peeps: Lani Diane Rich
On a whim, Lani Diane Rich wrote her first novel in 2002, during NaNoWriMo — that’s National Novel Writing Month, the thirty days of November every year where folks voluntarily commit to write a novel of at least 50,000 words. Well, Lani did it…
…and became the very first previously unpublished NaNoWriMo participant to have a manuscript published. That was Time Off For Good Behavior,
Her book has gone on to win the Rita Award for Best First Book. And as of this writing, Lani has since written and published seven more solo books and one collaboration.
When she isn’t writing or doing mommy stuff in Syracuse, New York, where she lives with her husband and two daughters, she teaches storytelling in the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. And just in case anyone thinks that she’s already too busy, she also runs StoryWonk, a business “helping self-pub authors get their books ready for prime time.”
How Lani Got Started Self-Publishing
It was a big help that she had a background in marketing copy and design, so she was able to take on a lot of the work of getting her books ready herself and get them out on the marketplace at minimal out-of-pocket cost.
“I don’t recommend it for most people,” she cautions, however. “My husband Alastair and I had to figure out how to put the books online ourselves.” But they had so much fun with the process, they decided to start offering the service to other authors looking for that kind of assistance with their self-publishing projects as well.
- “What I love about self-publishing is that it gives a writer options.”
- “I’m not going to say that traditional publishing is a dead dinosaur; it’s absolutely still relevant. But now a writer can choose what’s important to her and either take on all the work of publishing herself and have complete control of her business, or she can decide that she wants an editor to take care of all of that for her so she can focus on the work. I love that.”
- “I think there’s room for everyone at the ball now, and the access to readers that new technologies have afforded us makes self-publishing a viable avenue for writers who want to be in control of their publishing experience. I think it’s wonderful.“