Local Author Helping Writers to Self-Publish

Peregian Springs author Donna Munro has been writing all her life but only published her first book after turning fifty-two.

“I realised I was over fifty and still yet to fulfil the dream of publishing a book. Four manuscripts lay in my filing cabinet gathering dust. I pulled out the most recent one The Zanzibar Moon. It had potential. At least I hoped so. I rewrote parts, completed more drafts, edited, and enlisted beta readers. I’d worked for a small publisher, was a graphic designer and figured I’d be able to self-publish. How hard could it be?”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing on the murky sea of self-publishing. Donna said, “I knew much of the process but none of the pitfalls.

I didn’t realise I should get a proof copy before having multiple books printed. I needed to have it edited better. The book cover didn’t come easy even though I’m a graphic designer. I plodded. But when I launched the book it was a success and I couldn’t have been happier.” It was such a joy holding that first book baby in her hands she wanted to share the experience with other writers.

While publishing that first book, Donna found that no book included all the self-publishing steps. Some things she had to Google, others through researching multiple books. It was frustrating.

The meticulous notes she kept on the self-publishing process became a course she tutored for Romance Writers of Australia. It went so well that she tutored the course again two years later, putting those notes and course ideas into a non-fiction book which became How to Self-Publish in Oz. By then she had published three linked novels and rebranded them with similar covers and better editing, to become – Croc Brothers Romances. There’s book one A Summer in Paradise, book two (the prequel) A Summer Before and book three A Summer of Hope.

How to Self-Publish in Oz was released in 2021. It continues to sell well with many people interested in publishing. She believes its success has been due to the screenshots of the process, links, tasks and templates. The book is also in colour so the images make the steps that much easier for the aspiring self-publisher. The book can be purchased at Annies Books on Peregian.

In 2022 she launched a stand-alone romantic suspense Beach Cottage Haven. It’s the perfect summertime (or winter) read on the Sunshine Coast. Pepper moves back to her hometown with her daughter and meets a brooding neighbour Keagan. He has PTSD an exuberant dog and a mysterious litter of kittens. After his son is involved in an accident, Keagan becomes a single parent and Pepper helps them through their grief and her own.

“I adore Pepper and Keagan’s story,” says Donna with a smile, as she strokes the beachy book cover.

Donna has helped local authors achieve self-publishing by doing book layouts, and covers and guiding them through the steps. All authors she works with form their own publishing business and retain profits. She fits these projects around being the Office Manager of Swimart Noosa and her latest manuscript (a thriller).

“I enjoy helping writers with the things they can’t do but I teach them in a way that at some point they’ll be able to do most of it themselves. It’s their publishing business, not mine.”

So, what’s next for this busy author? A re-write of How to Self-Publish in Oz for a World market instead of only Australia. Finish the thriller and keep submitting a suspense novel (completed last year) to traditional publishing houses. Phew!

BIO
DONNA MUNRO is an indie author of four novels and non-fiction. Her freelance stories and articles have appeared in The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, She, Take Five, trade magazines and anthologies.

As a graphic designer and book coach, she guides writers through the self-publishing process and enjoys seeing the happiness during their book launches.

When not at her desk, you’ll find her with a book in her hands and toes in the sand.

For self-publishing answers go to https://donnamunrobookdesign.wordpress.com/
To find out more about Donna’s books go to https://www.donnamunroauthor.com/

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