Self-publishing helped us create our own press, "Fat Daddy's Farm."

Two years ago, I decided to self-publish my book, "Insanity: A Love Story" through the Createspace program, which allows writers to sell books via Amazon and Amazon's Kindle program. I considered other POD (publish on demand) programs, such as Lulu; however, these other programs didn't seem to be as attractive to me.

Using the Createspace process allowed me to have complete control over the process--from writing the book, creating the cover, doing the layout, creating an e-book version, and publicizing the book.  It took some time to figure all this out, but I really enjoyed doing it.  In fact, it was so enjoyable, I started to wonder if I would self-publish future books.  My husband is also a writer, so we began to discuss how we might continue the self-publishing process.  

Through my research during self-publishing, I discovered I could go beyond my original book project and set up my own small press.  This was very attractive to me because I didn't just enjoy the writing process, but enjoyed all the elements of publishing--it would also allow me to continue to publish my own work, my husband's work, and, later on, other people's works, all in a streamlined fashion.  Self-publishing involved a steep learning curve, and I wanted to put my newly learned skills to use.  

Now, I am in the middle of editing an anthology, "Joy, Interrupted," about motherhood and loss, a project that works much better in the context of a small press, rather than self-publishing.  Instead of using Createspace, a very user friendly medium for self-publishing, I am using Ingram's Lightning Source.  Ingram is the publishing process for many larger presses, and allows you to be stocked via Amazon, other online bookstores like Barnes & Noble, and be available for order or to be stocked in bookstores all across the United States.  However, Lightning Source isn't for the faint at heart--just getting set up with them involves many steps, and the actually publishing process isn't as user friendly as the Createspace program.

The creation of our small press has truly been a family affair--"Fat Daddy's Farm" was invented by my eleven year old (then 9) step-son as the moniker for our small homestead where we cultivate all sorts of vegetables and fruit.  Our English Bulldog, Daisy, became our mascot and representative of "Fat Daddy's Farm" press (she looks more like a fat daddy than our much thinner bulldog, Boss Hog).  It is also a brand my husband and I can collaborate on, something that is harder to do when self-publishing, and open up to new possibilities, such as releasing music from my husband's musical endeavors, such as a CD from his band, "Blackberry Jam."  

Self-publishing involves so many rewards, letting a writer participate from conception to release of a book.  For "Fat Daddy's Farm," self-publishing was the stepping stone for a dream we never knew we had and allows us to go beyond our original goal of becoming published writers.

Right now we are not accepting submissions, but we do plan on doing so in the future.  If you want to stay up to date on our projects and when we do open up to submissions, our website is -- or if you have any questions about "Fat Daddy's Farm," including more information about how we started, feel free to email us [email protected]

--Melissa Miles McCarter

Melissa Miles McCarter

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