Inkshares, an unusual publisher

Inkshares, an unusual publisher

Inkshares is an unusual publisher worth checking out. I happened upon them when reading an article about hybrid publishers yesterday morning. But Inkshares isn’t a hybrid publisher. They are a traditional publisher with a twist. First, you test your book idea and draft out, gain a following and presell at least 750 copies. With that many presales, they’ll publish your ebook. With 1,000 presales, they’ll publish your paperback. They really do follow through, too, with all of the editing, production and distribution a traditional publisher provides. But since you help the book gain traction with presales, you get a larger percentage of the profits than a traditional publisher provides.

I’ll paste in a description of how it works. It comes directly from Inkshare’s website:

Sketch out your book idea.

What are you thinking of writing? Have a working title? Can you describe your idea in 20 words or less?

Turn your idea into a draft.

Feel good about your idea? Upload a sample chapter (if you have one). We’ll use your writing sample to build your draft page. If you don’t have a sample, no problem. You can upload one later or sketch out your draft on Inkshares.

Get feedback.

Do people like your idea? Your writing? Ask readers to help you improve your draft and build a following along the way. Many authors will stop at this step, which is perfectly fine. 

Sell Pre-Orders.

When and if you’re ready to turn your draft into a book, we’ll start to sell pre-orders. You’ll run your pre-order campaign from Inkshares. We’ll publish your book if you reach your pre-order threshold.

We Publish.

When you reach your pre-order goal, we’ll start the publishing process with you. We’ll edit, design, print, distribute, and market your book where the intensity of each is based on your goal level. We are your publisher.

What do you think?

I haven’t seen this model before and think it’s worth considering. It would be quite a challenge to figure out how to reach the 750 threshold. How would you go about getting 750 advance orders for your book in progress?

Five stars for The Kiminee Dream

Five stars for The Kiminee Dream

Hip hip hooray! Did you know authors can receive free editorial reviews from Readers Favorite? It’s been a few months since I requested a review for The Kiminee Dream, but it was worth the wait.

Here’s the Readers Favorite review by K.C. Finn:

The Kiminee Dream is a work of fiction in the magical realism, family saga, and small-town drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Laura McHale Holland. Mixing the everyday humdrum life of a family beset by tragedy with the incredible magical events that happen in a little town that everyone takes for granted, this charming story charts the highs and lows of Carly Mae Foley and her family in the town of Kiminee, Illinois. What results is a sweeping tale with tragedy lurking at its dark edges, and the promise of a town’s spirit that one hopes will never be broken.

Author Laura McHale Holland has crafted a highly unusual novel that will not suit all tastes, but those that do willingly throw themselves into the immersive fantasy of Kiminee will find themselves on a wildly satisfying journey of emotional highs and lows. One of the most impressive things for me was the lyrical quality of the storytelling, which flows both like poetry and fairytale as the plot unfolds with huge amounts of detail and atmosphere. Holland’s pen crafts gorgeous images that represent the moods and ideas of the town and its characters, bathing them in shadow and light as different events play out. I felt that the characters were also exceedingly well developed with keen attention to their attitudes and emotions, making for a richer sense of kinship and rivalry within the town itself. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Kiminee Dream to fiction fans who enjoy lyrical and truly magical works.

The way cool Jennie Nash trains book coaches

The way cool Jennie Nash trains book coaches

I don’t recall how I heard about Jennie Nash, but I’ve been aware of her Author Accelerator program, through which authors can receive coaching for their entire book writing and publication process or for just a part of it. She receives outstanding reviews for her work in this area.

Now, she is also training people how to become book coaches. It sounds like a great career for someone who loves stories, the writing process and helping others. You don’t have to be a published author to be a book coach. In a series of videos Jennie explains what book coaching is and isn’t, qualities a great book coach has, what a book coach needs to know, how Jennie’s training program works and more.

I watched the videos in one sitting several evenings ago, and I keep thinking about this program.

Does it mean book coaching is in my future? I don’t know. Like many other people, I have a way of getting excited about one online program or another (usually having to do with some aspect of book marketing) and then not completing the program, so I have to be careful about such things, but I do feel this program would give a solid footing to someone seriously interested in becoming a book coach.

Here’s a link to the video series:

I found this appealing photo of Jennie Nash online. It also appears on The Book Designer website, but it has no attribution there, so I don’t know who to credit for it.

I’m giving DIY audiobooks a try

I’m giving DIY audiobooks a try

Should this be my first audiobook?

I’ve had audiobook production on the back burner because of the expense of hiring someone to do it for you and what I thought would be the daunting technical aspects of doing it yourself.

Then I happened upon Derek Doepker, who offers a video course on DIY audiobook production. He’s good at explaining things in a way that makes them see doable. Now, I’m the sort of person who, if there’s a wrong turn to make when it comes to something technical, I’ll take it, no matter how hard I try not to. Still, I’m going to give it a go.

