Launching my Journey to Indie Publishing

Last month I decided I’m going to go full in on publishing cozy mysteries and put my romance on hold for a while. I also decided I’m going to independently publish my cozies instead of pursuing traditional publishing.

You know what? As soon as I made the decision I felt relieved and lighter. I felt immediately relieved to take control of my publishing career. But it also felt weird. I’d envisioned a different path and a different genre for my career since 2005.

I think that all of my experiences led me to this point where I’m pursuing what really makes me happy right now and that’s writing happy little murder stories.

I’m going to take you all on this journey with me as I work toward launching my debut novel later this year. I’ll share decisions I’m making, challenges I encounter, tips and wins.

I decided to publish my cozies under a new pen name: Lisa Kinley. I’ve used Lisa Leoni as my romance identity for so long and I didn’t want to muddy the waters with another genre. Plus, Kinley is a Scottish name and I just loved the idea of adding another Scotland-related thing to my life 🙂

My release date isn’t settled yet, but I have a plan of attack to work toward that point. First priority is to get my debut polished as much as I can on my own. I’m in a developmental editing class and I think that’s going to help a lot. I’m also starting a self publishing course next month.

I’m planning to get several kinds of editing done so I can identify my strengths and weaknesses for future books. I’m also in the early stages of shopping for a cover artist. The prospect of working with someone to design covers for the stories in my head is so exciting!

I’m still debating launch strategies, but I’m currently leaning toward preparing the first three to launch close together then work on writing more in the series.

Getting ready to publish my books is exciting and exhilarating in so many ways. Deciding on the elements of my stories that are important to me has been fun. I want to write plus-sized protagonists and I can! I can write fat sleuths all the live long day. Also, I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I was the silly kid selling handmade bracelets in front of my parent’s house as a young kid. I should probably note that we lived on a cul-de-sac… Not a lot of traffic.

It’s also intimidating. Everything is on your shoulders and the financial start-up costs can be hefty when combining the editing and cover art. Plus, I’m responsible for my own deadlines which is going to be tough considering I’m very externally motivated.

All in all, I can’t wait to see how this year goes! It’s going to be fun to think about the progress I make as I come back each month to write in this wonderful space.

Do you indie publish? Any advice for a newbie? If you’re a cozy reader, what do you love to see on covers?

One more note (#ShamelessSelfPromo) – I’m also a social media coach for authors. I’ll be launching a class soon all about social media content strategy and helping authors figure out what to post on your accounts, how much to talk about your books, time saving tips, and more. I have an email sign-up if you want to be the first to know when it’s ready!

6 thoughts on “Launching my Journey to Indie Publishing

  1. You can do it! And furthermore, you will be great! You are soooo on top of this. Keep going. It’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.

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  2. Lisa, I’ve known you for a long time and I’m excited for you! I can’t wait to read your books and see what direction you go with the covers. You are spot on getting the first three books ready and publishing them evenly spaced in a short amount of time. I can tell you from my experience that works to get readers hooked and ready for the fourth book. Good luck and email me any time you have any questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paty, I appreciate that and you so much!! It’s been wonderful to watch your career develop over the years and I’m so grateful for your advice and the open door 🙂


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