Tag Archives: Self Publication

Author Spotlight – Megg Jensen

Hunted_Revised2_CVR_MEDI met Megg Jensen through a Facebook connection. I begged her to be my guest. I wanted all her secrets of success. LOL.  Like Dorothy in the Wizzard of Oz, I think she gave me the answer I always knew. I am posting this today in celebration of Opening day of #Dragoncon14!  Shhh I think I heard that C.L. Wilson is going to be a guest there on the writers tract!!!

 Megg tells us: “In the summer of 2012, I sat at a dealership, signing documentation to purchase a new car for my husband – one I was able to purchase in full with money I’d earned from self-publishing. The form asked for occupation and I was proud to write “Author.”

 The salesman saw that and gasped. He looked me over, then asked if I was Suzanne Collins. My rather snarky reply was, “If I was Suzanne Collins, I’d be at BMW, not Hyundai.”

 We both had a good laugh over it, but the moment wasn’t lost on me. Not only was I contributing to the household, but I was buying a freaking brand new car with cash I made from turning my imagination into words. How crazy is that?

 I went from that high to a drop in sales in the fall of 2012, only a few short months later. I can attribute the dip to many things – the end of a series, a change in genre, medical and household emergencies – but my income didn’t recover from the drop.

 I find myself in 2014, not despairing, but working my butt off to get back to the top. That’s the one of the best parts of self-publishing.

 If I had a drop in sales like that with a traditional publisher, it’s pretty likely they wouldn’t send another contract my way. I’d have to fight for anyone to notice me. Not in self-publishing. I can take my career into my own hands.

 2014 has been a year of learning and rebuilding. I don’t expect to make as much money this year as I did in 2012, nor is that my aim. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, success rarely comes from luck. Hard work is the basis and this year I’m rebuilding that base.

 I’m writing books faster by managing my time more efficiently. I’m consolidating my editing process by booking pros. I’m hiring out work that distracts me from my main job of putting words to paper.

 Most importantly – I’m learning. The business has changed drastically since I began self-publishing in 2011. Back then, success was easy. Now there are thousands of books going live on Amazon every day. Visibility is the number one priority, whether it’s through ads, blog tours, or word of mouth. The smart indie will do her research before publishing another book.

Writing is art, but publishing is business. Success doesn’t come just to those who write well – it is earned through hard work and perseverance. I plan to be on top again, even though it may not happen until 2015 or 2016. When it happens, people will ask, “How did you rocket to the top so quickly?” I’ll just nod because I know that all overnight success requires a lot of hard work.



 Bio: Megg Jensen is a bestselling author of high fantasy.

No stranger to top ten lists on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore, Megg’s novels (Anathema, Oubliette, Severed, Sleepers, Afterlife, The Sundering) have garnered millions of downloads, attracting thousands of fans all over the world. In April of 2014, her compilation ebook, The Song of Eloh Saga, hit #42 overall on Amazon and #9 on Barnes & Noble.

Growing up on the amazing fantasy and scifi of the 1980s, Megg’s influences include Madeline L’Engle, Robert Jordan, and Terry Goodkind. She lives in Chicago with her husband, kids, and two miniature schnauzers.




Instagram – @meggjensenpix

Twitter – @meggjensen

Lessons Learned in Direct Publication – Headers/Footers

I’ve been discussing all the things I’ve learned in the course of formatting my manuscript for direct publication in print. I’ve discussed Front Matter; The Body of the Manuscript; How to handle Scene Breaks.  The value of Advanced Readers Copy shouldn’t be overlooked.

I was slightly familiar with Headers and Footers but I didn’t know quite how that might apply to my manuscript.

What I did notice in my review of books out there for sale pertaining to headers and footers might seem confusing. Lets start with page numbers. The page numbers can be at the top of the page or at the bottom they can be centered or on the outside corner of the page. They are not usually on the inside corner of the pages. Wherever they are they are contained in the headers at the top or footers at the bottom.

I placed mine in the center of the bottom of the page…In the footer. I found a cool symbol that tied in with the theme of my manuscript to use around the page number. It was part of the footer set up application.

That left my Header tool (top of the page) to use for other purposes. I programmed it to print my manuscript title on the even pages and my author name on the odd pages. The lettering font was different from the manuscript text but the same choice as the page numbers at the bottom. Nice crisp and clear in capital letters. I chose the Calibri 10pt font for this purpose.

Its able to be programmed for different information on the even pages vs the odd pages. That’s how I could do the title on one and the name on the other.

I will be talking about End Matter next and then more about formatting for Kindle.

Lessons Learned in Direct Publication – Front Matter

In a review of currently published books I learned a couple of things to apply to my own direct publication project.

I looked at quite a few copies of books for sale at my local book store. So for the purpose of this article we will be talking about books in print and the summation of what I saw when thinking about style and formatting.

First off the results of my review of front matter at the beginning of the book. Many of the books would lead off with  a pre-title page with the series name and the particular volume name on it as the right hand facing page. The back of that page would be a page listing other books by the author on the back of the page or left side page. Often that would contain the copyright and the ISBN numbers at the bottom.

The next page or two often had some words of praise for past work by the author, set up front and back or right facing and then turned…left facing.

Next came the main title page with author and often a publisher seal at the bottom. Those title pages are right facing. The back of that page now left or back side would contain all the disclaimers, notes, copyright penalty etc. along with a note of cover design credit and then the edition number.

The next right facing page is acknowledgements and comments of a sort. The back of that page left facing is left blank on purpose.

I had need of a glossary of words and terms with my book being a paranormal so I placed that next covering the right facing page and the back of it…left facing page.

This varied a little bit but next I put a Dedication page right facing and the back of it left blank on purpose.

This was the end of the front matter. The body of the manuscript started after this with Chapter one.

I will have future articles that discuss the things I learned about formatting the body of the manuscript; how to handle scene breaks; headers and footers; end matter, the value of Advanced Readers Copy and additionally how to format for Kindle.