I don’t know how long it’ll take to do my first audiobook. I haven’t even set up the equipment yet (minimal equipment required) or decided what book to do first, though I’m thinking I might begin with my most recent book, The Kiminee Dream, and work backward from there. I’m optimistic that whichever book I choose, it’ll happen in the next year.

If you’re an author who has put audiobooks on hold, you might want to check Derek out. Here’s a link to a YouTube video where he talks about audiobook production:

I stuck my neck out

I purchased a book based on a heartfelt endorsement by a woman who runs a book distribution and author services company. I subscribe to her newsletter; that’s where I learned of the book.

Email receipt.

The paperback arrived yesterday (not August 28 as estimated on the receipt, but that’s no big deal). The cover and internal layout were pleasing and up to industry standards.

The text, however, was riddled with errors—shockingly so.

The story the book tells is deeply moving, so I don’t want to attract negative attention to the book. Thus, I won’t name the book or the person who recommended. Instead, I wrote to her. I was concerned that she’d promoted a flawed book to her email subscribers, which given her apparent success, is in the multiple thousands.

I pointed out errors in the first seven pages and said the book deserves better. Generally, I find from zero (rare) to three errors in books that are produced with professional care. This is when I’m reading for enjoyment, not with my editor’s hat on, which is how I was reading the book I received yesterday.

I don’t know how the publishing pro and indie author enthusiast will react to my email. Will she think I’m too picky? Will she conclude I’m a nut case? Will she be grateful and hand the book off to a copyeditor? Will she simply not respond?

I have no clue. I stuck my neck out, and we’ll see what happens.

This, I believe, is a reminder to all of us in the independent publishing movement to be careful about what we endorse. Our reputations depend on not only producing high-quality books ourselves, but also ensuring the books we recommend to our readers and supporters are stellar as well, not just in the stories they have to tell, but in all aspects, including copyediting and proofreading.

I’m giving DIY audiobooks a try

Special benefit reading for Shade Literary Arts

Literature lovers, mark your calendars for Friday, May 22, at 4 p.m., for a reading to benefit Shade Literary Arts, an organization that is helping minority writers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laura McHale Holland is one of five authors reading. Here’s a link to the event. It’s on a donate what you can basis:

Sign up and donate what you can on the Eventbrite link:

Here’s information on all five authors:

Baruch Porras-Hernandez is the author of the chapbooks “I Miss You, Delicate” and “Lovers of the Deep Fried Circle” both with Sibling Rivalry Press. He had the honor of touring with the legendary Sister Spit Queer poetry tour in 2019, is a is a two-time winner of Literary Death Match, a regular host of literary shows for KQED, and was named a Writer to Watch in 2016 by 7×7 Magazine. His poetry can be found with Write Bloody Publishing, The Tusk, Foglifter, Assaracus and many more. He has been an artist in residence at The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, a Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry, and Playwriting. He’s been featured in shows with The Rumpus, Writers with Drinks, has performed several times with Radar Productions, LitQuake, and Quiet Lightning. He is the head organizer of ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente? a Latinx literary performance series, he is an immigrant, originally from Mexico, and is currently the lead artist in a multidisciplinary project that will create new Queer Latino Superheroes with MACLA, which stands for Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana in San Jose. He lives in San Francisco. 

Lydia X.Z. Brown (they/them pronouns)
My homepage is

Lydia X. Z. Brown writes about disability, race, and queerness. They are an organizer, advocate, and attorney for disability justice focused on interpersonal and state violence targeting disabled people at the margins of the margins. They have received numerous awards for their work, and written for several community and academic publications. In collaboration with E. Ashkenazy and Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu, Lydia is the lead editor of All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism. They have published fiction in the Asian American Literary Review and poetry in Monstering Magazine. In 2018, they were a Teaching Scholar at Grub Street’s Muse and the Marketplace literary conference, and in both 2017 and 2018, they were a reader on panels about disability literature at AWP. They are still working on several incomplete novel manuscripts.

Kiran Bhat (he/him pronouns)

I am a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. I think since I was a teenager I was interested in global themes. Around seventeen, I remember wanting to tell people I wanted to write a collection of stories for each country in the world, telling a myriad of tales of things happening there. As I started traveling – starting from when I studied abroad in Spain – this coalesced into one global novel. I’m still in the process of writing our this book, but hope you are all willing to be there with me (virtually) as I work on it, and myself.

I have lived all over the world. I’ve written about my homes in the My Homes section of the page, but if you had to ask for it in short form, I would consider my list Jonesboro, Mysore, New York, Madrid, Lisboa, Sao Paulo, Cuzco, Mombasa, Tokyo, Istanbul, Yogyakarta, Shanghai, Moscow , Mumbai, Paris, Cairo, and Melbourne. If you had to ask me to pick one to live in for the rest of my life, it would probably be Bombay, but I’m open to the fact that I’m always changing, and will most likely want to be elsewhere after forty.

I currently speak English, Kannada, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Turkish, Indonesian, Hindi, Japanese, French, Russian, and Arabic to various levels of proficiency. I’ve tried to write a little bit in all of them, but mostly am an English-language writer. You can see a bit more about my projects in the My Books section.

