My name is Karen Richardson. Since entering the self-publishing world over a decade ago, I’ve worked with dozens of writers and published almost a hundred books. In the process, I’ve written a couple of books, designed a few covers, and was hired to run The Mentoris Project, an independent nonprofit publishing house.
My background is in film production and photography. But when my husband—whose first two novels had been published traditionally—expressed interest in self-publishing his next book, I started to do some research. I quickly found an overwhelming number of companies that would publish his book—but at exorbitant prices while also taking a cut of future royalties. That, and I was appalled at the quality of the published books. They screamed AMATEUR.
Determined I could produce a book indistinguishable from a traditionally-published bestseller I learned everything I could about self-publishing. The entrepreneurial aspect of indie publishing appealed to me. As did having complete editorial and creative control. Not to mention the opportunity to help writers bypass the arduous process of querying agents and publishers and the potential pain and judgment of rejection.
I helped design books for a couple of friends and found I really enjoyed the unique challenges each project presented. In particular, how to create a holistic design that subtly enhances but doesn’t distract from the story on the page. Until lately, most of my work has come from referrals, but now an empty-nester (no disrespect intended to my three dogs) I’m eager to work with new clients. It is truly a privilege to work with so many talented writers and share their joy when the mail carrier delivers that first published proof.
I’m not here to promote my books, but if you’re curious about the history of wine in California you can read Harvesting the American Dream. I promise you’ll never look at Gallo wine the same way again. My second book tells the life story of Sheriff Lee Baca juxtaposed against the history of racial tension and policing in Los Angeles.
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