peeps: Michelle Muto
When she was a child growing up in Chicago, Michelle Muto’s favorite stories had monsters and things that lurked in the dark. And she loved storytelling. So she frightened her classmates with stories of monsters and things that lurked in the dark. Which, of course, got her into a lot of trouble with her teachers. “They had no sense of humor,” she recalls.
She set that aside for a while when she entered adulthood for a life as an IT professional in the corporate world. But only for a while. Now she’s in Georgia with her husband and two dogs. And officially, she’s an urban fantasy and paranormal fiction writer. Which means that she makes a living telling stories of monsters and things that lurk in the dark.
Which is exactly how things should be.
How Michelle Got Started Self-Publishing
For over a year, her The Book of Lost Souls was with a large agency, but it was just stuck and sitting around and Michelle worried that she’d never be published. Then the agency decided another client’s similar story proposal was better suited for them. Self-publishing deserved another, more closer look, she figured then.
She’d been following J.A. Konrath’s blog for close to a year, and was inspired by his and others’ success stories going at it on their own. Confident with what she had to offer — with the literary agency’s professional assurance that The Book of Lost Souls was a solid product — she leapt and took a chance. She had two professional editor friends do their thing with her manuscript, found cover artist Sam Torode, and she was off, uploading it to Amazon in early March 2011.
She never looked back. She never really had to. The book won the 2012 eFestival of Words best Young Adult novel. Her succeeding book, Don’t Fear the Reaper, was an LDS Women’s Book Review 2011 Top Ten Pick. And her latest, The Haunting Season, is a best-seller in the Teen Horror category.
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “Be professional at all times.”
- “Write the draft for you, but revise ruthlessly.”
- “Run the manuscript past trusted beta readers and critique partners who are not family members.”
- “Hire professional editors/copyeditors and cover artists.”
- “Write a great blurb for your book. Polish it until it shines.”
- “Make connections within the publishing community. You’ll find a wealth of information and support, and some truly amazing people along the way.“