madville Publishing: madvillepublishing.com/portfolio/a-quiver-in-the-purlieu/
Get the Book (Affiliate link): https://bookshop.org/a/23161/9781948692687
Book Review of Scribes' Descent by Dylan West
Emma got her hands on an advance reader copy of Scribes' Descent, a richly imagined sci-fi adventure from Dylan West. Listen to this review then go grab a copy of the book from your favorite indie bookseller.
Get the book here (affiliate link): bookshop.org/a/23161/9798985983104
Crowdfunding to Kickstart a Charity Anthology with Elyse Russell
Elyse Russell is curating an anthology for Band of Bards Comics. Funded by Kickstarter, The Dark Side of Purity, will feature comics, artwork, prose, and poetry from female and non-binary creators. After the the project is fully funded the book will be available in bookshops and online, with proceeds benefiting NARAL. Elyse talks to us about why the project is being fast-tracked and how creators can succeed with crowdfunding.
Fund it on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bandofbards/the-dark-side-of-purity
Band of Bards: bandofbards.com
Elyse's Website: elyserussellauthor.squarespace.com
Special Guest Interview: Why Suicide Awareness is Part of Emma G Rose's Author Platform
This is an unusual episode of Indie Book Talk. A former guest turns the tables on one of our co-hosts. Author Emma Jean interviews Indie Book Talk co-host Emma G Rose on why suicide prevention is part of her author platform. They discuss Rose's journey from grieving family member to published author and why she keeps talking about mental health.
Read the Article in She The Magazine: shethemagazine.com/article/emma_g_rose
Donate to the AFSP: afsp.org
Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Text the Crisis line at: 741741
Thank you for listening. The world is better with you in it.