Self-Publising: How One Author is Doing it Her Way

Kate O'Hegarty, author of Mieradome
Photo- 2010 Vania Stoyanova

From conception to birth, novels are a definite labor of love. Writing the actual story is just half the battle; if following the traditional path, the author then has to find a reputable agent, pray for the interest of a publishing house, and then battle it out with editors to get the novel printed, marketed, and sold. In recent years, the economy has not helped this industry at all, causing companies to tighten their purse-strings and sign fewer new novelists.

This isn't stopping some up and comers, though, such as Kate O'Hegarty, a fellow Modesto High graduate (go panthers!). Starting her fantasy young-adult novel almost eight years ago, O'Hegarty is now in the absolute final stages of production, ready to bring her readers into the adventurous world of Mieradome very soon. O'Hegarty first tried the ordinary route, sending queries to agents and publishers, only to hear that they liked her book, but were concerned it didn't quite match their current catalogs.

Most of us would have stopped there- not this girl. O'Hegarty decided to investigate the self-publishing route, reading every guide and article out there to learn the process. Slowly, things started coming together- her sister, a graphic-designer, created the beautiful cover and various designs throughout the book, and Jeff Brian Fischer was hired to do the illustrations for the website. While working out the details of the novel's production, including finding a company to print the text, O'Hegarty also took on marketing and publicity, taking advantage of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, book bloggers, and online reviewers.

O'Hegarty was very upfront about the advantages and disadvantages of this huge endeavor that is self-publishing. She
welcomes having "full control" over the editing process, artistic touches, and promotional aspects, yet does acknowledge that the marketing component of an indie project can be difficult. When self-publishing, the author must also supply the upfront costs for hiring the necessary creative talents, the marketing campaign, and the printing of the book (fingers crossed she makes it all back).

Next up, Kate will continue to promote her book while working on a sequel to Mieradome, which is available for purchase at Borders, Barnes and Noble, on Amazon, or by request at your favorite independent bookstore. For more information on her book (or even just to see a really awesome book website), visit

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