Caveat Emptor

In truth, self-publishing is very simple. You can hire people to do your typesetting and book design for a very modest amount of money.


My workshops are intended to demystify the process. I want to make would-be self-publishers understand exactly how books (both e-books and paper) are published, so that they can find the least expensive ways to produce top-quality books that they are proud to call their own. 

And with the money left over after avoiding the rip-off artists, writers can hire editors. Editors are the professionals that most self-publishers really do need – desperately, in many cases. 

Self-published or independent author: An author who publishes his or her own books using such platforms as CreateSpace, Kindle, Smashwords, etc.

So What Makes ME Such an Expert?

I’ve published four books traditionally (with NeWest Press [2], River Books and John Hopkins University Press), republished one book that was out of print (The Woman Upstairs), and self-published two (really excellent) novels. I’ve also worked as a freelance editor and production supervisor for two decades, and have been editor-in-chief of a publishing company. I was recently one of two presenters on publishing at a Writers' Union of Canada cross-country workshop that received rave reviews. (You can get excerpts from this course for $9.99 from The Writers' Union of Canada.)


For information my workshop presentations, please contact me.


P.S.: I welcome inquiries from groups about self-publishing workshops customized to their particular needs. 

However, I am no longer doing individual book-production supervision or book editing.



Sitting Ducks

Soon after self-publishing went mainstream, a host of snake-oil salespeople set their (digital) sights on all those wannabe published writers, and set out to catch them in their nets (to mix three metaphors and a few clichés).


Their strategy was to make the self-publishing process sound mysterious and difficult. They threw in technical terms like “trim size” and “print run” to add to the mystique. Then they offered the unsuspecting writers expensive package deals to get their books to print.


Today these sleaze-bags are making tons of money from self-publishing. (The authors themselves are not, because the publishing packages typically do not offer any assistance with promotion and/or marketing, which is the hard part of book publishing.)

Traditional Author: A writer who publishes exclusively with an established publishing company.

Self Publishing Workshops

Mary W. Walters

Knowledge is power!!

Hybrid Author: An author who publishes both traditionally and independently. Example: Mary W. Walters

A Sea Change

Not so long ago, self-publishing was a despicable last-ditch option for losers, dismissively referred to among the cognoscenti as “vanity publishing.”


Today it has a new, classier nickname – “indie” publishing – and the practice has become widely accepted, even among traditionally published authors who are interested in bringing previously published books back into print.


Of course, this means that everyone and her dog (literally) can now publish a book, whether she/it can write or not.