I am a naastika by choice. I believe mostly in the strange serendipity that comes with the chaos of our world.

Kristen Caven (she/hers)

Kristen Caven is a literary creative noted for her blogs, books, magazines, cartooning, playwriting, lyrics, short stories, personal essays and performances spanning memoir, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, fairytale, philosophy, romance and comedy. In her first memoir, Perfectly Revolting (2010), she revealed her nature as a “Liberal Artist” in every sense: Liberal as in free-thinking, as in bountiful, and as in having to do with books.

In addition to her unusual graphic novel collection, The Reason She Left (2011), her fairy-tale novella, The Souls of Her Feet (2013) and her hot romance The Vesuvian Affair (2017), Caven has co-authored several books with her mother/colleague, Dr. Louise Hart, including On the Wings of Self-Esteem (2010) and The Bullying Antidote (2014). Learn more at

Laura McHale Holland (she/hers)

As a child, I loved the musicality of language and often recalled, verbatim, conversations I heard. A lost soul in my teens and early twenties, I righted myself in my mid-twenties and discovered a deep love of the creative process. I’ve been hooked on that ever since.

Significant mentors for me have been surrealist poet Nanos Valaoritis, who kept groups of students spellbound during office hours at San Francisco State University, and Ruth Stotter, a master storyteller who taught me the importance of getting out of the way of tales I am meant to tell.

My newest work, a novel titled The Kiminee Dream, incorporates fantastic elements but is grounded in reality—a place I like to straddle in fiction. My published books, which are showcased on this page, have received recognition in the indie publishing sphere, including the National Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and INDIES Awards, among others. In addition, four of my short plays have been produced recently in Northern California, where I live with my husband and two goofy little mutts.

To connect with me, please visit, where you can receive a free ebook when you sign up for my readers group, as well as get previews of new work and updates in a periodic newsletter; read and comment on my blog; and learn about recent and upcoming events.

About Shade Literary Arts: 

Publisher of The Shade Journal, started in July 2016, Shade Literary Arts, believes there is something divine about being a queer person of color in a world designed to destroy these bodies. Shade seeks work that challenges forms and upsets the canon, while understanding literature’s rigorous and traditional roots. The Shade Journal has published many writers who have published and featured in the New Yorker, The New York Times, POETRY, American Poetry Review, The Rumpus, Academy of American Poets, The Paris Review, Granta, Tin House, and more, as well have been awarded and honored from places, such as, National Book Award, National Poetry Society, Pushcart Prize, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry, and others. ​

Shade Literary Arts defines “shade” as a place to feel comfortable and at home.

​The Shade Journal started as a blog in May 2014.

Five stars for The Kiminee Dream

The Kiminee Dream now widely available

Laura McHale Holland’s novel, The Kiminee Dream, is now available in print and ebook formats at all major online retailers. Here’s a link to Amazon for your convenience:

Here’s a link to Indiebound, where you can order the book from a local retailer and have them send the book to you:

And here’s a link to my ebook distributor, Draft2Digital, which connects to the major online ebook retailers outside of Amazon. These include Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and others:

I hope you enjoy the book!

First blurb for The Kiminee Dream

I’m thrilled to share this endorsement of my forthcoming novel, The Kiminee Dream, from the inimitable Rayne Wolfe:

“The author of The Kiminee Dream, Laura McHale Holland, knows a thing or two about the beauty to be found in characters from America’s heartland. They are always quirky and some are on magical, profoundly personal quests. And if their fellow travellers include pets, wildlife and even the landscape itself, it all makes for a hypnotic and endearing story. The turn of Kiminee Dream’s final page feels like the end of a much-needed visit home.”

— Rayne Wolfe is a former New York Times Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle columnist, and author of Toxic Mom Toolkit

The novel launches May 2, 2020. Read more about it at

I’m giving DIY audiobooks a try

First interview on Medium about The Kiminee Dream

Happy news! The Lois Lane Investigates Authors blog interviewed me on Medium about The Kiminee Dream, a book I’ll be publishing at the beginning of May. It’s my first interview for the novel. Yippee!

Here’s a link to the post:

What do you think? Does it make you curious? What would you ask me about the book?

A new project begins

In the months before publishing my first novel, The Kiminee Dream, in May 2020, I’m preparing a companion book of tales told by one of the characters in the novel. Her name is Aunt Truly, and the book of stories will likely be titled Aunt Truly’s Tales.

This image is associated with the Sitting Room in Penngrove. I imagine Aunt Truly would like to sit in this chair.

A woman so old nobody knows when she was born, Aunt Truly takes in Carly Mae Foley, a teen who has escaped and abductor and is far from home. Aunt Truly cares for Carly Mae through an especially long, snowbound winter. One of the things Aunt Truly does to pass the time is tell stories. One of them, “The Frog Who Wouldn’t Budge,” is told in the novel.

I’ll be posting stories under consideration for inclusion in Aunt Truly’s book on my blog. The first one is up now at

I would love to know what you think.

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