Tag Archives: Authors

Melissa McGovern Taylor’s publishing start through Print-on-Demand (POD)


We indie writers often talk about the breakthroughs we’ve made because of ebook publishing, but we forget to mention what an incredible innovation print-on-demand (POD) publishing for print books was.  My guest today on How I First Published, Melissa McGovern Taylor, got her start with POD publishing and has a very encouraging story. Read on!

What was your first published novel?

My first published novel was The Road to Mercy, a Christian romance I began writing in 2001.


 Was it a traditional publishing contract or did you go indie?

I decided to go with indie publishing through print-on-demand.

How did that come about?

I’d spent years submitting The Road to Mercy to publishers and agents. I did lots of editing. I finally got so tired of the rejection and bouts of editing and rewriting that I became sick of my own novel! I wanted so badly to hold the published book in my hands. At first, I looked into working with a self-publisher, but I couldn’t afford to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for boxes and boxes of books. When I found out about CreateSpace in 2010, I was intrigued. I did my homework and discovered that I had the computer skills to do my own book layout. I even have a husband who is a multimedia producer, so he knows photography and graphic design. He created the cover, and I’ve always loved it. I never wanted my book to look like it was self-published, and I’ve always been proud of its professional appearance.

How did this make you feel? Has it been as good as you expected, or a letdown, or exhausting, for example?

Holding the book in my hands was thrilling. I cried a little and had my husband take a picture of me holding it. I was excited, and I honestly felt like a real author. I knew I always was an author, but there’s something about holding that printed book in your hands that gives you that confirmation.

Tell us what’s happened with your writing journey since.

After publishing my first novel, I shared it with family and friends because I had no marketing budget. Their responses were touching. My grandfather ordered something like a dozen copies and gave them out as Christmas gifts! Another family friend did the same thing. Several women in my church read the book and gave me much praise for it. But it wasn’t until 2014, that the miracle of Kindle Direct really expanded my book’s reach. I published my novel digitally and did a freebie weekend. I was astounded at the number of downloads—over 4,000! Then the reviews rolled in. The Road to Mercy now has 44 reviews on Amazon, 32 of which are 5 stars. The funny thing is I can’t seem to give up on this book. Even though it’s published, I still make changes and submit it to agents from time-to-time. I’ve gotten as far as a complete manuscript read-through twice with the same agent! Even if this story never reaches a broader audience, I’ll be happy with this first edition. Since publishing The Road to Mercy, I’ve self-published a Christian YA novel (Enemy of Gideon), and finished a middle grades novella. Currently, I’m splitting my time between writing an MG fantasy novel and an MG historical novel.

Enemy  of Gideon YA Christian novel by POD indie author Melissa McGovern Taylor.

About Melissa:

Melissa McGovern Taylor has been writing fiction since she won her first writing contest as a kid. She’s not a genre writer but a storyteller, so the story might be a romance in North Carolina, a suspense in a post-apocalyptic future, or a fantasy adventure in another realm. She has a BA in writing from Methodist University, and her writing credits include fiction and nonfiction in local, national, and international publications. In 2011, she received a local artist grant for her newest release and first YA novel, Enemy of Gideon. Her short story, “Gabe”, won first place in the Salvation Army Writers Contest in 2013. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children.


How I First Published: Sylvia Patzold on changing times in publishing

  Sylvia Patzold's first published novel, Christian adventure The Goblet.


My guest today on How I First Published is Sylvia Patzold. In some ways,  her story reminds me of my own–30 years chasing a traditional publishing contract, then discovering how the publishing world has changed to make her dream possible. Read on for Sylvia’s story and her thoughts on what comes next. 

What  was your first published novel?

My first published novel was The Goblet which was published January 22, 2013.

Was it a traditional publishing contract or did you go indie?

I was offered a contract by Tate Publishing. Tate Publishing is not a traditional publishing company as they charge a fee.

How did that come about?

I sent  a query email to Tate Publishing. I did not expect an answer and was shocked when I received an email saying they would like to offer me a contract.  I received a response approximately one month after I sent the query email with the first chapter of my novel.

How did this make you feel?

In the beginning I was shocked that my novel had been accepted for publication. I have been writing, on and off, for approximately 30 years. Back when I first started writing, traditional publishers were the only option for writers. I lived in Canada then and it was even more difficult for a Canadian to be published. The publishing options for writers has changed dramatically. Even though there are many authors who tell aspiring writers to only go with publishing companies, the options to self publish are so much better now.

I attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and was overwhelmed with the amount of options available. I attended this conference blindly. I did not want any current work critiqued and I really attended to sit in the workshops to learn and absorb. I also listened to many differing opinions. In the end, I walked away with the secure knowledge that I would be able to self publish future novels.

The best piece of advice I received at the conference is that the way of publishing is self publishing. But the number one rule of thumb is to have your book edited, edited, edited professionally first.

Tell us what’s happened with your writing journey since.

The first novel I wrote – The Goblet – was to be a stand alone novel. Before I finished the novel, I made the decision to make it the first in a series. I have finished the second novel and I am currently going through the editing process with this novel. I will then begin the clumsy process of self publishing and I have decided to go with Amazon.

I am currently writing book three of the series. I am feeling very good about these books but need a lot of self encouragement to keep writing. I am letting the characters tell me how the book should end, but I am getting the feeling they don’t want it to end quite yet. I am pretty certain I let the characters know that this wouldn’t be the last book of the series. I think I also let them know that I’m not certain how many more books there would be in the series.

Then, since I am fascinated with ghosts, demons, angels and haunted houses, I have started a fourth novel. I was watching a television show about a family being terrorized by a demon in their house. A friend agreed when the family decided to move out of the house. I told the friend that I would stay and fight. It wasn’t right that another family would move in and be terrorized out of their home. The friend asked how I would fight. I told her that there would be help from up above. Thus I was inspired to write my fourth novel.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

I have one published novel – The Goblet. I am working on books 2, 3 and 4. I have a dream – to write. This is a difficult dream but it is one that has been with me my entire life.

Sylvia Patzold – Author of The Goblet
Come Walk with Me Blog: sylviapatzold.blogspot.com
The Journey of Writing Blog: sylviapatzoldmarketing.blogspot.com 
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